Navigating immigration law worldwide.


Burness Paull's dedicated team of immigration lawyers know the importance of global mobility to individuals and businesses and specialise in facilitating international relocations and transfers.

We help organisations attract and retain top talent from across the globe and provide advice and support to a wide range of clients who currently employ or are considering employing foreign nationals.

We also provide advice to investors, entrepreneurs and others seeking to relocate themselves, their families or their businesses to the UK. The UK visa application rules in these circumstances can be tricky, and we help navigate through these using decades of experience in cross-border movement.

The EU free movement of people for EEA nationals has now ended and applications to the EU Settlement Scheme are now closed for EA nationals who were already in the UK on 31 December 2020.

The new points based immigration system now applies to both EEA and non-EEA nationals and businesses require a sponsor licence to recruit individuals from anywhere outside the UK (excluding Ireland). We help clients navigate the paper work to ensure you remain compliant with the new rules and to avoid any penalty fees or legal action.

Our highly specialist immigration lawyers at Burness Paull provide support to public and private sector clients on the full suite of business and personal immigration matters.

Our immigration lawyers regularly advise businesses on complex issues. We have extensive knowledge of immigration law and can help guide you through the process including:

  • Applying for and maintaining a sponsor licence
  • Sponsoring foreign workers & international migrants
  • Recruiting international staff & transferring workers to the UK
  • Immigration & visa compliance
  • Right to work checks
  • Setting up a UK branch or subsidiary and transferring staff
  • Business visitor rules
  • Brexit advice for employers and employees
  • Civil Penalties & Illegal Working investigations
  • Training on immigration law and compliance
  • Home Office investigations and audits

Working alongside our Corporate Finance, Tax, Technology & Private Client teams, our immigration and visa lawyers can advise you no matter where in the world you are, on personal immigration and visa matters such as:

  • Relocation to the UK for investment or business start-up purposes
  • Tier 1 Investor visas for those wishing to invest in new or existing businesses in the UK
  • International Protection in the UK
  • Support for Innovators and Entrepreneurs who are starting up a business in the UK. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa has now been replaced by an Innovator visa, offering entrepreneurs and experienced professionals a low capital investment option.
  • Individuals wishing to set up their first business in the UK and apply for a start up visa (open to graduates and non-graduates who can demonstrate high potential, no need for investment funds)
  • Settlement applications
  • Those with Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise and may be eligible for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa
  • British citizenship & Naturalisation
  • Complex family immigration cases, including adoption, and surrogacy matters.

We know that applying for a UK visa for your family can be stressful. Our immigration lawyers regularly advise on a very broad range of personal immigration matters and have in-depth knowledge of the systems and procedures to ensure that your application is processed with minimal stress. We advise individuals on:

  • Partner, spouse, fiancé(e) visas,
  • Children and dependent family member visas
  • Free movement of EEA nationals and family members and registration under EU settlement scheme
  • Tier 4 Student visas
  • Worker visas & sponsorship
  • UK ancestry visas
  • Visit visas
  • British citizenship- naturalisation and registration
  • Administrative Review
  • Appeals to First Tier and Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
  • Judicial Review of Home Office decisions

We have a dedicated litigation team and deal with complex immigration appeals and challenges. We have appeared in courts and tribunals throughout the country, including the UK Supreme Court. Our litigation work includes:

  • First Tier Tribunal
  • Upper Tribunal
  • Administrative Review
  • Judicial Review
  • Civil Penalty Appeals
  • Illegal Working & Immigration Offences Defence
  • Sheriff Court
  • UK Supreme Court
  • Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC)
  • European Court of Human Rights
  • Court of Justice of the European Union

As the Scottish member of the Lex Mundi and TAG Law networks, we are part of a far-reaching international network of immigration lawyers, which enables us to access specialist advice globally if required. We are also a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.

For pricing information, click here.

Why and when should you contact an immigration lawyer?

Our immigration lawyers can provide support to public and private sector clients on the full suite of business and personal immigration matters. No matter what sector you are in our immigration lawyers are on hand to assist to assist you.

Work Highlights

Global offshore drilling operator

We advised this global offshore drilling operator on the immigration implications of a complex demerger and applying for their own general and ICT sponsor licence. We are their go-to firm for any immigration queries relating to right to work, offshore workers and sponsorship.

User testing company

We act for a user testing company, advising on the recruitment of new hires (entry clearance and in country switching applicants), sponsor licences and general immigration queries from right to work checks to remote working. We have also advised them on the introduction of the new immigration system and the impact of this on recruitment.

Online event platform

We are advising an online event platform on the options for recruiting skilled developers from overseas to grow the company and have successfully assisted the company in obtaining a sponsor licence. We continue to support them in relation to management of their licence and applying for and assigning certificates of sponsorship.

Multinational energy company

We supported a multinational energy company with a successful application to renew their sponsor licence. We continue to be instructed on an ongoing basis to provide general immigration support, Brexit advice and right to work queries.

Mid-market private equity company

We have advised a mid-market private equity company on their options for EEA recruitment post-Brexit. This has included advice on the T5 Temporary Worker Government Authorised Exchange route for interns. We have also supported them with a successful sponsor licence application.

Global energy company

We are instructed by a global energy company’s US based parent entity in respect of the continued transfer of EEA national workers following Brexit. We have advised on the EU Settlement Scheme for eligible workers and the Frontier Work permit for those that qualify.