Can someone be a director and shareholder of a company in UK without having rights to work in UK ?


2 Directors, one is British, second one is not british and there right to work is expired, even though they applied for ILR, it will take couple of months to come back. So they are allowed to live in UK under 3C but no rights to work.

Can a non british person be part of shares as share holder and director with another british partner in UK ?


To help others who want to know answer in future...

I was able to open the limited company but now it seems impossible to open a business bank account as they are asking for residence card which is expired.

  • "under 3C"? Can you link to a reference to explain what 3C is? It does not appear to be a reference to the Immigration Rules. What sort of "right to work" did the person have before it expired?
    – phoog
    Oct 9 '19 at 14:40
  • I found it: 3C is the section of the Immigration Act 1971 that allows people, under certain conditions, to remain in the UK while awaiting the outcome of an ILR application or other "variation decision."
    – phoog
    Oct 9 '19 at 14:50
  • @phoog they were Tier 2 Dependant Oct 9 '19 at 14:57

A person can be a shareholder or director of a UK company without being in the UK. Being a shareholder or director of a UK company does not give a person a right to be in the UK.

The 3C leave extension is unrelated to this. A person with 3C leave may remain in the UK on that basis regardless of whether the person is a shareholder or director of a company.

Attending "board-level meetings" is an activity that is allowed under the visitor rules, even if the director is paid (see V4.7), so one may conclude that doing so does not constitute "work." It should therefore be permitted for someone under 3C leave even if the person is not authorized to work.

Doing work for the company other than attending meetings would not be permitted until the person gains authorization to work.

  • 3
    And anyone in the world can be a shareholder. Oct 9 '19 at 17:35
  • @GeorgeWhite not just natural people either
    – Dale M
    Oct 9 '19 at 20:09
  • @GeorgeWhite I intended the first sentence of this answer to indicate as much. Does it not?
    – phoog
    Oct 9 '19 at 20:12
  • 4
    I just wanted put emphasis on the fact that a shareholder is a passive relationship with a company requiring no presence at any meeting. As Dale M points out a shareholder need not even be a person. A Director has an active relationship with a company and different rules might apply. Your research shows that a work permit is not required for a Director in the UK. Oct 9 '19 at 22:36
  • 2
    @Mathematics - if it is a corporation, I do not see why you need to open a bank account with an individual. The corporation would be opening the bank account via the actions of one of the corporation's officers, as authorized by a board resolution. Oct 14 '19 at 21:10

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