By Uglobal Staff
Henan Zhang is a business development manager at Migra & Co., which is a boutique UK immigration firm based in Marylebone, London. The pandemic did make an impact on the residency and citizenship by investment industry – 2020 saw the lowest figure for the UK’s investor Tier 1 visa over a three-year period – but that does not mean post-Brexit UK isn’t an attractive destination for wealthy foreigners and highly-skilled workers, she said.
Zhang’s firm offers specialist legal advice to both individuals and corporate clients, from SME to large multi-national businesses. The firm help people with the investor visa, innovator visa, sole representative visa, sponsorship licence, skilled worker visa as well as family-related visa and finally British citizenship.
“We place an extremely high value on all our clients,” she said.
How and why did you get involved in the investment immigration industry?
I joined Migra & Co back in 2014. By then, the company had already built a strong reputation within the investment immigration industry assisting HNWs clients with their Tier 1 Investor Scheme and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Scheme visa applications. I initially focused on Chinese clients, but I am now the main point of contact for this type of visas within our immigration team.
What is it like working in this industry?
It is a privilege to work in this area of law since you get to know your clients really well, build a long-term relation and they often do come from a vastly different background. Some clients are very business motivated, while others take a more relaxed approach. Many see the UK as a business hub, but they also wish to make the UK their main home and apply for a British citizenship. Each client is different, and it is always a pleasure to have them referring family and friends.
What are some current trends you are seeing in the RCBI industry globally?
There is no doubt that the pandemic has impacted the RCBI industry, but it did not curb the appeal of wanting to relocate to the UK or hiring foreign skilled migrants. We have witnessed a slow time during the pandemic as many visa centres or facilities were closed and as a result, visa applications could not be submitted or processed. Having said this, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
What are some current trends you are seeing with UK’s program and its investors?
The total number of applicants who were granted UK’s Tier 1 investor visa in 2020 was sadly the lowest over the past 3 years. A strong recovery has been projected by the UK Chancellor and depending on how soon the lockdown will be fully lifted, foreign investors will regain confidence in the UK and its market opportunities. We might also see an increase in the number of applications from Europe as a result of Brexit.
Has there been any recent changes to UK’s program or any new investment options or streams?
No, the UK has had to focus his attention on Brexit and EU immigration.
What achievement in this market has been the most rewarding for you? Why?
Each visa approved is a success story and it is always highly rewarding to be able to share the good news with my clients, whether private or corporate.
What are your thoughts on vaccine passports?
Having a vaccine passport should allow people to travel on more flexible terms. However, the efficacy of the vaccines is not yet 100% certain and further new variants might potentially become resistant to the existing vaccines. In my view, holders of a vaccine passport should still have an obligation to protect others by wearing a face covering or mask when travelling.
What is your take on the importance of cryptocurrency in this industry?
We do not provide financial advice as the latter is outside our area of expertise. Whilst the City in London remains a hotspot for the global reach of its financial services, the Home Office takes a more traditional approach to the investment options available to migrants relocating to the UK.
Why do you think global mobility is important these days?
Global mobility is a win-win situation. Countries are competing to attract the brightest and the best and this is generally good for their economy. Migrants bring fresh ideas, working capital, expertise and experience and are often committed to make their adopted country their main home. I can see plenty of positives to immigration, but the latter is often used as a scape goat for other social ills.
Why did you decide to join our Uglobal verified community and what has it done for your business?
I think it is valuable to share knowledge and network with consultants working in the same industry.
What is your favourite quote and why?
Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.
What is the favorite book you have read recently? Why?
“Spoon-Fed” by Tim Spector. This book debunks many food myths, understanding that what we eat plays a vital role in strengthening our immune system with a healthy gut but also because we must be aware of the impact that our eating habits have on climate.
What are your top destinations in the world and why?
I have visited Punta Cana by the Caribbean Sea many times. I would love to go back again for the simple pleasure of being able to walk on unspoiled beaches coupled with great food, beautiful weather, and lovely people.
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