Helen Smith

Helen is a lawyer focused on providing practical immigration assistance to the UK’s tech sector. Helen helps founders, business owners and entrepreneurs, investors and corporates. Her experience includes Tech Nation visas and other Exceptional Talent applications for world leaders in tech, science and the arts, as well as work and family immigration, Brexit-related matters and global mobility for multinationals.

Helen leads North Star Law’s immigration team, which she set up in July 2015 with the aim of creating a distinct offering for immigration clients, focused on a flexible and responsive service. Helen regularly helps UK tech start-ups and scale-ups to navigate the UK’s immigration system to access the world-leading talent they need. Helen helps businesses at all stages of development with Tier 2 licence applications so they can sponsor workers, including in digitech shortage occupations. Helen advises founders on immigration options, which could be a Tech Nation application for recognition as a world leader in digital technology or a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application for those bringing with them investment capital.

After City training with Berwin Leighton Paisner, Helen moved into immigration via work with Amnesty International in Australia, where she reported on the indefinite detention of asylum seekers. Helen also spent time working for legal publisher PLC, researching, writing and editing legal know-how and market reviews. Before joining North Star Law, Helen worked on a wide range of UK immigration matters at law firms Wesley Gryk Solicitors, Kingsley Napley and Fragomen.

Helen speaks regularly on immigration issues and contributes to the LexisPSL Immigration service. She also does pro bono immigration work for Surrey Law Centre, particularly for victims of domestic abuse. Helen has lived in five countries outside the UK, including in North and South America, and speaks Spanish.