Global Business Mobility Visas

global business mobility visas

IN THIS ARTICLE

Following an overhaul of the UK immigration system post-Brexit, the Home Office opened the Global Business Mobility Route in 2022. The visa categories under this route are highly specialised and designed for specialist overseas workers to come to the UK on a temporary basis to meet specific skill needs.

This article will outline the five new visa categories under the Global Business Mobility Route – the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa, Graduate Trainee Visa, UK Expansion Worker Visa, Service Supplier Visa, and Secondment Worker Visa. It will provide crucial information for those considering a move to the United Kingdom on a Global Business Mobility Route visa. Finally, this article will answer frequently asked questions by employers and visa applicants regarding the Global Business Mobility Route.

What is the Global Business Mobility Route?

The Global Business Mobility Route is a new suite of work visas that allows greater flexibility for employers and employees alike. This route is designed to temporarily accommodate those who seek to live and work in the United Kingdom. It also provides employers with more options to shift global staff to UK offices or establish a business presence in the United Kingdom. This flexibility is all the more crucial in the post-Brexit era when fewer people can work in the United Kingdom without the requirement of a visa or immigration permission to conduct work and business transactions.

What types of visas are included in the Global Business Mobility Route?

There are five different visa categories under the new Global Business Mobility Route. These include the following:

  • Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
  • Graduate Trainee Visa
  • UK Expansion Worker Visa
  • Service Supplier Visa
  • Secondment Worker Visa

Each of the visas under the Global Business Mobility Route suits different individuals in various employment scenarios, so you must determine the correct visa for your situation. If you apply for the incorrect visa and do not meet the requirements, the Home Office will likely reject your application.

Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

The Senior or Specialist Worker Visa is a route that allows non-UK citizen employees of eligible companies to work in the United Kingdom for a branch of their company.

You can stay in the United Kingdom on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa for up to 5 years or the length of time included on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days grace period – the shorter of the two options will apply. If you continue to meet eligibility requirements, including the salary requirements, you may be able to extend your visa.

Requirements for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

The eligibility requirements for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa include the following:

  • Your non-UK employer must have employed you for at least 12 months unless you earn a salary of more than £73,900 per year. If you make a salary of more than £73,900 per year, there is no minimum time of employed required
  • Your intended role in the UK must be included on the eligible occupation list as identified by the Home Office
  • You must have savings of at least £1,270 unless you are exempt from providing evidence of savings
  • You must be offered an appropriate salary in line with your intended role in the UK as identified by the Home Office. For the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa, this is either the minimum salary rate specified by the Home Office or £42,400 – the higher amount will be required

The sponsorship requirements for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa include:

  • Your non-UK employer must hold a valid sponsorship licence
  • Your non-UK employer must issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship which will identify how long you can live and work in the United Kingdom

How to apply for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

You must apply for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa online. You can find the application form on the Home Office website. After filling out the application form in full, you must pay the relevant application fee. If your Certificate of Sponsorship has been issued for 3 years or less, you will pay £625 per applicant. If your Certificate of Sponsorship has been issued for 3 years or more, you will pay £1,235 per applicant. You must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. This amounts to £624 per year of your visa. After paying all fees, you have submitted your online application.

You will also need to submit all required supporting documentation and provide your biometric information to the Home Office. Depending on where you submitted your online application, you will do this either at a visa application centre or with the UK Immigration: ID Check mobile phone application. After providing documents and confirming your identity, your application is fully submitted and will be sent to UK Visas and Immigration for processing.

Can I bring dependents to the United Kingdom on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

If your spouse or partner and children are eligible, they can join you in the United Kingdom as dependents on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa. You will need to submit separate applications for each family member and pay the relevant application fee. You will also need to provide further evidence of savings to support your family members while you are living in the United Kingdom. This amounts to £285 for your spouse or partner, £315 for your first child, and £200 for each additional child. For example, a family of four with a main applicant, spouse, and two children will need to provide evidence of at least £2,070 in savings.

Can I apply for permanent residence in the United Kingdom with a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

You cannot qualify for permanent residence (also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain or settlement) in the United Kingdom with a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa. You may be able to later qualify for permanent residence by switching to a route that provides a pathway to settlement, such as a Skilled Worker Visa.

Graduate Trainee Visa

The Graduate Trainee Visa allows early career professionals to participate in a graduate training programme in the United Kingdom with an existing employer.

You can stay in the United Kingdom on a Graduate Trainee Visa for up to 12 months or the length of time included on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days grace period – the shorter of the two options will apply. The specific length of your visa will depend on the dates included on the Certificate of Sponsorship issued by your employer. You cannot extend your visa for longer than 12 months.

Requirements for the Graduate Trainee Visa

The eligibility requirements for the Graduate Trainee Visa include the following:

  • Your non-UK employer must have employed you for at least 3 months
  • Your intended role in the UK must be included on the eligible occupation list as identified by the Home Office
  • You must have savings of at least £1,270 unless you are exempt from providing evidence of savings
  • You must be offered an appropriate salary in line with your intended role in the UK as identified by the Home Office. For the Graduate Trainee Visa, this will be either 70% of the rate specified by the Home Office for your intended role or at least £23,100 – whichever amount is higher.

The sponsorship requirements for the Graduate Trainee Visa include the following:

  • Your non-UK employer must hold a valid sponsorship licence
  • Your non-UK employer must issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship which will identify how long you can live and work in the United Kingdom

How to apply for the Graduate Trainee Visa

You must apply for the Graduate Trainee Visa online. You can find the application form on the Home Office website. After filling out the application form in full, you will need to pay the relevant application fee of £259 per applicant. You must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. This amounts to £624 per year of your visa. After paying all fees, you have submitted your online application.

You will also need to submit all required supporting documentation and provide your biometric information to the Home Office. Depending on where you submitted your online application, you will do this either at a visa application centre or with the UK Immigration: ID Check mobile phone application. After providing documents and confirming your identity, your application is fully submitted and will be sent to UK Visas and Immigration for processing.

Can I bring dependents to the United Kingdom on a Graduate Trainee Visa?

If your spouse or partner and children are eligible, they can join you in the United Kingdom as dependents on a Graduate Trainee Visa. You will need to submit separate applications for each family member and pay the relevant application fee. You will also need to provide further evidence of savings to support your family members while you are living in the United Kingdom. This amounts to £285 for your spouse or partner, £315 for your first child, and £200 for each additional child. For example, a family of four with a main applicant, spouse, and two children will need to provide evidence of at least £2,070 in savings.

Can I apply for permanent residence in the United Kingdom with a Graduate Trainee Visa?

You cannot qualify for permanent residence (also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain or settlement) in the United Kingdom with a Graduate Trainee Visa. You may be able to later qualify for permanent residence by switching to a route that provides a pathway to settlement, such as a Skilled Worker Visa.

UK Expansion Worker Visa

The UK Expansion Worker Visa permits non-UK citizen employees to live and work in the United Kingdom to set up a branch of an overseas business. The business must not be currently trading in the United Kingdom.

You can stay in the United Kingdom on a UK Expansion Worker Visa for up to 12 months or the length of time included on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days grace period. You may extend your UK Expansion Worker Visa for 12 months for 2 years. You cannot extend your visa for longer than 2 years.

Requirements for the UK Expansion Worker Visa

The eligibility requirements for the UK Expansion Worker Visa are as follows:

  • Your non-UK employer must not be currently trading in the United Kingdom
  • Your non-UK employer must have employed you for at least 12 months unless you earn more than £73,900 or work for a Japanese company and have Japanese nationality
    Your intended role in the UK must be included on the eligible occupation list as identified by the Home Office
  • You must have savings of at least £1,270 unless you are exempt from providing evidence of savings
  • You must be offered an appropriate salary in line with your intended role in the UK as identified by the Home Office. For the UK Expansion Worker Visa, this is either the minimum salary rate specified by the Home Office or £42,400 – the higher amount will be required

The sponsorship requirements for the UK Expansion Worker Visa are as follows:

  • Your non-UK employer must hold a valid sponsorship licence
  • Your non-UK employer must issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship which will identify how long you can live and work in the United Kingdom

How to apply for the UK Expansion Worker Visa

You must apply for the UK Expansion Worker Visa online. You can find the application form on the Home Office website. After filling out the application form in full, you will need to pay the relevant application fee of £259 per applicant. You must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. This amounts to £624 per year of your visa. After paying all fees, you have submitted your online application.

You will also need to submit all required supporting documentation and provide your biometric information to the Home Office. Depending on where you submitted your online application, you will do this either at a visa application centre or with the UK Immigration: ID Check mobile phone application. After providing documents and confirming your identity, your application is fully submitted and will be sent to UK Visas and Immigration for processing.

Can I bring dependents to the United Kingdom on a UK Expansion Worker Visa?

If your spouse or partner and children are eligible, they can join you in the United Kingdom as dependents on a UK Expansion Worker Visa. You will need to submit separate applications for each family member and pay the relevant application fee. You will also need to provide further evidence of savings to support your family members while you are living in the United Kingdom. This amounts to £285 for your spouse or partner, £315 for your first child, and £200 for each additional child. For example, a family of four with a main applicant, spouse, and two children will need to provide evidence of at least £2,070 in savings.

Can I apply for permanent residence in the United Kingdom with a UK Expansion Worker Visa?

You cannot qualify for permanent residence (also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain or settlement) in the United Kingdom with a UK Expansion Worker Visa. You may be able to later qualify for permanent residence by switching to a route that provides a pathway to settlement, such as a Skilled Worker Visa.

Service Supplier Visa

The Service Supplier Visa allows non-UK nationals to live and work in the United Kingdom if they have a contract to fulfil services for a British company.

You can stay in the United Kingdom on a Service Supplier Visa for either 6 or 12 months, or the length of time included on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days grace period – the shorter of the two options will apply. The specific length of your visa will depend on the trade agreement under which you are providing services in the United Kingdom.

Requirements for the Service Supplier Visa

The eligibility requirements for the Service Supplier Visa are as follows:

  • You must currently be an employee of an overseas business or be a self-employed professional based abroad
  • You must provide services under contract covered by an approved international trade agreement as identified by the Home Office to a UK-based company that has a sponsorship licence from the Home Office
  • Your non-UK employer must have employed you for at least 12 months, or you must have at least 12 months of professional experience as a self-employed professional
  • Your intended role in the UK must be included on the eligible occupation list as identified by the Home Office – if it is not included on the eligible occupation list, you may still be eligible based on your educational qualifications and years of professional experience
  • You must have savings of at least £1,270 unless you are exempt from providing evidence of savings

The sponsorship requirements for the Service Supplier Visa are as follows:

  • Your UK employer must hold a valid sponsorship licence
  • Your UK employer must issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship which will identify how long you can live and work in the United Kingdom

How to apply for the Service Supplier Visa

You must apply for the Service Supplier Visa online. You can find the application form on the Home Office website. After filling out the application form in full, you will need to pay the relevant application fee of £259 per applicant. You must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. This amounts to £624 per year of your visa. After paying all fees, you have submitted your online application.

You will also need to submit all required supporting documentation and provide your biometric information to the Home Office. Depending on where you submitted your online application, you will do this either at a visa application centre or with the UK Immigration: ID Check mobile phone application. After providing documents and confirming your identity, your application is fully submitted and will be sent to UK Visas and Immigration for processing.

Can I bring dependents to the United Kingdom on a Service Supplier Visa?

If your spouse or partner and children are eligible, they can join you in the United Kingdom as dependents on a Service Supplier Visa. You will need to submit separate applications for each family member and pay the relevant application fee. You will also need to provide further evidence of savings to support your family members while you are living in the United Kingdom. This amounts to £285 for your spouse or partner, £315 for your first child, and £200 for each additional child. For example, a family of four with a main applicant, spouse, and two children will need to provide evidence of at least £2,070 in savings.

Can I apply for permanent residence in the United Kingdom with a Service Supplier Visa?

You cannot qualify for permanent residence (also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain or settlement) in the United Kingdom with a Service Supplier Visa. You may be able to later qualify for permanent residence by switching to a route that provides a pathway to settlement, such as a Skilled Worker Visa.

Secondment Worker Visa

The Secondment Worker Visa allows non-UK national employees currently employed overseas to be transferred to a UK office of a different company through a secondment arrangement.

You can stay in the United Kingdom on a Secondment Worker Visa for up to 12 months or the length of time included on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days grace period – the shorter of the two options will apply. The specific length of your visa will depend on the dates included on the Certificate of Sponsorship issued by your employer. You may be able to extend your Secondment Worker Visa for an additional 12 months for 2 years. You cannot extend your visa for longer than 2 years.

Requirements for the Secondment Worker Visa

The eligibility requirements for the Secondment Worker Visa are as follows:

  • Your non-UK employer must have employed you for at least 12 months
  • Your intended role in the UK must be included on the eligible occupation list as identified by the Home Office
  • You must have savings of at least £1,270 unless you are exempt from providing evidence of savings

The sponsorship requirements for the Secondment Worker Visa are as follows:

  • Your non-UK employer must have a contract with your UK employer that is worth a minimum of £50 million
  • Your UK employer must hold a valid sponsorship licence
    Your UK employer must issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship which will identify how long you
  • can live and work in the United Kingdom

How to apply for the Secondment Worker Visa

You must apply for the Secondment Worker Visa online. You can find the application form on the Home Office website. After filling out the application form in full, you will need to pay the relevant application fee of £259 per applicant. You must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. This amounts to £624 per year of your visa. After paying all fees, you have submitted your online application.

You will also need to submit all required supporting documentation and provide your biometric information to the Home Office. Depending on where you submitted your online application, you will do this either at a visa application centre or with the UK Immigration: ID Check mobile phone application. After providing documents and confirming your identity, your application is fully submitted and will be sent to UK Visas and Immigration for processing.

Can I bring dependents to the United Kingdom on a Secondment Worker Visa?

If your spouse or partner and children are eligible, they can join you in the United Kingdom as dependents on a Secondment Worker Visa. You will need to submit separate applications for each family member and pay the relevant application fee. You will also need to provide further evidence of savings to support your family members while you are living in the United Kingdom. This amounts to £285 for your spouse or partner, £315 for your first child, and £200 for each additional child. For example, a family of four with a main applicant, spouse, and two children will need to provide evidence of at least £2,070 in savings.

Can I apply for permanent residence in the United Kingdom with a Secondment Worker Visa?

You cannot qualify for permanent residence (also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain or settlement) in the United Kingdom with a Secondment Worker Visa. You may be able to later qualify for permanent residence by switching to a route that provides a pathway to settlement, such as a Skilled Worker Visa.

Legal disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

Author

Global Business Mobility Visas 1

Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

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