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Global Business Mobility Visas

The UK Global Business Mobility visas are a group of visas aimed at overseas businesses wishing to trade, transfer staff, or expand into the UK.

For more information about Global Business Mobility visas, including bespoke advice on how to apply for them and which one would be right for your business, speak to a business immigration expert today. Call us on 0333 4149244, or contact us online.

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    Our Advice Package is the ideal option if you are looking for expert immigration legal advice. With this service, you will have an untimed one-on-one session with one of our immigration lawyers.

    Your immigration lawyer will consider your case and offer bespoke advice, and they will advise you on the optimum route to take to achieve your desired result.

    During your advice session, you will be able to discuss your case and get detailed information about your options to proceed with your case. We will:

    Review your situation and explore your opportunities to get your desired immigration results.

    Advice on the most appropriate documentary evidence required to support your case.

    Discuss the requirements that you need to meet to qualify for your visa.

    Outline the expected time frames to process your application.

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    Overview of UK Global Business Mobility Visas

    The UK Global Business Mobility visas are a group of sponsored work visas that opened to new applicants in April 2022.

    It is a collection of five separate visas aimed at overseas businesses who wish to fulfil certain specific business roles in the UK.

    These include carrying out contract work for UK companies, transferring staff to the UK, or setting up a new UK-based branch of an existing overseas business.

    These visas replace and iterate on a number of previous UK visas, such as the Intra-Company Transfer, Sole Representative visa and Temporary Worker – International Agreement route.

    What Are the Global Business Mobility Visas?

    The visas under this category include the following:

    All of these visas have individual eligibility requirements that must be met in order to apply. However, there are also numerous commonalities between these visas, such as similar financial requirements for applicants and their dependents.

    All of these visas also require applicants to have a valid certificate of sponsorship from an authorised sponsor when applying.

    Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

    The Senior or Specialist Worker visa is aimed at senior or specialist employees to come to the UK and carry out work in their employer’s UK branch.

    In order to be eligible for this visa, you must:

    • Have a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer who’s a registered sponsor authorised by the Home Office
    • Have been working for your employer outside the UK for at least 12 months, unless you earn £73,900 a year or more
    • Work an eligible job with an appropriate occupation code
    • Be paid at least £48,500 or the ‘going rate’ for your job, whichever is higher
    • You must fulfil the specific genuineness requirement, therefore you must show you will only undertake your proposed role and will not engage in any additional employment while in the UK.

    The Senior or Specialist Worker route will allow you to stay in the UK for either 5 years or the period of time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

    The maximum total stay you can complete in the UK is 5 years in any 6 year period, or 9 years in any 10 year period, depending on how much you earn. Note time spent on other Global Business Mobility visas and Intra-Company Transfer visas will also be factored into this calculation.

    Graduate Trainee Visa

    The Graduate Trainee visa allows employees on a graduate training programme for a managerial or specialist role to come and work in their employer’s UK branch.

    In order to be eligible for this visa, you must:

    • Have a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer who’s a registered sponsor authorised by the Home Office
    • Have been working for your employer outside the UK for at least 3 months
    • Work an eligible job with an appropriate occupation code that is also part of a structured graduate training programme
    • Be paid at least £25,410 a year

    The Graduate Trainee visa will allow you to stay in the UK for either 12 months or the period of time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter. You will not be able to extend your visa.

    The maximum total stay you can complete in the UK is 5 years in any 6 year period when taking into account time spent on other Global Business Mobility visas and Intra-Company Transfer visas.

    UK Expansion Worker Visa

    A UK Expansion Worker visa allows overseas business owners to come to the UK and set up a new UK-based branch of their business.

    In order to be eligible for this visa, you must:

    • Have a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer who’s a registered sponsor authorised by the Home Office
    • Have been working for your employer outside the UK for at least 12 months, unless you earn £73,900 a year or more, or you’re a Japanese national working for a Japanese company that is expanding to the UK
    • Work an eligible job with an appropriate occupation code
    • Be paid at least £48,500 or the ‘going rate’ for your job, whichever is higher
    • You must fulfil the specific genuineness requirement, therefore you must show you will only undertake your proposed role and will not engage in any additional employment while in the UK.

    The UK Expansion Worker visa will allow you to stay in the UK for either 12 months or the period of time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter. You may extend your visa by another 12 months if necessary, though the maximum time you can spend on this visa is 2 years.

    The maximum total stay you can complete in the UK is 5 years in any 6 year period when taking into account time spent on other Global Business Mobility visas and Intra-Company Transfer visas.

    Secondment Worker Visa

    A Secondment Worker visa allows applicants to come to the UK and carry out work for their overseas employer if they have a high-value contract with a UK-based organisation.

    In order to be eligible for this visa, you must:

    • Have a valid certificate of sponsorship from the UK-based organisation who’s a registered sponsor authorised by the Home Office
    • Have been working for your employer outside the UK for at least 12 months
    • Work an eligible job with an appropriate occupation code, and in a contract that’s worth over £50 million

    The UK Expansion Worker visa will allow you to stay in the UK for either 12 months or the period of time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter. You may extend your visa by another 12 months if necessary, though the maximum time you can spend on this visa is 2 years.

    The maximum total stay you can complete in the UK is 5 years in any 6 year period when taking into account time spent on other Global Business Mobility visas and Intra-Company Transfer visas.

    Service Supplier Visa

    A Service Supplier visa allows employees of overseas companies or self-employed professionals to come to the UK and carry out services covered by a UK international trade agreement.

    In order to be eligible for this visa, you must:

    • Have a valid certificate of sponsorship from the UK-based organisation who’s a registered sponsor authorised by the Home Office
    • Be an employee of an overseas business, or a self-employed service provider based overseas who is providing a service under a contract that is covered by a valid international trade agreement
    • Have been working for your employer outside the UK for at least 12 months, or have at least 12 months’ professional experience if self-employed
    • Work an eligible job with an appropriate occupation code, or prove that you have relevant qualifications or experience

    The UK Service Supplier visa will allow you to stay in the UK for either 6 months or 12 months, or the period of time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever of these is shorter. You may extend your visa if necessary, as long as you’ve not met the maximum total stay.

    The maximum total stay you can complete in the UK is 5 years in any 6 year period when taking into account time spent on other Global Business Mobility visas and Intra-Company Transfer visas.

    Get in touch with our immigration experts for help with your Global Business Mobility visa application.

    How Do I Apply?

    You must apply for a Global Business Mobility visa online through the Gov.uk website.

    When applying for your visa for the first time, you’ll have to fill in the application form and upload a range of supporting documents, including your certificate of sponsorship details, details of the employer who’ll be sponsoring you, and proof that you’ve worked for your employer for the minimum amount of time (if necessary).

    You’ll also have to prove your identity. This will either be done at a visa application centre, where you’ll give your biometrics information, or the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document.

    If you need to attend a visa application centre, you’ll give your fingerprints and have a photograph taken of you for your biometric residence permit.

    You’ll be notified of how you’ll have to prove your identity when you apply.

    Note that there are also separate application processes if you wish to extend your Global Business Mobility visa, switch to it from another visa, or update it if your job changes.

    What Are the Fees and Processing Times?

    The Senior or Specialist Worker visa costs between £719 to £1,636 to obtain, depending on your circumstances.

    All of the other visas under the Global Business Mobility category cost £298 to obtain.

    When applying, you must also:

    Pay the immigration healthcare surcharge of £1,035 a year
    Prove that you have enough money to support yourself in the UK – usually around £1,270 available, unless you’re exempt

    All Global Business Mobility visas will take 3 weeks to process if you’re applying from outside the UK, or 8 weeks if you’re applying from inside the UK.

    How Can IAS Help?

    The Global Business Mobility group of visas presents a number of opportunities for overseas workers and companies to come and conduct business in the UK.

    They add to the UK’s existing roster of work visas in many different ways, and aim to promote and invigorate the UK’s economy through increased international trading.

    If you’re an overseas service provider, business or trader looking to apply for a Global Business Mobility visa route, then IAS can help.

    We are a team of expert immigration specialists who can help with your business immigration needs. We offer a range of services and packages designed to support your organisation, regardless of your size or business goals.

    Whether you’re looking to expand your business into the UK by opening up a new branch, need advice on how to carry out short-term contract work in the UK, or you need advice about how contractual service providers can operate in the UK, we can help.

    For more information about the services we provide and how we can help you obtain an Overseas Business visa, reach out to a member of our team today. Call us on 0333 4149244, or contact us online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yes. All Global Business Mobility visas will allow you to bring your partner and children to the UK as your dependents, if they’re eligible.

    To be eligible, you’ll have to prove that your relationship between you and your dependents is genuine, as well as proving that they’ll have enough money to support themselves in the UK.

    You must also prove that any children over 16 you wish to bring to the UK are dependent on you.

    Unfortunately, none of the Global Business Mobility visas will allow you to apply for permanent settlement in the UK.

    This is because all Global Business Mobility routes are only intended as temporary work visas. If you wish to work in the UK with the aim of applying for permanent settlement, you may be able to apply to switch to another visa that will allow this, such as a Skilled Worker visa.

    If you’re already in the UK on another type of visa, you may be able to apply to switch to a Global Business Mobility visa.

    The only visa you will not be able to switch to from within the UK is the Graduate Trainee visa.

    In order to switch, you must meet all of the eligibility requirements of the visa you wish to switch to. Your dependents will also need to apply separately to switch their visa.

    Note that you will not be able to switch visas if you’re currently in the UK:

    • On a visit visa
    • On a short-term student visa
    • On a Parent of a Child Student visa
    • On a seasonal worker visa
    • On a domestic worker in a private household visa
    • On immigration bail
    • Because you were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds

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