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The UK's Global Business Mobility Visa Explained

In its latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules (HC1118), published on 15 March 2022, the Home Office has provided further details of several new business immigration routes, including the High Potential Individual (HPI) route, the Scale-up route and the new Global Business Mobility routes.  

In this article we look at each of the new Global Business Mobility routes in detail, focussing on who they are suitable for, the main requirements of each route, how long Global Business Mobility visa holders will be permitted to stay in the UK for and their right to work in the UK. 

Global Business Mobility Routes

The Global Business Mobility routes are a new category of sponsored routes for overseas businesses seeking to establish a presence in, or transfer staff to, the UK for specific business purposes. 

The Global Business Mobility routes will open to new applicants on 11 April 2022.

The Global Business Mobility routes are designed for businesses and workers undertaking temporary business assignments in the UK and therefore will not lead directly to settlement in the UK. However, once in the UK, Global Business Mobility visa holders may be able to switch into another immigration route that does lead to settlement. 

There will be five global business mobility routes that correspond to different temporary assignment types:

Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

The Senior or Specialist Worker Visa will be for senior managers and specialist employees who wish to undertake a temporary work assignment in the UK. This route will replace the existing Intra-Company Transfer route, which will close to new applicants on 11 April 2022.

Senior or Specialist Worker Visa applicants will need to be currently working for a business or organisation that is linked to their UK sponsor by common ownership or control, or by a joint venture on which they are sponsored to work.  They must have worked outside the UK for the linked business or organisation for a cumulative period of at least 12 months, unless they are a high earner earning £73,900 per year or more.

Applicants will also need to have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are planning to do, issued by an employer that is authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a Senior or Specialist Worker.  The job will need to be an eligible job at or above a minimum skill level and the applicant will need to be paid a salary which equals or exceeds £42,400 per year and 100% of the pro-rated going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher.   Applicants will not, however, be required to satisfy an English language requirement.

Permission will be granted for either the time given on the applicant’s Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, a period of 5 years, or the length of time that will take the applicant to the maximum time period allowed in the Global Business Mobility route, whichever is shorter.  The maximum time allowed in the Global Business Mobility route will be 5 years in any 6 year period if paid less than £73,900 per year; or 9 years in any 10 year period if paid £73,900 or more per year.

Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker Visa holders will be permitted to work for their sponsor in the job described on their Certificate of Sponsorship. 

Graduate Trainee Visa

The Graduate Trainee Visa will be for overseas workers who wish to be transferred to the UK by their employer for a work placement in the UK as part of a graduate training course leading to a senior managerial or specialist role.  This route will replace the existing Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa, which will close to new applicants on 11 April 2022.

Graduate Trainee Visa applicants will need to be currently working for a business or organisation that is linked to their UK sponsor by common ownership or control, or by a joint venture on which they are sponsored to work, and have worked outside the UK for this business or organisation for at least 3 months immediately before the date of their visa application.

Applicants will also need to have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are planning to do, issued by an employer that is authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a Graduate Trainee. The job will need to be an eligible job at or above a minimum skill level and, in most cases, the applicant will need to be paid a salary which equals or exceeds £23,100 per year and 70% of the pro-rated going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher. If the applicant is being sponsored for a job in one of the health or education occupation codes, the going rate requirement will be 100% of the pro-rated going rate. Applicants will not, however, be required to satisfy an English language requirement.

Permission will be granted for either 1 year from the start date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship, the time given on the  Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days or the date at which the applicant will have had cumulative permission in the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling 5 years in any 6-year period, whichever is shorter.

Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa holders will be permitted to work for their sponsor in the job described on their Certificate of Sponsorship.

UK Expansion Worker Visa

The UK Expansion Worker Visa will be for senior managers and specialist employees who wish to be assigned to the UK temporarily to undertake work related to the expansion of an overseas business in the UK.  This route will replace the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa, which will close to new applicants on 11 April 2022.

UK Expansion Worker Visa applicants will need to be currently working for a business or organisation that is linked to their UK sponsor by common ownership or control, or by a joint venture on which they are sponsored to work.  They must have worked outside the UK for the linked business or organisation for a cumulative period of at least 12 months, unless they are a high earner earning £73,900 per year or more or they are a Japanese national seeking to establish a UK branch or subsidiary of the linked business or organisation under the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Applicants will also need to have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are planning to do, issued by an employer that is authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a UK Expansion Worker.  The job will need to be an eligible job at or above a minimum skill level and the applicant will need to be paid a salary which equals or exceeds £42,400 per year and 100% of the pro-rated going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher.  Applicants will not, however, need to satisfy an English language requirement.

Permission will be granted for either 1 year after the start date of the job detailed in the applicant’s Certificate of Sponsorship, the time given on the Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, the date on which the applicant will have had continuous permission as a UK Expansion Worker totalling 2 years or the date on which they will have had cumulative permission in the Global Business Mobility routes totalling 5 years in any 6-year period, whichever is shorter.

Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker Visa holders will be permitted to work for their sponsor in the job described on their Certificate of Sponsorship.  

Secondment Worker Visa

The Secondment Worker Visa will be for overseas workers who wish to be temporarily seconded to the UK by their overseas employer as part of a high value contract or investment.  This is a new immigration route.

Second Worker Visa applicants will need to be currently working for an overseas business that has a contract with their UK sponsor that has been registered with the Home Office by the UK sponsor and have worked outside the UK for that overseas business for a cumulative period of at least 12 months.

Applicants will also need to have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are planning to do, issued by an employer that is authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a Secondment Worker.   The job will need to be an eligible job at or above a minimum skill level but applicants will not need to satisfy a salary requirement.  Secondment Worker Visa applicants will also not need to satisfy an English language requirement.

Permission will be granted for either 1 year from the start date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship, the time given on the Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, the date on which the applicant will have had continuous permission as a Secondment Worker totalling 2 years, or the length of time that will take them to the maximum time period allowed in the category, whichever is shorter. The maximum time allowed in the category is 5 years in any 6 year period.

Global Business Mobility – Secondment Worker Visa holders will be permitted to work for their sponsor in the job described on their Certificate of Sponsorship.

Service Supplier Visa

The Service Supplier Visa will be for overseas workers who are either a contractual service supplier employed by an overseas service provider or a self-employed independent professional based overseas, who need to undertake a temporary assignment in the UK to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade commitments. This route will replace the contractual service supplier and independent professional provisions in the Temporary Work – International Agreement route.

Service Supplier Visa applicants will need to be currently working as or for an overseas service provider that will provide services to their UK sponsor and have worked as or for the overseas service provider outside the UK for a cumulative period of 12 months.

Their UK sponsor must have a contract with an overseas service provider, where that contract has been registered with the Home Office, and on which the applicant, as a Service Supplier, will work.

Applicants will also need to have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are planning to do, issued by an employer that is authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a Service Supplier. 

The job will need to be an eligible job at or above a minimum skill level but applicants will not need to satisfy a salary requirement.  Service Supplier applicants will also not need to satisfy an English language requirement, but they will need to satisfy a nationality requirement.

Permission will be granted for either the time given on the Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, the length of time that will take the applicant to the maximum time period allowed in the category or the maximum single assignment period (which is either 6 months or 12 months if covered by a relevant UK international trade commitment), whichever is shorter.  The maximum time allowed in the category will be 5 years in any 6 year period.

Global Business Mobility – Service Supplier Visa holders will be permitted to work for their sponsor in the job described on their Certificate of Sponsorship.  

Settlement on the Global Business Mobility Visa Route

The Global Business Mobility Visa Routes will not lead directly to settlement in the UK. However, subject to satisfying the eligibility requirements, Global Business Mobility Visa holders may be able to apply from within the UK to switch into another immigration route which does lead to settlement.

The main work and business routes for achieving settlement are likely to be:

Contact our Immigration Barristers

To discuss your UK Global Business Mobility Visa application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our business immigration team on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

SEE HOW OUR IMMIGRATION BARRISTERS CAN HELP YOU

To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.




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