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Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa Scheme

The Graduate Trainee visa is targeted at individuals who wish to come to the UK to work for their existing employer as part of a training scheme. This new category of Global Business Mobility visa replaces the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa (Tier 2).

The route allows overseas workers to come to the UK as part of a work placement or training course that leads to senior management or specialist position. Overseas businesses with links to the UK must be related by common ownership or control in order to participate and to issue the necessary certificates of sponsorship.

This guide explains more about the Global Business Mobility: Graduate Trainee visa. Keep reading to find out how the expert team at WH Solicitors could help you to secure entry clearance to the UK.

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What is the Global Business Mobility Visa Scheme?

On 15 March 2022, the UK Government established a number of new visa categories under the points-based immigration system. These included the Global Business Mobility scheme, which has a specific category for Graduate Trainees who wish to come to the UK to undertake a workplace training programme.

Global Business Mobility Visa –Requirements for Graduate Trainees

To qualify for a Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa, you must meet a number of requirements. The main requirements for a visa in this category are that:

  • you are already an employee of an organisation or business that has been approved as a sponsor by the UK Home Office (and they therefore have a sponsorship licence);
  • you are enrolled in a graduate trainee programme with your overseas employer;
  • you have worked for your employer outside of the UK for at least three months before making a visa application;
  • you have received a certificate of sponsorship from your employer;
  • your job is included on the list of eligible occupations; and
  • you are paid at least £23,100 per year.

Getting a Certificate of Sponsorship

You will need a valid Certificate of Sponsorship in order to apply for a Graduate Trainee visa. Sponsorship can only be granted by an employer that has been authorised via a sponsorship licence from the UK Home Office.

To qualify for a Graduate Trainee visa, your overseas employer must be connected to the UK sponsor by common ownership or control.

Visa Conditions

If your application for a Graduate Trainee visa is successful, you will be able to stay in the UK for a period of 12 months or for 14 days longer than the time stated on your certificate of sponsorship, whichever is shorter. You cannot extend a Graduate Trainee visa, but could make a fresh application from outside the UK.

During your time in the UK, you will be able to work for your sponsor in the job described on your certificate of sponsorship, undertake educational courses and study, bring your spouse and children with you as dependants if they are eligible, do voluntary or charity work, and travel internationally with the ability to return to the UK.

Graduate Trainee visa holders are not permitted to do the following:

  • apply for public funds, most benefits, or the State Pension;
  • change to another job;
  • take on a second job;
  • apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain to stay in the UK permanently.

How We Can Help

WH Solicitors is a specialist immigration law practice that provides practical advice to businesses and workers alike. We guide our clients through the visa application process and can help companies to gain a sponsorship licence to launch their own UK graduate trainee scheme.

With a personal approach and professional service, we provide employers and employees with the very best chance of getting approved for a business mobility visa across all categories. For more information or to get started on your visa application, contact our team today by calling (+44) 01483 608 786 or by emailing contact@whsolicitors.co.uk.

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Graduate Trainee Visa – FAQs

Do you need sponsorship for a Graduate Trainee visa?

Yes, all Global Business Mobility visa routes require sponsorship from a relevant licenced employer. This means that applicants must have a valid certificate of sponsorship from an employer who has received a Sponsorship Licence from the UK Home Office.

How much does it cost to apply for a Graduate Trainee visa?

When applying for a Graduate Trainee visa, you will typically need to pay:

  • an application fee of £259; and
  • the healthcare surcharge for each year of your stay in the UK.

You will also need to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself (and any dependants you bring with you) when you arrive in the UK.

Can I get a visa if I’m not on a graduate training programme?

If you are not on a graduate training programme, you may still be eligible to work for your employer’s branch in the UK by applying for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa.

How long does it take to apply for a Graduate Trainee visa?

Applications for a Graduate Trainee visa can be made up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK (this date will be listed in your certificate of sponsorship).

After your application has been submitted, it could take up to three weeks for a decision to be made. At WH Solicitors we ensure our client’s applications are as strong as possible, which could help you to receive a faster decision from the Home Office.

How long can you stay in the UK with a Graduate Trainee visa?

Once your visa has been approved, you will be able to stay in the UK for the time period stated on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, or for 12 months – whichever is shorter.

Can you extend a Graduate Trainee visa?

No – it is not possible to extend a Graduate Trainee visa, but you could apply for a new visa from outside of the UK once your existing leave to remain has expired.

Can you bring your family to the UK with a Global Mobility visa?

Yes, Global Business Mobility visa holders can be accompanied by their partner and dependant children if they meet the relevant eligibility criteria. They will need to prove their relationship with the primary visa holder, provide an overseas criminal record certificate for any country they have lived in for at least 12 months during the last 10 years, and Tuberculosis testing certificates if they are coming from one of the countries listed on the following page of the government website. UK immigration officials will also need to be satisfied that they have enough funds to support themselves when they come to the country.

Can you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain with a Graduate Trainee Visa?

No – the Global Business Mobility Visa for Graduate Trainees does not lead directly to the settlement in the UK. You may still be able to switch into another visa category, for instance as a ‘Skilled Worker’, before applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

The contents of this webpage are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal advice. All information is correct as of the date of publication, and any individual or organisation should be careful to seek qualified advice from a specialist immigration lawyer before acting on any of the topics referenced by this content.