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Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker Visa Scheme

The UK Expansion Worker visa is a new immigration route that enables overseas businesses to set up a branch or subsidiary in the UK. It is intended for senior managers and technical specialists who need to be assigned to work in the UK for a temporary period to help their employer expand into the country.

This new visa route replaces the previous sole representative category of the Representative of an Overseas Business route. Now, applicants require a Certificate of Sponsorship in order to get approved.

This guide sets out what you’ll need to qualify for a UK Expansion Worker visa and explains how the experienced team at WH Solicitors could help you to get approved.

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What is the Global Business Mobility Visa Scheme?

On 15 March 2022, the UK Government launched a number of new visa categories under the points-based immigration system. The UK Expansion Worker visa is a new immigration route that forms part of the Global Business Mobility Visa scheme and provides overseas businesses with the opportunity to expand into the UK by sending their senior employees on a temporary assignment.


Global Business Mobility Visa – Requirements for UK Expansion Workers

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

  • you currently work for a business that is linked to your UK sponsor by common ownership or control;
  • you have worked outside the UK for the linked business for at least 12 months, unless you earn £73,900 or more per year or are a Japanese national seeking to expand a business under the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement;
  • you have a valid certificate of sponsorship that has been issued by a UK business or organisation that has been granted a Sponsorship Licence by the Home Office;
  • the job you plan to do is at graduate level or above (at least RQF Level 6); and
  • you must be paid at least £42,400 per year, or the ‘going rate’ for your job – whichever is higher.


Getting a Certificate of Sponsorship

To get approved for a UK Expansion Worker visa, you will need to get a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer. They will also need to have been authorised to sponsor migrant workers by gaining a Sponsorship Licence from the UK Home Office.

The sponsor should be a UK branch or wholly owned subsidiary of a business that is already established overseas and wishes to expand into the UK. Unlike other Global Business Mobility immigration routes, the UK Expansion Worker visa route is only for use when a business has not yet begun trading in the UK.


Visa Conditions

If you are successful in getting approved for a UK Expansion Worker visa, you will be able to stay in the UK for an initial period of 12 months, or for 14 days longer than the time that is stated on your certificate of sponsorship – whichever is shorter.

Once you are in the UK, you will be allowed to work for your sponsor in the job that you have been sponsored for, study and undertake educational courses, bring your eligible spouse and children with you to the UK as dependants, volunteer for charity work, and travel abroad before returning to the UK.

UK Expansion Worker 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 with a team of expert lawyers. We provide practical advice and support, helping migrants and businesses to navigate the UK immigration system effectively and efficiently.

Our personal approach and professional acumen will ensure you have the very best chance of getting approved for a visa in the correct category. For more information or to get your visa application started, contact our team today by calling (+44) 01483 608 786 or by emailing contact@whsolicitors.co.uk.

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Yes, all Global Business Mobility visa routes require sponsorship from a relevant licenced employer. You will need to gain a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a business that has received a Sponsorship Licence from the UK Home Office.

When applying for a UK Expansion Worker 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 – typically £624 per year.

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. You will usually need to have at least £1,270 available in a bank account for 28 consecutive days before coming to the UK.

Applications for a UK Expansion Worker visa can be made up to 3 months before the day you are due to commence work in the UK. This date will be listed in your sponsorship certificate.

Once your application has been submitted, you will usually hear back with a decision within 3 weeks if you applied from outside the UK, or 8 weeks if you applied from within the UK. Note that you may need to go to an appointment as part of your application, and might be given the option to pay for a faster decision.

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.

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.