USA and the UK
- What is the Graduate Trainee Visa?
- Who is eligible for the Graduate Trainee Visa?
- What are the requirements for the Graduate Trainee Visa?
- What is the application process for the Graduate Trainee Visa?
- What documents are required for the Graduate Trainee Visa?
- How much does it cost to apply for a Graduate Trainee Visa?
- How long does it take to get a Graduate Trainee Visa?
- How long is the Graduate Trainee Visa valid?
- What can I do with a Graduate Trainee Visa?
- How can IAS help me?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Graduate Trainee Visa?
The Graduate Trainee Visa replaces the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa and is one of many new visas under the Global Business Mobility Scheme. Under the Graduate Trainee Visa route, foreign nationals who work for overseas businesses are permitted to enter the UK to participate in a structured graduate training programme.
This program must be conducted at the overseas employer’s UK branch. Furthermore, Graduate Trainee visa applicants must be employed in a managerial or specialist role in order to be accepted for this visa.
It should be noted that this UK visa is different from the Graduate Visa which allows international students who have recently completed a degree or higher-level qualification in the UK to stay in the United Kingdom for a period of up to 2 years for the purposes of finding employment.
Who is eligible for the Graduate Trainee Visa?
All applicants who are applying for a UK visa under the Graduate Trainee route must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- The applicant is an existing employee of an overseas organization or company who has worked for their employer for at least 3 months
- The organization or company has been approved by the Home Office to act as a sponsor for foreign workers
- The applicant works for their overseas employer in a managerial or specialist role
- The foreign worker is coming to the UK to take part in a structured graduate training course
What are the requirements for the Graduate Trainee Visa?
To apply for a Graduate Trainee visa, both the employer and employee must meet the following requirements:
- The Employer is able to provide employees with a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ as a licensed sponsor of foreign workers
- The applicant works in a job on the eligible occupations list
- The applicant has worked for their overseas employer for at least 3 months prior to their visa application
- The applicant is paid at least £23,100 a year (or 70% of the going rate for their respective job)
- The applicant has sufficient funds to finance their first month’s stay in the UK (at least £1,270)
What is the application process for the Graduate Trainee Visa?
Applications for the Graduate Trainee Visa can be made online through the gov.uk website at least 3 months before the intended start date of employment in the UK. This start date can be found on the Certificate of Sponsorship given to the employee by their employer.
After the Graduate Trainee visa application has been submitted, the applicant will then need to submit a variety of documents and pay the necessary visa fees. The applicant will then be asked to submit biometric information (a photograph and fingerprints. This information can either be collected at the nearest visa application center or the applicant will be asked to scan their identity document using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app. The applicant will be informed on which course of action to take after submitting their application.
What documents are required for the Graduate Trainee Visa?
To apply for a Graduate Trainee visa, applicants will need to submit the following documents:
- A valid passport or another valid travel document that shows the graduate trainees’ identity and nationality
- A valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number (this will be given to the applicant by their employer)
- Any evidence that documents the applicant’s job title and annual salary
- The eligible job occupation code (This can be found on the Eligible Occupations List)
- Any evidence that documents the name of the applicant’s employer and their sponsor license number
- Financial documents that prove that the applicant has the necessary funds to support themselves whilst in the UK (ex. bank statements)
- Any evidence that proves the applicant has worked for their employer outside the UK for at least 3 months prior to submitting their visa application (ex. payslips)
- Any documents that detail the type of training program the applicant will be attending
- A valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate (if the applicant’s job involves researching a sensitive subject at a Ph.D. level or higher)
- Any documents that provide proof of relationship to dependants if applying with family members (ex. marriage certificate, birth certificates, adoptions certificates, etc)
- Tuberculosis test results (if applying from a country where this is required)
All documents submitted will need to be in either English or Welsh. If not, they will need to be accompanied by certified translations.
How much does it cost to apply for a Graduate Trainee Visa?
Visa applicants will need to pay the following fees for a Graduate Trainee Visa:
- Visa application fee: £715
- Health Surcharge fee: this is calculated as £624 per year
If your partner or child is coming to the UK with you, the applicant will need to pay an additional £259 per person. It should be noted that unless your UK sponsor will fund your trip, the applicant will need to have at least £1,260 in their bank account. This money will need to be in the applicant’s bank account for at least 28 consecutive days within the 31 days prior to the visa application.
The amount of personal savings may increase depending on if the Graduate Trainee Visa holder is coming to the UK with their partner or children.
How long does it take to get a Graduate Trainee Visa?
Once the applicant has submitted their visa application online, proved their identity, and submitted the necessary documents, the applicant should receive a decision on their visa application within 3 weeks if the application was filed from outside the UK.
If the applicant is switching from one UK visa to the Graduate Trainee Visa and is applying from within the UK, the visa application will be processed within 8 weeks.
How long is the Graduate Trainee Visa valid?
Graduate Trainees are permitted to stay in the UK for either:
- The time allotted on the Certificate of Sponsorship plus a grace period of 14 days
- A period of stay up to 12 months
Graduate Trainee visa holders are not permitted to extend their visa but may leave the UK and apply for another Graduate Trainee visa from outside the UK in the future.
According to immigration rules, foreign nationals can only stay in the UK for a maximum cumulative period of 5 years in any 6-year period if under the following visas:
- Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa (now expired)
- Intra-company Transfer visa (now expired)
and/or any of the visas under the Global Business Mobility routes such as the following:
- Graduate Trainee visa
- Secondment Worker visa
- Senior or Specialist Worker visa
- Service Supplier visa
- UK Expansion Worker visa
What can I do with a Graduate Trainee Visa?
While in the UK under this visa, Graduate Trainee Visa holders are permitted to do the following:
- Work for their UK sponsor under the job described in their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
- Engage is study
- Participate in volunteer work
- Freely travel in and out of the United Kingdom
- Sponsor eligible family members for dependant visas
Graduate trainees are not permitted the following activities whilst in the UK under this type of Global Business Mobility Visa:
- Apply or access public funds or a State Pension
- Change jobs
- Work in a second job
- Apply for UK permanent residence (‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’)
How can IAS help me?
Our dedicated team of experienced attorneys at IAS keeps up to date with the latest changes in the UK immigration system. We can help you navigate the complicated world of UK business visas as well as sponsorship license applications. To help you do business in the UK, our immigration professionals can offer you the following services to aid you on your UK immigration journey:
- Helping to make sure that your foreign employer meets the eligibility criteria necessary to obtain a Sponsor License
- Checking to make sure that you have provided the necessary documents for your visa application
- Make sure that your UK visa application was completed to the highest standard
- Informing you on time frames and helping to make sure that they are met
- Maintaining contact with the Home Office on your behalf
To learn more about the services we can provide for you, contact us today by calling +1 844 290 6312 or leave us a message in the chat.
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 8:03 am
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Graduate Trainee visa holders may bring eligible family members with them to the UK under a dependants visa. Eligible dependents are classified as immediate family members who are dependent on the UK visa holder. This can include the following:
- A spouse, civil partner, or unmarried ‘de facto’ partner
- Unmarried children under the age of 18
- Unmarried children who are over the age of 18 but are currently living with the principal visa holder as a dependant
If approved, dependants will be allowed to remain in the UK for the same period of time permitted for the principal visa holder. All applicants must provide evidence of relationship to the primary visa holder to be approved for a UK dependants visa. This can include a civil partnership or marriage certificate (these must be recognized by the UK government as valid), birth certificates, or any other proof of relationship.
Furthermore, the primary visa holder will need to have additional money saved in their personal savings to support their family members while in the UK. The additional fees are as follows:
- For spouse or partner: £285
- For a dependant child: £315
- For each additional dependant child: £200
The Graduate Trainee visa does not provide a pathway to UK residency, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). However, foreign workers who come to the UK under this type of Global Business Mobility visa and would like to stay in the UK may switch to another type of UK visa that can provide a path to gaining ILR. Depending on the type of visa the foreign national obtains, the foreign worker may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 3 to 5 years of continuous residence in the UK. Some UK visas that can lead to ILR include the following:
Graduate trainees who are in the UK and whose job has changed in part due to the graduate training program they are attending will not need to apply for another Graduate Trainee Visa. However, their employer in the UK will need to notify UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) of the changes to their employee’s status.
An updated list of eligible occupations which are eligible for the Graduate Trainee visa route can be found on the gov.uk’s website. This list will include the 4-digit standard occupation code (SOC) which the applicant will need to provide in their visa application.
Graduate Trainee visas are now allowed to be extended. However, visa holders are welcome to apply for another Graduate Trainee visa if they leave the UK and would like to come back to the UK to participate in another training program.
Foreign nationals who have completed their training program and would like to remain in the UK will need to apply to switch to another UK work or family visa before their current visa expires.