USA and the UK
- What is the Secondment Worker Visa?
- Who is eligible for the Secondment Worker Visa?
- What are the employer requirements for the Secondment Worker Visa?
- How to apply for a Secondment Worker Visa
- What are the required documents for the Secondment Worker Visa?
- What can you do in the UK under this visa?
- How much does the Secondment Worker Visa cost?
- How long is the Secondment Worker Visa valid?
- How to extend your Secondment Worker Visa
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Secondment Worker Visa?
The Secondment Worker Visa is a temporary UK visa given to foreign workers who are coming to the UK to do work or conduct business as part of a high-value contract or investment organized by their foreign employer. This visa is one of five other temporary workers visas under the UK’s Global Business Mobility immigration route. Global Business Mobility routes are designed to help overseas businesses transfer staff, establish a business presence or expand their business in the UK.
Overseas workers who are applying for a UK visa under the Secondment Worker route must have a high-value contract with an organization in the UK. Furthermore, they must be coming to the UK to do an eligible job for a different organization from their foreign employer.
Who is eligible for the Secondment Worker Visa?
Foreign nationals applying for a UK visa under the Secondment Worker route need to meet the following eligibility criteria to qualify:
- The foreign national is an existing employee of an employer overseas that maintains a high-value contract with a UK sponsor
- The UK sponsor has been approved by the Home Office to sponsor temporary workers under the Secondment Worker Visa route
- The foreign national has worked for their overseas employer outside of the UK for at least 12 months prior to the visa application
- The visa applicant has been given a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) detailing the work which the temporary worker will do while in the UK
- The foreign national is coming to the UK to do work in an eligible job that is on the Eligible Occupations List
- The foreign national has the sufficient necessary to support themselves while in the UK
What are the employer requirements for the Secondment Worker Visa?
Overseas employers who would like to send staff to the UK under the Secondment worker route will need to meet the following requirements:
- The non-British foreign employer has an eligible contract with a UK organization that will act as a UK sponsor
- The contract between the overseas employer and UK sponsor is worth at least £50 million
- The UK organization acting as the sponsor is a valid Temporary Worker Sponsor license holder
How to apply for a Secondment Worker Visa
Applications for the Secondment Worker Visa can be made online up to 3 months prior to the intended start date for work in the UK. Applicants will need to complete their application online, submit the necessary supporting documents, pay the corresponding fees for their UK visa application, and then provide proof of their identity.
To prove identity, applicants may be asked to provide biometric information in the form of a photograph and fingerprints. This biometric information can be collected at the nearest Visa Application Center and will later be used to create a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Some individuals will be asked to provide proof of identity by scanning an identity document to the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app.
If the UK visa is approved, successful applicants will need to pick up their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) at a designated location in the UK within 10 days of their arrival in the United Kingdom.
What are the required documents for the UK Secondment Worker Visa?
Applicants applying for a UK visa under the Secondment Worker route will need to submit the following supporting documents for their visa application:
- A valid passport or other travel documents which prove identity and nationality
- Any documents that detail the applicant’s job title in the UK along with the appropriate occupation code
- The reference number on the Secondment Worker Visa Certificate of Sponsorship (this will be given to the visa applicant by their UK sponsor)
- Any documents that detail the name of the UK sponsor and their sponsor license number (this will be on the CoS)
- Any documents that give valid evidence of the foreign national working for their overseas employer outside the UK for at least 12 months (ex. printed payslips, an official business letter from the foreign employer, etc)
- A valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate (if your job involves researching a sensitive subject at Ph.D. level or higher)
- Any financial documents that prove the applicant have the necessary funds to support themselves for the first initial month in the UK (ex. bank statements)
- Any documents that prove a relationship with dependants who are accompanying you to the UK via a dependant visa (ex. civil partnership or marriage certificate, birth certificates of children, adoption certificates, etc)
- Tuberculosis test results (if applying from a country where this is a requirement)
All documents submitted to the Home Office will need to be in their original form and in either English or Welsh. If documents are in a language other than English or Welsh, they will need to be accompanied by certified translations.
What can you do in the UK under this visa?
While in the UK under the Secondment Worker route, visa holders are permitted to engage in the following activities:
- Work in the designated job role described in their Certificate of Sponsorship
- Volunteer with charitable organizations
- Travel freely in and out of the UK
However, visa holders are not permitted to:
- Apply for or access public funds or the State Pension
- Change jobs without updating their visa
- Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain
- Work in a second job
How much does the Secondment Worker Visa cost?
When applying for a UK Secondment Worker Visa, applicants will be responsible for the following costs:
- Application fee: £298
- Healthcare Surcharge fee: this is calculated as £624 per year
Dependent spouses and children who are accompanying the primary visa holder to the UK will need to pay an additional £298 application fee per person. Unless the overseas employer is funding the employee’s first month’s of expenses in the UK, all applicants must have at least £1,270 in their bank account. This amount must be present in the applicant’s bank account for at least 28 consecutive days in the 31-day period leading up to the visa application.
Primary visa holders who are traveling with dependent family members to the UK will need to have additional money saved in their personal savings. The additional amount of money needed is as follows:
- For spouse or partner: £285
- For a dependant child: £315
- For each additional dependant child: £200
How long is the Secondment Worker Visa valid?
Secondment workers can stay in the UK for either:
- Up to 12 months after the employment start date (start dates will be detailed in the CoS)
- A period of time given on the CoS plus a grace period of 14 days
Visa holders who would like to extend their stay may apply for an extension. This extension will allow the foreign worker to stay in the UK for another 12 months. The maximum amount of time a foreign national can stay in the UK under a Secondment Worker Visa is a cumulative amount of 2 years.
It should be noted that according to UK immigration rules, foreign nationals can only stay in the UK for a maximum amount of 5 years in any 6-year period if they have spent time in the United Kingdom under any one of the following temporary work visas:
- Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa (now expired)
- Intra-company Transfer visa (now expired)
- Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility)
- Secondment Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
- Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
- Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility)
- UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
How to extend your Secondment Worker Visa
Overseas workers who would like to extend their Secondment Worker Visa may do so if they meet the following conditions:
- The foreign national is still working for the UK sponsor who gave them their current CoS
- The foreign worker is still working on the same high-value contract. This contract must be between the foreign employer and UK sponsor
- The foreign worker has not reached the maximum total stay
Applications for a Secondment Worker extension must be made within the UK. Family members who are in the UK on a dependant visa will also need to apply for an extension. Applicants who filed for an extension must not travel outside the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man until their application has been processed otherwise their application will be withdrawn.
Last modified on November 30th, 2023 at 10:17 am
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Secondment workers may bring eligible family members with them to the UK by applying for a dependants visa. Eligible family members include the following:
- A spouse, civil partner, or unmarried ‘de facto’ partner
- Unmarried children under the age of 18 (including children born in the UK during the foreign national’s stay)
- Unmarried children who are over the age of 18 but are dependent on their parents
Family members can stay in the UK for the same period of time as the primary visa holder. Both the primary visa holder and dependent family members will need to submit proof of relationship evidence. Proof of a relationship can include a civil partnership or marriage certificate, birth certificates for children, adoption certificates, etc. For a detailed list of what documents will be needed for a dependant visa, consult with an experienced immigration professional.
Visa applications usually take 3 weeks to process after the application is filed online from outside the UK and the applicant has submitted all the necessary documents along with paying all appropriate visa fees.
If the applicant is applying for a Secondment Worker Visa from within the UK, the visa application will be processed within 8 weeks.
At IAS, we know that doing business in the UK can be tricky for overseas companies. That’s why at IAS, we aim to make the application process as easy and stress-free as possible. To help your overseas organization successfully send staff to the UK, our immigration professionals can offer you the following services:
- Make sure that your UK sponsor meets the eligibility criteria necessary to obtain a Sponsor License
- Checking to make sure that you and your employee have provided the necessary documents for the Secondment visa application
- Ensure that your UK visa application was completed to the highest standard
- Liaison with the Home Office on your behalf
To find out more about the services we offer, contact us today by calling +1 844 290 6312 or leave us a message in the chat.