USA and the UK
- What are the Global Business Mobility routes?
- What is the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
- What can you do while on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
- What are the requirements for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
- What is the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Requirement?
- How to apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
- What documents are required for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
- What is the cost of a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
- Senior or Specialist Worker Visa Extension
- Let IAS help you with your UK Visa
- Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Global Business Mobility routes?
The new Global Mobility Visa was launched on April 11th, 2022 by the UK government. This new visa is comprised of 5 sub-categories which are as follows:
- Senior or Specialist Worker Visa. This UK visa allows overseas businesses to send their senior managers and specialist employees to temporarily work in the UK at one of the company’s UK branches, offices, or subsidiaries.
- Graduate Trainee Visa. This UK visa allows foreign workers to come to the UK to take part in a structured graduate training program organized by their non-UK employer.
- UK Expansion Worker Visa. Under this visa, UK expansion workers can come to the UK for the purposes of doing work to expand the presence of their foreign employer in the UK.
- Secondment Worker Visa. This UK visa allows foreign workers who are temporarily seconded to the UK by their foreign employer as part of a high-value contract or investment.
- Service Supplier Visa. This UK visa allows for foreign workers to come to the UK under a temporary work assignment as a contractual service supplier, a self-employed independent professional, or under a requirement to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade agreements.
These Global Business Mobility sub-category visas will replace past UK visas such as:
- Intra-Company Transfer
- Intra-Company Graduate trainee
- Sole Representative of an Overseas Business
- Other Temporary Worker visas for contractual service providers and independent professionals who work under the International Agreement route
Visas under the Global Business Mobility route are meant to help further foreign companies and organizations to come to the UK for the purposes of conducting business or establishing a presence in the UK.
What is the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
The Senior or Specialist Worker Visa under the Global Business Mobility route allows overseas businesses to send over employees to a UK business linked to their employer overseas. This new visa has replaced the Intra-Company Transfer Visa and is valid for up to 5 years. Senior manager or Specialist Worker visa holders are eligible to bring their dependent family members with them to the UK.
To qualify for a Global Business Mobility visa under the Senior Manager and Specialist Worker route, applicants must:
- Be an existing employer working at a business or organization that has been approved by the Home Office to be a sponsor
- Have a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ from their employer that contains information regarding the work the employee will be doing in the UK
- Be working in a job that is on the eligible occupations list
- Be paid at least £42,400 annually
What can you do while on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
Foreign employees are permitted to do the following activities while in the UK on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa:
- Work in the UK for their sponsor in the job described in their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
- Bring their dependent family members (spouses, civil partners, and dependent children) with them to the UK
- Participate in volunteer work
- Travel freely to and from the UK
The following activities, however, are not permitted under this visa:
- Have access to public funds
- Change jobs (unless you are eligible to do so and have updated your visa)
- Work in a second job
- Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain
What are the requirements for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
To qualify for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa, applicants will need to meet the following requirements:
- The applicant is at least 18 years of age
- The business or organization that the senior manager or specialist employee is working for is linked to their UK sponsor by common ownership or control, or by a joint venture
- The foreign worker has worked for the linked business or organization outside the UK for at least 1 year (unless the employee is earning over £73,900 per year)
- The foreign worker has been issued a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) by their UK sponsor for their intended role
- The applicant has a valid job offer for a genuine role in the company or organization
- The intended job is skilled to at least RQF Level 6 (graduate equivalent)
- The salary for the role pays at least £42,400 per year (or the standard ‘going rate’ for the job)
- The UK sponsor has paid the required Immigration Skills Charge
- The applicant has access to sufficient funds
- The applicant can provide a valid Tuberculosis certificate (if applying from a country where this is required)
What is the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Requirement?
Like many other UK work visas, the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa requires applicants to have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for their intended job in the UK. This certificate will need to be issued no more than 3 months before the start of intended employment by an employer that is authorized by the Home Office to sponsor senior managers or specialist workers.
The Certificate of Sponsorship will include the following information:
- Details of the applicant’s name, job, and salary
- Confirmation that the applicant has worked for their employer outside the UK for at least 12 months (unless the applicant earns over £73,900 per year)
- The start date of intended employment
- Confirmation that the CoS has not been issued in previous applications
Unless the applicant has already been granted permission to work as a Senior Manager or Specialist Worker and will be continuing to work for the same sponsor, the sponsor must be listed as A-rated in the Home Office’s register of licensed sponsors.
How to apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
Applications for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa can be made online at the gov.uk website up to 3 months in advance of intended employment in the UK. Applicants can include dependents such as spouses, civil partners, and children in their application if they meet the eligibility criteria.
After you have completed the online application, you will be asked to send in a portfolio of documents as evidence that you meet the necessary requirements. In addition, you will also be asked to book an appointment at a visa application center nearest you where you can submit biometric information (photograph and fingerprints). This information will be used to create a biometric residence permit.
If approved, applicants can pick up their biometric residence permits at the designated pick-up location within 10 days of arriving in the UK.
What documents are required for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
After you have completed your online UK visa application, you will be required to send in a portfolio of documents. This portfolio may contain the following documents:
- A Certificate of Sponsorship reference number (this will be given to the applicant by their employer)
- A valid passport or another travel document that shows the applicant’s identity and nationality (this must have at least 1 blank page for the UK visa)
- Documents regarding the applicant’s job title and annual salary
- Any evidence that shows the applicant has been working for their employer outside of the UK for at least 12 months (if not a high earner)
- Any documents that detail the job’s occupation code
- 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 which detail the name of the applicant’s employer and their sponsor license number
- Any evidence that demonstrates that the applicant has enough personal savings to support themselves whilst in the UK unless they are being supported by their employer (ex. bank statements)
- Proof of the applicant’s relationship to their spouse/partner, and/or children (if applying for accompanying dependent visas)
- Tuberculosis test results (if the applicant is applying from a country where a TB test is required)
All documents that are not written in English or Welsh will need to be accompanied by certified translations.
What is the cost of a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
Overall, the general costs of a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa will include the following expenses:
- Visa application fee if applying from outside the UK: £625 per person (for periods of stay up to 3 years) or £1,235 per person (for periods of stay longer than 3 years)
- Visa application fee if applying from within the UK to extend, switch or update: £719 per person (for stays of up to 3 years) or £1,423 per person (for stays longer than 3 years)
- Healthcare surcharge: costs will vary and are calculated based on the length of stay
In addition, all applicants must have at least £1,270 in their bank account in order to meet the financial requirements for this visa. This money must be available for at least 28 consecutive days and within 31 days of visa application. If the applicant is coming to the UK with dependents, this amount will be more depending on the number of family members accompanying the principal visa holder.
This requirement can be waived if the applicant has been living in the UK on another valid visa for at least 12 months at the time of application or if the employer volunteers to cover the applicant’s expenses in their first month in the UK.
Senior or Specialist Worker Visa Extension
The Senior or Specialist Worker Visa can be extended provided that the applicant meets the following criteria:
- The applicant is seeking to renew the same job
- The applicant’s job is in the same occupation code as last time
- The applicant is still working for the same employer/sponsor
- The applicant has not yet reached the maximum total stay
The maximum total stay allowed for Senior or Specialist Worker is 5 years in any 6-year period if the applicant is paid less than £73,900. If the applicant is paid more than £73,900, the maximum total stay is 9 years in any 10-year period.
Partner and children dependent visas can also apply for extensions separately.
Let IAS help you with your UK Visa
Our lawyers stay up to date with the latest changes and development in the UK immigration rules. If find yourself in need of advice or assistance with your visa application, contact us today at +1 844 290 6312.
Our services at IAS include:
- Tailor-made assistance offered to you in person, over the phone, or via video call at a suitable time
- Assessing your eligibility for different UK visas
- Checking over your documents to make sure everything is in order
- Confirmation that your employer is an eligible sponsor
- Working with your UK sponsor to help obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship
- Producing a Letter of Representation which can be submitted along with your application
- Liaising with the Home Office on your behalf during the visa application process
- Helping you complete your application forms to the highest standard
Call us today or leave a message in the chat to learn more about how we can best help you.
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 8:02 am
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Eligible dependents can accompany you to the UK provided they are one of the following:
- A spouse, civil partner, or de facto (unmarried) partner
- Children under 18 years old
- Children over 18 years old if they are currently in the UK living with you are a dependent
When applying for a dependent visa, your family members will need to prove that your relationship with each other is genuine. This may include submitting a marriage or civil partnership certificate or any other proof that you have been living together for at least 2 years.
Child dependents must live with the principal visa holder unless they are away at an educational institution like a boarding school, college, or university. Furthermore, child dependents must be financially supported by the principal visa holder and not be married, in a civil partnership, or have any children of their own.
Most senior specialist worker visas are processed within 3 weeks if the applicant has applied outside the UK. If the applicant applied to switch, extend, or update their visa from within the UK, the visa application will take around 8 weeks to process.
Individuals in the UK under an Intra-Company Transfer can still stay in the UK under this visa provided that their sponsor license is still valid. If the applicant would like to switch to the new visa, they can use their Intra-Company Transfer certificate of sponsorship to apply for the new Senior or Specialist Worker Visa or another Global Business Mobility Visa if they would like and if they can meet the criteria.