USA and the UK
- What is a UK Service Supplier Visa?
- Who is eligible for a UK Service supplier visa?
- What are the requirements for a Service Supplier Visa Certificate of Sponsorship?
- What is the application process for a Supplier Visa?
- What are the documents required for a UK Service Supplier Visa?
- What are the eligibility requirements for jobs not on the Eligible Occupations List?
- How long is the UK Service Supplier Visa valid?
- How much does it cost to apply for a Service Supplier Visa?
- Extending the UK Service Supplier Visa
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a UK Service Supplier Visa?
The UK Service Supplier Visa is one of many new visas under the UK Global Business Mobility visa route which is aimed at helping overseas companies do business in the UK. Under the Service Supplier route, a contractual service supplier employed by an overseas service provider or an independent professional who is self-employed and based abroad can come to the UK temporarily to provide services under a valid international trade agreement.
It should be noted that UK Service Supplier Visa is a temporary work visa that does not lead to direct settlement in the UK. However, service supplier visa applicants are able to bring eligible family members with them to the UK while they perform their contractual services.
Who is eligible for a UK Service supplier visa?
Foreign nationals who can meet the following requirements are eligible for a UK Service Supplier Visa:
- The foreign worker is at least 18 years old
- The foreign worker has a contract to provide services for a UK company as an employee for an overseas business or as a self-employed service provider professional who is based outside the UK
- The foreign worker will be providing a service to a UK business under a contract covered by a valid international trade agreement
- The foreign worker will be performing an eligible job in the UK (as listed on the Eligible Occupations List)
- The foreign worker has been given a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) by their UK sponsor
- The foreign worker has worked for their overseas employer outside the UK for at least 12 months (or has at least 12 months of professional experience if self-employed)
- The foreign worker can submit Tuberculosis test results (if applying from a country where that is a requirement)
- The foreign applicant has sufficient funds to support themselves during their first month’s stay in the UK (unless funded by their employer)
What are the requirements for a Service Supplier Visa Certificate of Sponsorship?
UK sponsors who will be providing a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to service suppliers will need to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- The UK sponsor is approved by the Home Office to sponsor foreign workers
- The UK sponsor has a valid contract with an overseas service provider supplying services that are covered by one of the UK’s international trade commitments
- The UK sponsor must provide an appropriate Certificate of Sponsorship to the foreign worker coming to the UK
For more information regarding a UK sponsor’s eligibility to sponsor service suppliers for work in the UK, contact an immigration professional today to learn more.
What is the application process for a Supplier Visa?
All Supplier UK visa applications can be made online at least 3 months before the date the foreign worker is intended to start work in the United Kingdom. This employment start date will be listed on the applicant’s Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
The UK visa application usually is comprised of the following steps:
- Complete a visa application online through the gov.uk website
- Submit all necessary supporting documents
- Pay the appropriate fees associated with the UK visa
- Submit biometric information
Visa applicants can submit biometric information in the form of a photograph and fingerprints by making an appointment at the nearest visa application center. Some applicants will be asked to verify their identity by using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app. This app will ask the user to create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account and then scan their identity document for verification.
If the visa application is successful, applicants will be issued a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) which they will need to pick up from a designated location within 10 days on their entry into the UK.
What are the documents required for a UK Service Supplier Visa?
Service Supplier visa applicants will need to submit a variety of documents to verify that they qualify for a visa under the Service supplier route. These may include the following:
- A valid passport or another travel document that proves the identity and nationality of the applicant
- Certificate of Sponsorship reference number (this will be given to the applicant by their UK sponsor)
- A description of the job being performed by the service supplier along with the eligible job’s occupation code
- Documents that name the UK sponsor and their sponsor license number
- Evidence that the applicant has the necessary degree or relevant qualifications
- Evidence that the applicant has worked for their overseas employer for at least 12 months outside the UK (ex. payslips, letters from their sponsor signed by a senior staff member, bank statements, invoices, copies of business accounts, etc)
- A valid ATAS certificate (if applicable)
- Evidence that the applicant has the funds necessary to support themselves while in the UK (ex. bank statements)
- Any documents proving relationship to dependent family members (if applying for a Dependants’ Visa)
- Tuberculosis test results (if you are applying from a country where this is required)
All documents submitted must be in their original forms. Documents that are not in English or Welsh will need to be accompanied by certified translations.
What are the eligibility requirements for jobs not on the Eligible Occupations List?
Service suppliers who are coming to the UK from abroad will need to be working in a job that is skilled to at least an RQF Level 6. It is not a requirement that applicants have a formal degree however the job they are doing must be equivalent to a graduate-level role.
Furthermore, applicants must be coming to do a job that is on the Eligible Occupations List. The Home Office will also consider whether or not there is a genuine need for the job described in the application.
Applicants whose occupation is not on the Eligible Occupations List can still apply for a UK Service Supplier Visa if they are supplying the following services:
- Advertising or Translation (Applicants will need relevant qualifications
- Chef de Cuisine services (Applicants will need an advanced technical qualification in addition to 6 years of experience)
- Entertainment Services (excluding audio-visual services that are under the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement)
- Fashion and Modeling
- Management Consulting Services (Applicants will require a Bachelor’s degree)
- Technical testing and analysis (Applicants will require a Bachelor’s degree or a relevant technical qualification)
How long is the UK Service Supplier Visa valid?
Under this visa, contractual service suppliers are permitted to stay in the UK for:
- The time it takes to complete the task assigned under the trade agreement. This could be 6 or 12 months.
- The time allotted on the Certificate of Sponsorship plus a grace period of 14 days
All visa applicants will need to take into account the time they have spent in the UK on other visas before they apply for a Service Supplier visa to make sure they are still eligible and have not exceeded the maximum stay allowed for temporary work visas.
According to UK immigration rules, foreign citizens can only stay for a maximum of 5 years in any 6-year period if they have spent time in the UK under the following temporary work visas:
How much does it cost to apply for a Service Supplier Visa?
Service supplier visa applicants will need to pay the following fees:
- Visa application fee: £259
- Healthcare surcharge fee: this is calculated as £624 per year
Unless the visa applicant will be financed by their employer or UK sponsor, all applicants must have at least £1,270 in their bank accounts for 28 consecutive days in the 31-day period prior to filing their visa application. This amount might be more if the applicant is bringing family members with them to the UK on a Dependant visa.
Extending the UK Service Supplier Visa
Service Supplier visa holders may extend their temporary work visa if:
- The applicant is still contracted to work under their original CoS
- The applicant has not reached the maximum total stay in the UK
- The applicant’s job, qualifications, and experience still meet the eligibility criteria
All applicants who file for an extension need to be in the UK upon application. Furthermore, visa holders who have filed for an extension must not travel outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man until they have received a decision on their extension application. If they leave during this time, their extension application will be withdrawn.
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After the applicant has filed online, submitted all necessary documents, paid the appropriate fees, and submitted biometric information, the visa application will then be processed. Visa applicants can normally expect to receive a decision within 3 weeks if they apply outside of the UK. All visa applications filed within the UK will take 8 weeks to process.
Immediate family members who are dependent on the primary visa holder can come to the UK provided that they are one of the following:
- A spouse, civil partner, or unmarried ‘de facto’ partner
- Unmarried children under the age of 18
- Unmarried children over the age of 18 who are dependent on their parent(s)
All family members will need to provide proof of their relationship to the primary visa holder when applying. For more information about family member eligibility, consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can advise you on the specific requirements needed.
If your UK sponsor has agreed to financially support your travel and first month’s stay in the UK, the Certification of Sponsorship which they will provide to you must confirm this agreement.
To confirm financial support, the UK sponsor will need to complete the ‘sponsor certifies maintenance’ section on the CoS listed under ‘Additional data’.
If you are in the UK on another visa and would like to switch to a UK Service Supplier Visa, you may do so if you can meet the eligibility requirements for the Service Supplier Visa.
Foreign nationals who are in the UK on the following visas are not eligible to switch to the Service Supplier Visa:
- A UK Visitor Visa
- A short-term student visa
- Parent of a Child Student Visa
- Temporary Seasonal Worker Visa
- A domestic worker is a private household visa
If you are in the UK under these visas, you must leave the United Kingdom and apply for this type of Global Business Mobility Visa from abroad.
Furthermore, foreign nationals who are in the UK and are on immigration bail or were granted permission to stay outside the immigration rules are not eligible to apply for a visa under the service supplier route.
Here at IAS, we understand that conducting business in the UK can be complicated. That’s why we keep up to date with the latest UK business visa development and sponsorship certification requirements.
We strive to offer assistance tailor-made to each client based on their personal circumstances that will help make the visa application as easy and stress-free as possible. To learn more about the services we can offer you, contact us today at +1 844 290 6312 or contact us via the online chat.