Expansion Worker Global Mobility UK visa

The Global Business Mobility – Expansion Worker visa route is for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is a senior manager or specialist employee and is being assigned to the UK to undertake work related to a business’s expansion to the UK. The UK Expansion Worker visa is NOT a route to settlement.

This route can only be used when the business has not yet begun trading in the UK.

If the business is already trading in the UK, workers should apply under Appendix Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker instead. As there must be no operating entity in the UK, it is helpful that the chosen candidate for the Expansion Worker visa can be the Authorising Officer for the sponsor licence application.

A dependent partner and dependent children can apply to come to the UK on this route.

The Expansion Worker route replaced the previously popular Sole Representative visa that of course gave the right to settle in the UK after 5 years continuous residence. The other major difference with the previous Sole Representative visa, is that in order to apply for an Expansion Worker visa it is first necessary to apply and be granted a sponsor licence in the Expansion Worker category.

Eligibility requirements for a UK Expansion Worker

A person seeking to come to the UK as a UK Expansion Worker must apply for and obtain entry clearance as a UK Expansion Worker before their arrival in the UK.

Points requirementsRelevant rulesPoints
SponsorshipUKX 5.1. to UKX 5.8.20
Job at an appropriate skill levelUKX 6.1. to UKX 6.6.20
Salary at required levelUKX 7.1. to UKX 9.3.20

The sponsor must be authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a UK Expansion Worker and the applicant must have a valid certificate of sponsorship for the job they are planning to do.  

An applicant as a UK Expansion Worker must:

(a) be currently working for the sponsor group; and

(b) have worked outside the UK for the sponsor group for a cumulative period of at least 12 months, unless the applicant is either:

  1. applying as a high earner; or
  2. a Japanese national seeking to establish a UK branch or subsidiary of the sponsor group under the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The applicant must be sponsored for a job in an occupation code listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations that is identified as eligible for the Global Business Mobility routes.

If the applicant is being sponsored for a job in one of the occupation codes listed in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations, the general salary requirement is £42,400 per year and the going rate requirement is 100% of the pro-rated going rate.

Permission will be granted for a period which is the shortest of the following:

(a) 1 year after the start date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship; or

(b) 14 days after the end date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship; or

(c) the date at which the applicant will have had continuous permission as a UK Expansion Worker totalling 2 years; or

(d) the date at which the applicant will have had cumulative permission in the Global Business Mobility routes totalling 5 years in any 6-year period.

Senior or Specialist Worker Global Mobility UK visa

The Global Business Mobility GMB) – Senior or Specialist Worker visa route is for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is a senior manager or specialist employee and is being assigned to a UK business linked to their employer overseas. This type of assignment often called an intra-company transfer or ICT and the visa type used to be until recently also called Intra-company transfer or ICT.

A partner and dependent children can apply to come to the UK on this route. The Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker route is not a route to settlement.

The applicant must be awarded 60 points based on the table below:

Points requirementsRelevant rulesPoints
SponsorshipSNR 5.1. to SNR 5.9.20
Job at an appropriate skill levelSNR 6.1. to SNR 6.7.20
Salary at required levelSNR 7.1. to SNR 9.3.20

The sponsor must be authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a Senior or Specialist Worker.

An applicant as a Senior or Specialist Worker must:

(a) be currently working for the sponsor group; and

(b) unless they are applying as a high earner must have worked outside the UK for the sponsor group for a cumulative period of at least 12 months.

The salary for the job for which the applicant is being sponsored must equal or exceed both:

(a) the general salary requirement for GMB Senior or Specialist Worker

(b) the going rate requirement for the job.

Salary under these requirements includes only:

(a) guaranteed basic gross pay (before income tax and including employee pension and national insurance contributions); and

(b) allowances which are guaranteed to be paid for the duration of the applicant’s employment in the UK (such as London weighting) or are paid as a mobility premium or to cover the additional cost of living in the UK.

Where allowances are solely for the purpose of accommodation they will only be taken into account up to a value of 30% of the total salary package

If the applicant is being sponsored for a job in one of the occupation codes listed in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations, the general salary requirement is £42,400 per year. If the applicant is being sponsored for a job in one of the occupation codes listed in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations, the going rate requirement is 100% of the pro-rated going rate.

If the applicant is applying as a high earner, the grant of permission must not lead to the applicant being granted cumulative periods of permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling more than 9 years in any 10-year period.

If the applicant is not applying as a high earner, the grant of permission must not lead to the applicant being granted cumulative periods of permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling more than 5 years in any 6-year period

Permission will be granted for a period which is the shortest of the following:

(a) 5 years after the start date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship; or

(b) 14 days after the end date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship; or

(c) if the applicant is applying as a high earner, the date at which the applicant will have had cumulative permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling 9 years in any 10-year period; or

(d) if the applicant is not applying as a high earner, the date at which the applicant will have had cumulative permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling 5 years in any 6-year period.

Graduate Trainee Global Mobility UK visa

Global Business Mobility  Graduate Trainee visa route is for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is on a graduate training course leading to a senior management or specialist position and is required to do a work placement in the UK. This type of assignment used to be called an intra-company transfer- graduate trainee or ICT.

Dependant Partner and children under 18 can join the Main Applicant – Graduate Trainee.

The applicant must be awarded 60 points based on the table below:

Points requirementsRelevant rulesPoints
SponsorshipGTR 5.1. to GTR 5.7.20
Job at an appropriate skill levelGTR 6.1. to GTR 6.7.20
Salary at required levelGTR 7.1. to GTR 9.3.20

The sponsor must be authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a Graduate Trainee.

An applicant as a Graduate Trainee must:

(a) be currently working for the sponsor group; and

(b) have worked outside the UK for the sponsor group for a continuous period of at least 3 months immediately before the date of application.

The applicant must be sponsored for a job in an occupation code listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations that is identified as eligible for the Global Business Mobility routes.

The job must be part of a structured graduate training programme, with clearly defined progression towards a managerial or specialist role within the sponsor organisation.

The salary for the job for which the applicant is being sponsored must equal or exceed both:

(a) the general salary requirement in GTR 8.1. and GTR 8.2.; and

(b) the going rate requirement in GTR 9.1. to GTR 9.3.

If the applicant is being sponsored for a job in one of the occupation codes listed in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations, the general salary requirement is £23,100 per year.

If the applicant is being sponsored for a job in one of the occupation codes listed in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations, the going rate requirement is 70% of the pro-rated going rate, which will be calculated as follows:

 If the applicant is being sponsored for a job in one of the health or education occupation codes listed in Table 2 of Appendix Skilled Occupations, the going rate requirement is 100% of the pro-rated going rate (and the going rate will be pro-rated according to the number of weekly working hours stated by the sponsor, and the pro-rating set out in Appendix Skilled Occupations).

If the applicant is applying for permission to stay and has been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer on the date of application, they will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds.

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance or has been living in the UK for less than 12 months on the date of application either:

(a) the applicant must have funds of at least £1,270; or

(b) the sponsor must certify on the certificate of sponsorship that they will, if it is necessary, maintain and accommodate the applicant up to the end of the first month of their employment up to a maximum amount of £1,270.

Permission will be granted for a period which is the shortest of the following:

  1. (a) 1 year after the start date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship; or
  2. (b) 14 days after the end date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship; or
  3. (c) the date at which the applicant will have had cumulative permission in the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling 5 years in any 6-year period.

The grant of permission must not lead to the applicant being granted cumulative periods of permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling more than 5 years in any 6-year period.

Service Provider Global Mobility UK visa

The Global Business Mobility – Service Supplier visa route is for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is either a contractual service supplier employed by an overseas service provider or a self-employed independent professional based overseas, and they need to undertake an assignment in the UK to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade agreements.

A dependent partner and dependent children can apply to come to the UK on this route.

The Global Business Mobility – Service Supplier route is not a route to settlement.

A person seeking to come to the UK as a Service Supplier must apply for and obtain entry clearance as a Service Supplier before their arrival in the UK.

The applicant must be awarded 40 points from the table below:

Points requirementsRelevant rulesPoints
SponsorshipSSU 5.1. to SSU 5.7.20
Job at an appropriate skill level (option A) or
Job at an appropriate skill level (option B)
SSU 6.1. to SSU 6.6.
SSU 7.1. to SSU 7.5.
20

The sponsor must be authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a Service Supplier.

The sponsor must be listed as A-rated on the Home Office’s register of licensed sponsors, unless the applicant was last granted permission as a Service Supplier and is applying to continue working for the same sponsor as in their last permission.

The sponsor must have a contract with an overseas service provider, where that contract:

(a) has been registered with the Home Office; and

(b) is for a service covered by one of the UK’s international trade agreements; and

(c) is the contract on which the applicant will work as a Service Supplier.

Points for job at appropriate skill level for a Service Supplier – Option A

The applicant must be sponsored for a job in an occupation code listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations that is identified as eligible for the Global Business Mobility routes.

Points for job at appropriate skill level for a Service Supplier – Option B

The applicant must have a university degree or equivalent level technical qualification unless they are employed by an overseas service provider supplying one of the following services, in which case the qualification requirements in the following table apply:

ServicesQualification
Fashion and modellingNone required
Chef de cuisineAn advanced technical qualification
Entertainment services (excluding audio-visual services under the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement)None required
Management consulting services and services related to management consulting (managers and senior consultants)University degree (equivalent level technical qualification not permitted)
Advertising or translationRelevant qualifications
Technical testing and analysisUniversity degree or a relevant technical qualification

The applicant must hold any professional qualifications or registrations required to provide the services under UK law or sectoral requirements.

The applicant must have professional experience in the sector in which they will supply services as follows:

(a) 3 years’ experience; or

(b) if they are supplying chef de cuisine services under the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement, 6 years’ experience; or

(c) if they are a self-employed overseas service provider, 6 years’

Nationality requirement for a Service Supplier

The applicant must be:

(a) a national of the country or territory in which the overseas service provider is based; or

(b) where the service that the applicant will provide is covered by a commitment in the General Agreement on Trade in Services and the applicant’s employer is established in a country or territory that has made a notification under Article XXVIII(k)(ii)(2) of that agreement, a permanent resident of that country or territory; or

(c) where the service that the applicant will provide is covered by a commitment in the Temporary Agreement between the Swiss Confederation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on Services Mobility, a permanent resident of Switzerland; or

(d) where the service that the applicant will provide is covered by a commitment in the United Kingdom-European Union Trade and Cooperation Agreement, a national of any Member State of the European Union or any other person included in the definition of “natural person of a Party” for the European Union in Article 512(k) of that agreement; or

(e) where the service that the applicant will provide is covered by a contractual service supplier commitment in the CARIFORUM-United Kingdom Economic Partnership Agreement, a national of any CARIFORUM State that has provisionally applied or brought into force that agreement.

Overseas work requirement for a Service Supplier

The applicant must:

(a) be currently working as or for an overseas service provider that will provide services to the sponsor; and

(b) have worked as or for the overseas service provider outside the UK for a cumulative period of 12 months.

If the applicant is applying for permission to stay and has been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer on the date of application, they will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds.

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance or has been living in the UK for less than 12 months on the date of application either:

(a) the applicant must have funds of at least £1,270; or

(b) the applicant’s A-rated sponsor must confirm on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will, if it is necessary, maintain and accommodate the applicant up to the end of the first month of their employment up to a maximum amount of £1,270.

The grant of permission must not lead to the applicant being granted cumulative periods of permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling more than 5 years in any 6-year period.

 If the application is for entry clearance, permission will be granted for a period which is the shortest of the following:

(a) 14 days after the end date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship; or

(b) the date at which the applicant will have had cumulative permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling 5 years in any 6-year period; or

(c) the maximum single assignment period which is:

(i) if the applicant is covered by a relevant commitment in the United Kingdom-European Union Trade and Cooperation Agreement and is a national of any Member State of the European Union or any other person included in the definition of “natural person of a Party” for the European Union in Article 512(k) of that agreement, 12 months; or

(ii) if the applicant is a Swiss national or permanent resident covered by a relevant commitment in the Temporary Agreement between the Swiss Confederation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on Services Mobility, 12 months; or

(iii) in all other cases, 6 months.

If the application is for permission to stay, the permission will be granted for a period which is the shortest of the following:

(a) 14 days after the end date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship; or

(b) the date at which the applicant will have had cumulative permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling 5 years in any 6-year period; or

(c) the maximum single assignment period which is:

(i) if the applicant is covered by a relevant commitment in the United Kingdom-European Union Trade and Cooperation Agreement and is a national of any Member State of the European Union or any other person included in the definition of “natural person of a Party” for the European Union in Article 512(k) of that agreement, the difference between the period the applicant has already spent in the UK since their last grant of permission as a Service Supplier and 12 months; or

(ii) if the applicant is a Swiss national or permanent resident covered by a relevant commitment in the Temporary Agreement between the Swiss Confederation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on Services Mobility, the difference between the period the applicant has already spent in the UK since their last grant of permission as a Service Supplier and 12 months; or

(iii) in all other cases, the difference between the period the applicant has already spent in the UK since their last grant of permission as a Service Supplier and 6 months.

Secondment Agreement Global Mobility UK visa

The Global Business Mobility – Secondment Worker visa route is for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is being seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their employer overseas.

A dependent partner and dependent children can apply to come to the UK on this route.

The Global Business Mobility – Secondment Worker route is not a route to settlement.

The applicant must be awarded 40 points based on the table below:

Points requirementsRelevant rulesPoints
SponsorshipSEC 5.1. to SEC 5.7.20
Job at an appropriate skill levelSEC 6.1. to SEC 6.6.20

The sponsor must be authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a Secondment Worker.

The sponsor must be listed as A-rated on the Home Office’s register of licensed sponsors, unless the applicant was last granted permission as a Secondment Worker and is applying to continue working for the same sponsor as in their last permission.

The sponsor must have a contract with an overseas business, where that contract has been registered with the Home Office, and on which an applicant as a Secondment Worker will work.

The applicant must be sponsored for a job in an occupation code listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations that is identified as eligible for the Global Business Mobility routes.

The applicant must meet the overseas work requirement at SEC 7.2. unless the applicant:

(a) is applying for permission to stay; and

(b) has, or last had, permission as a Secondment Worker; and

(c) is applying to continue working for the same sponsor as in their last permission.

 The overseas requirement will be met where the applicant:

(a) is currently working for an overseas business that has a contract with the sponsor that has been registered with the Home Office by the sponsor; and

(b) has worked outside the UK for that overseas business for a cumulative period of at least 12 months

If the applicant is applying for permission to stay and has been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer on the date of application, they will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds.

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance or has been living in the UK for less than 12 months on the date of application either:

(a) the applicant must have funds of at least £1,270; or

(b) the applicant’s A-rated sponsor must confirm on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will, if it is necessary, maintain and accommodate the applicant up to the end of the first month of their employment up to a maximum amount of £1,270.

The grant of permission must not lead to the applicant being granted cumulative periods of permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and the Intra-Company routes totalling more than 5 years in any 6-year period.

Permission will be granted for a period which is the shortest of the following:

(a) 1 year after the start date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship; or

(b) 14 days after the end date of the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship; or

(c) the date at which the applicant will have had a continuous permission as a Secondment Worker totalling 2 years.

(d) the date at which the applicant will have had cumulative permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling 5 years in any 6-year period.