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On 1st April 2022, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) opened the new Global Business Mobility scheme to make it easier for overseas businesses to send staff here. The Global Business Mobility scheme is not a single visa; rather, it spans five separate visas, some of which replaced existing schemes such as the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visa. In this article, we will look at the differences between the visas under the Global Business Mobility scheme.

What are the five visas under the Global Business Mobility scheme?

The five Global Business Mobility scheme visas are as follows:

  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa
  • Graduate Trainee visa
  • Expansion Worker visa
  • Service Supplier visa
  • Secondment Worker visa

It is important to note that none of the Global Business Mobility scheme visas offers a direct route to permanent settlement in the UK. To apply for permanent residency (indefinite leave to remain) as a Global Business Mobility visa holder, you will need to switch to a different type of visa in the UK. The type of visa you apply for must allow you to qualify for ILR after residing here continuously for a certain number of years (five years in most cases).

What are the differences between the five Global Business Mobility scheme visas?

All of the Global Business Mobility visas allow overseas businesses to send employees to the UK; however, each visa serves a slightly different purpose, as follows:

Senior or Specialist Worker visa

The Senior or Specialist Worker visa replaced the old Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa and makes it possible for senior or specialist staff members of an overseas organisation to work in a UK branch or subsidiary. Unlike the old ICT visa scheme, the overseas business must now hold a Home Office sponsor licence, and the transferee must hold a Certificate of Sponsorship (Cos). Applicants must also have a job on the list of eligible occupations and receive an annual salary of at least £42,400.

Graduate Trainee visa

The Graduate Trainee visa, which replaced the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee visa, is aimed at overseas workers on a graduate training programme who wish to work in a branch or subsidiary of their employer in the UK. The programme must be for a managerial or specialist role. Like the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, applicants must be employed by an organisation with a sponsor licence and have a job on the list of eligible occupations. The minimum salary requirement for this visa is £23,100.

Expansion Worker visa

The Expansion Worker visa replaced the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa and allows senior staff from an overseas business to come to the UK to set up a new branch. Applicants must already be employed by the overseas business in a senior or specialist role. They also require a Certificate of Sponsorship from their overseas employer and receive an annual salary of at least £42,400.

Service Supplier visa

The Service Supplier visa enables overseas employees or self-employed individuals to come to the UK to provide services as part of a contract with a company based here. Applicants must show that the contract being delivered is covered by a valid international trade agreement and have a Certificate of Sponsorship from the UK sponsoring company.

Secondment Worker visa

The Secondment Worker visa is aimed at overseas workers who have been seconded on a temporary work assignment in the UK. Applicants must be able to show the secondment is part of a high-value contract or investment by their employer. They must also have worked for their overseas employer for at least one year and have a Certificate of Sponsorship.

Final words

If you are considering sending a member of staff from an overseas company to work in the UK or if you are an overseas worker coming to the UK, the Global Business Mobility scheme provides five routes to choose from. If you are unsure which visa to choose or if another visa type would better suit your needs, speak to an immigration Solicitor who can check the routes available to you and handle the application process on your behalf.

Garth Coates is a leading niche immigration firm based in the heart of London, specialising in all forms of personal and business immigration, including visas, global mobility, sponsorship and compliance, settlement, and citizenship. To discuss your Global Business Mobility visa requirements, please contact one of our friendly and approachable immigration Solicitors on Tel: +44 (0)20 7799 1600 or by completing our online contact form.

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