UK Expansion Worker Visa
UK Expansion Worker Visa is a pathway designed for overseas businesses looking to establish a branch or subsidiary in the United Kingdom. This sponsored route permits eligible businesses to sponsor senior managers or specialist workers who are temporarily assigned to the UK to undertake work associated with expanding their operations to the UK.
The Expansion Worker Visa was introduced on 11th April 2022, replacing the previous provisions of the Representative of an Overseas Business route (although the predecessor route remains open to those with existing permission on that route). In contrast to its predecessor, the UK Expansion Worker route requires the worker to have a UK sponsor, which will typically be a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of an established overseas business.
This route is applicable only when the business has not yet commenced trading in the UK. If your business is already conducting operations in the UK, you should consider applying for a license through a different route, such as the Senior or Specialist Worker or Skilled Worker route.
UK Expansion Workers must be compensated at least at the general salary threshold of £45,800 per year (or £42,400 for applications supported by a Certificate of Sponsorship assigned before 12th April 2023), or the specified going rate for the occupation, whichever amount is higher. For further details on salary requirements, please refer to our “Salary Requirements” section.
Duration of Stay
A UK Expansion Worker can initially come to the UK for up to one year, with the option to extend their stay for an additional year. The maximum continuous period a person can remain in the UK on this route is two years, aligning with the maximum cumulative period for the GBM routes.
Under this route, you can only sponsor the number of workers genuinely required to establish the UK business, with a maximum limit of 5 workers at any given time. Once your business has established a trading presence in the UK, you can broaden your sponsorship options by adding other routes to your license and sponsoring workers accordingly.
Establishing a UK Trading Presence
The UK Home Office expects businesses to establish a UK trading presence within two years. Failure to do so may result in several consequences, including:
- Ineligibility to sponsor new workers on this route.
- Inability for existing sponsored workers to extend their stay, even if they would otherwise be eligible.
- Risk of losing your sponsor license.
At Garth Coates Solicitors, we specialize in immigration law and can guide you through the intricacies of the Expansion Worker Visa application process. Contact us today to ensure your business’s successful expansion into the United Kingdom.
Contact Us to get started on your Expansion Worker Visa application or to learn more about how we can assist you in achieving your immigration goals.
Please note that the information provided here is for general guidance purposes. Specific requirements and processes may vary. For detailed and up-to-date information, please refer to the official UK Home Office website or consult with one of our experienced immigration solicitors.
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