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There are five separate global business mobility routes
From the 11 April 2022 a new Business Immigration route of Global Business Mobility comes into force. This route can be separated into five subcategories discussed below. This new route replaces or makes changes to some existing Business Immigration categories such as Sole Representative of an Oversee Business and the Intra Company Transfer (ICT) route.
There are five separate global business mobility routes currently: –
The new Immigration Rules confirm that, depending on which of the above assignments they are on, applicants will face the following requirements:
UK EXPANSION WORKER
The Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker Visa is for senior managers and specialist employees who wish to be assigned to the UK temporarily to undertake work related to the expansion of an overseas business in the UK. Sponsors may send a maximum of 5 workers at a time.
The UK Expansion Worker route can only be used when the UK business has not yet started trading. If the business is already trading in the UK, you should apply for a Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker Visa instead.
The Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker Visa does not lead directly to settlement in the UK. However, you may be able to switch into another immigration route which does lead to settlement. Applicants may be joined or accompanied by a partner and dependent children.
In order to qualify for a Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
If your application for a Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker Visa is approved, you will be granted entry clearance for either 1 year after the start date of the job detailed in your Certificate of Sponsorship or the time given on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.
If you want to stay longer in the UK, you will be able to apply to extend your visa for a further 12 months. You will be able to stay in the UK for a maximum of 2 years on a UK Expansion Worker Visa.
The Global Business Mobility Visa: UK Expansion Worker Visa does not lead directly to settlement in the UK. However, once in the UK, you may be able to switch into another immigration route which does lead to settlement, such as the Skilled Worker route or the Start-up route when combined with the Innovator route. You will need to satisfy the requirements of the immigration route that you wish to extend into. Details of all the main immigration routes, including whether they lead to settlement, are available on our website.
Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker Visa holders can be joined or accompanied by a dependent partner over the age of 18 and dependent children under the age of 18.
The Global Business Mobility routes are open to businesses of all sizes, providing they have a trading presence outside the UK and a qualifying link to a UK business.
In order to hold a Global Business Mobility sponsor licence, the UK business that will be receiving the worker must:
In the case of a Global Business Mobility – (UK Expansion Worker sponsor) the UK business must provide credible evidence that it intends, and is able, to establish a new UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of an established overseas business. The overseas business must normally have been trading overseas for a minimum of 3 years (although there are some exceptions to this requirement).
Businesses that wish to apply for a UK Expansion Worker sponsor licence are required to have a UK footprint rather than a trading presence. This means that they should be able to provide evidence of either a UK premises or Companies House Registration, but they should not yet have begun trading in the UK.
The overseas business will also need to satisfy the Home Office that it is capable of successfully expanding into the UK. It will need to provide a credible business plan for expansion and demonstrate that it can finance its expansion plans. The Home Office will normally expect the overseas business to be a stable or growing business that has undertaken preparatory work towards expansion.
Senior or Specialist Worker
The Senior or Specialist Worker (SSW) strand of the GBM routes reforms and replaces the Intra-Company Transferee (ICT) route. It is designed for use by senior managers and specialist employees of an international group business who are being transferred to one of the group’s UK businesses.
Many of the elements of the ICT route are carried over from ICT, including that the minimum skill level is Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 6 (graduate level equivalent) and that there is no English language requirement. SSWs must be working for the sponsor group at the time of application, and have worked for the group abroad for at least 12 months unless they are a high earner.
Although applicants under these codes will be able to extend their stay under transitional arrangements, new applicants will need to use either the Skilled Worker or Temporary Work – Creative Worker routes instead. This will require their sponsor to have a sponsor licence under the relevant route.
The maximum grant of immigration permission under this strand is five years after the start date of the UK assignment, and subject to the overall maximum grant periods for the GBM routes.
The new Graduate Trainee provisions reform and replace the Intra-Company Transfer Graduate Trainee route for work placements in the UK as part of a graduate training course leading to a senior management or specialist position within an international business. The minimum salary requirement is raised from £23,000 to £23,100. The salary must also be above 70% of the going rate for the relevant occupation, and the occupation must be listed as an eligible occupation for the GBM routes.
Graduate Trainees must have worked for the sponsor group for at least the three months immediately before the date of application.
The maximum grant of immigration permission under this strand is one year after the start date of the UK assignment, and subject to the overall maximum grant periods for the GBM routes.
This strand reforms the Temporary Work – International Agreement provisions for service suppliers coming to the UK to provide services in line with one of the international trade agreements the UK is a party to.
‘Service suppliers’ are defined as contractual service suppliers employed by an overseas business, or self-employed independent professionals based overseas.
Under the new provisions, applicants must:
Immigration permission under this strand will be granted for up to 12 months if the relevant international agreement being relied on is the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement or the UK-Swiss trade agreement, or up to six months in all other cases.
The Secondment Worker strand covers individuals being seconded to the UK as part of a ‘high value contract or investment by their overseas employer’.
Sponsorship must be provided by the UK business involved in the transaction, and the relevant contract must be registered with the Home Office. It is anticipated that the Home Office will assess the value of the contract at that stage.
A secondment worker also must:
Immigration permission may be granted for up to one year initially and extended up to a maximum of two years.
Secondment Workers may be accompanied by dependants, whereas the dependants of secondee visitors were previously granted leave outside the Immigration Rules.
The secondee visitor provisions that currently cover secondees from clients of UK export companies are not deleted under the Statement of Changes. So, for the time-being, these are still available for use where they are met.
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