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What is the New UK Global Business Mobility Visa?

The UK Global Business Mobility Visa is aimed at overseas businesses seeking to establish a presence or transfer staff to the UK and it is going to launch on 11th April 2022. The new UK Global Business Mobility route brings together several existing business visas, including the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT Visa), Intra-Company Graduate Trainee Visa, Representative of an Overseas Business Visa, and International Agreement Visa. Some visas under this new route are for overseas businesses with a presence already in the UK, while others are for overseas businesses with no presence in the UK. The intention of the new scheme is to enable overseas businesses to temporarily send employees to the UK for a specific corporate purpose where it cannot be undertaken by a worker already resident in the UK.

The new sponsorship system has been introduced because the existing immigration routes have not “evolved in tandem with businesses”, according to the Home Office. The new route is intended to make it easier for overseas businesses to assign and manage workers coming to the UK.

Who can apply for the Global Business Mobility Visa?

Existing employees of overseas businesses will be able to apply for a Global Business Mobility visa, including:

For overseas businesses with a branch or subsidiary in the UK:

  • Those with specialist skills required by a UK business entity for a specific purpose
  • Senior executives who need to be transferred to a UK branch or subsidiary
  • Graduate trainees on a structured training programme

For businesses without a presence in the UK:

  • Senior or specialist staff on assignment in connection with the expansion by an overseas business into the UK
  • Those on secondment to a UK business for a specific purpose
  • Service suppliers who need to enter the UK to provide a service that is part of a UK trade agreement.

More detailed requirements and application guidance will be released on our website soon. If you have questions regarding the new Global Business Mobility Vias or other UK Visas, speak to our immigration lawyers today for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk

Global Business Mobility Visa pathways (types)

The new Global Business Mobility visa has five different visas, as follows:

Senior or Specialist Worker visa

The Senior or Specialist Worker visa is for overseas senior managers and employees with specialist skills and experience who wish to perform temporary work in the UK. Applicants must be working for an overseas business or organisation that is linked to their UK business sponsor, either by common ownership or control or as part of a joint venture. This replaces the Intra-Company Transfer Visa (ICT).

Graduate Trainee visa

The Graduate Trainee visa is intended for overseas workers who wish to be transferred by their employer for the purposes of a work placement in the UK as part of a graduate training programme. The training programme must lead to a senior managerial or specialist role. This replaces the Intra-Company Transfer Graduate Visa.

UK Expansion Worker visa

UK Expansion Worker visa replaces the existing Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa and allows workers of businesses that are established and trading outside of the UK to send a senior manager to expand their presence in the UK. This pathway is intended for employees of overseas businesses that do not already have a trading presence in the UK.

Secondment Worker Visa

The Secondment Worker visa allows overseas employers to send workers to the UK to fulfil a high-value contract or investment with the UK sponsoring business that is registered with the Home Office. Applicants must have the skills needed for the secondment and have worked for the overseas business for at least one year.

Service Supplier Visa

The Service Supplier visa is intended to allow overseas workers to come to the UK for a temporary work assignment if they work for an overseas service supplier or they are an overseas self-employed independent professional providing services covered by one of the UK’s international trade commitments.

Will a Global Business Mobility Visa need the UK employer to have a sponsor licence?

Yes, for all pathways under the new Global Business Mobility Visa, applicants must have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), therefore, the UK business must hold a sponsor licence. This means that the UK business for whom the visa holder will be working must apply for and acquire a sponsor licence from the Home Office if they do not already have one. Crucially, the sponsor licence held by the UK business must allow them to sponsor a person under the specific pathway the worker will be applying under. For example, where a worker plans to come to the UK as a secondment worker, the UK business sponsoring them must have a sponsor licence that authorises them to sponsor a person on a Secondment Worker visa.

Will Global Business Mobility Visa lead to ILR?

None of the Global Business Mobility Visa pathways provides a direct route to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Those who come to the UK on a Global Business Mobility visa may, however, be able to switch to a different type of visa once in the UK, which will provide a direct route to settlement. To do so, they will need to meet the requirements for the visa they are applying for. The visas that provide a direct route to ILR include the following:

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