The Graduate Trainee visa (part of the Global Business Mobility scheme) allows employees of overseas businesses on a managerial or specialist graduate training program to work in a UK branch of their employer.
Contact our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or complete our enquiry form to discuss your UK Graduate Trainee visa application.
The Graduate Trainee visa allows employees of overseas businesses on a managerial or specialist graduate training programme to work in a UK branch of their employer. It is part of the Global Business Mobility scheme and replaced the old Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) Graduate Trainee visa.
Some important points to bear in mind about the Graduate Trainee visa include:
The Graduate Trainee visa requirements state that applicants must have:
Graduate Trainee visa applicants must hold a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the UK branch of their overseas employer. A CoS is a digital document containing details of the offer of sponsorship. The CoS must have been granted within 3 months of the visa application. Where an employer is not currently on the list of approved sponsors, they will need to apply for a sponsor licence from the Home Office.
To apply under the Graduate Trainee visa scheme, your job must be on the list of Global Business Mobility scheme eligible occupations1. The UK based branch of your employer will be able to provide the 4-digit standard occupation code (SOC) for your role. You can then use this SOC against the Home Office’s list of eligible occupations.
Graduate Trainee visa minimum salary is £23,100 or 70% of the ‘going rate’2 for their job (i.e., the higher amount).
Applicants need to show evidence of at least £1,270 in support funds for when they first arrive in the UK. These funds must have been held by the applicant for at least 28 days before applying. Alternatively, applicants can ask their employer to guarantee that they will provide the necessary support funds if necessary. To prove this, the Certificate of Sponsorship must have the words ‘sponsor certifies maintenance’ under the ‘Additional data’ section.
Graduate Trainee visa applicants must provide several documents to the Home Office to prove their eligibility; these may include (this list is not exhaustive):
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to provide more documents.
The steps required to apply for a Graduate Trainee visa are as follows:
Depending on their individual circumstances, some applicants may be invited to an interview to review their eligibility before a visa decision is made by the Home Office.
Graduate Trainee visa application fee is £259 per person . Other costs include Biometric fee £19.20 and Immigration healthcare surcharge: £624 (this allows the applicants access to the National Health Service while in the UK).
Graduate Trainee visa holders are normally permitted to stay in the UK for up to 12 months only (depending on the length of employment).
Under the immigration rules, those who have already been in the UK on one or more of the following visas can stay in the UK for a maximum of 5 years in any 6-year period:
It is not possible to extend a Graduate Trainee visa. However, there is nothing to stop you from submitting a new Graduate Trainee visa application from outside the UK. Most people who wish to stay for longer will switch to a different type of visa (e.g. a Skilled Worker visa) during their stay.
Graduate Trainee visa holders can bring their dependant family members to the UK to be with them. Dependants can remain in the UK as long as the Graduate Trainee visa holder remains here. Dependent family members include:
Family members applying from outside the UK must submit their own application as the main applicant’s partner4 or child5. The unique application reference number of the main applicant should be included to ensure all applications are processed together. To apply for a visa, dependant family members will also need to prove their identity, pay the required application fees, and submit any documents requested.
Unfortunately, there is no direct pathway for Graduate Trainee visa holders to ILR. It is, however, possible for those wishing to settle to apply for a different visa type before their visa expires. Some of the main visas which provide a direct route to ILR are as follows:
In most cases, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after living in the UK for 5 years with a qualifying visa.
To check which visas will provide a pathway to settlement in the UK for you and your family members, speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 GOV.UK: Eligible occupation codes
2 GOV.UK: Going rates for eligible occupations
3 GOV.UK: Online application form
4 GOV.UK: Dependant partner form
5 GOV.UK: Dependant child form
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