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Immigration Rules For A UK Expansion Worker Visa?

UK Expansion Worker Visa

With the new immigration law rules coming into play the UK Government have introduced the new UK Expansion Worker visa, which is a sponsored path for overseas businesses looking to establish a branch or subsidiary in the UK.

It allows organisations that meet certain criteria to sponsor a senior executive or a specialist to work on UK business expansion.

Although visa holders who are currently in the UK under this route may apply for additional authorization without switching, this supersedes the route’s unsponsored single representative provisions. As a result, individuals with authorization may continue to use the old route.

One of five new sponsored pathways in the GMB  Global Business Mobility visa programme, the UK Expansion Worker visa updates previous routes and introduces new initiatives to support economic growth and trade – post-Brexit.

The visa holder may work according to UK Expansion Worker guidance in the occupation specified on their sponsorship certificate. They can both volunteer and study in the United Kingdom.

An Expansion Worker’s partner and dependent children are welcome to join them in the UK if they meet the requirements. Applicants and their families are permitted to enter and leave the UK while their global mobility Visa UK is valid.

You have two years after opening a UK office to establish your company there. As an expansion worker, you can then add more routes to your licence.

Who is eligible for a UK Expansion Worker visa?

Applicants for a UK Expansion Worker route must be at least 18 years old. Unless an exception applies, the applicant must also be employed by a linked overseas firm on the date of application and have done so for a specified period of time.

The UK Expansion Worker visa is sponsored, as opposed to the previous visa, which was not.

Sponsor requirements for UK Expansion Workers

The UK Expansion Worker option is only available to businesses that have not yet begun doing business in the UK.

If a linked overseas employer wants to transfer senior or specialist workers to the UK for a temporary job assignment, they should apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa or a Skilled Worker visa; however, the UK company must be authorised to sponsor through these routes.

UK Expansion Worker visa requirements

The UK Expansion Worker visa is a points-based visa, with a minimum of 60 points required based on sponsorship, skill, and salary.

To receive 20 points for sponsorship, the candidate must have a current CoS from an authorised sponsor and be sponsored for legitimate work overseas.

Unless their annual salary exceeds £73,900, the applicant must have spent at least a year working for a company with international operations.

High earners are required to work for a company with international ties, but only for a limited time.

To receive 20 points for skill and remuneration, the candidate must be sponsored for an accepted job that pays at least £42,400 or the “going rate” for that job.

A UK Expansion Worker from a listed country must also have points and a current tuberculosis test certificate. There is also a financial need for people who have been in the UK for less than a year. If the sponsor is unable to vouch for upkeep, they must provide confirmation of £1,270.

The applicant had to have the money for at least 28 days in a row before the application deadline.

Sponsor requirements for UK Expansion Workers

The UK Expansion Worker option is only available to businesses that have not yet begun doing business in the UK and require Business Visa in UK.

If a linked overseas employer wants to transfer senior or specialist workers to the UK for a temporary job assignment, they should apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa or a Skilled Worker visa; however, the UK company must be authorised to sponsor through these routes.

To sponsor a UK Expansion Worker, you must have a current licence and evidence that the position meets the salary and skill requirements. The sponsor can then offer a CoS.

The sponsor must have a “footprint” in the UK to sponsor applications for UK Expansion Workers. This can be demonstrated by business addresses or a Companies House registration.

They must be involved in international trade and have plans to expand in the United Kingdom. To do so, the sponsor must show that the foreign company has been operating and trading for at least three years and that it plans to open a new wholly-owned subsidiary or branch in the UK within two years of the licence being granted.

Because the Home Office expects the overseas business to have a full trading presence within two years, the licence is only valid for four years and cannot be renewed.

If the foreign company does not launch within the period specified, the sponsor’s CoS allocation on this route will be zero. They will be unable to sponsor new hires or extensions, and their licence may be suspended.

What is the application process for a UK Expansion Worker visa?

Candidates must fill out an online form and provide their CoS reference number to apply for a UK Expansion Worker visa. As specified in the sponsorship certificate, they may apply for a visa three months before beginning employment in the UK.

They must submit proof of identity and supporting documentation with their application. Biometric data may also necessitate an appointment. If an appointment is required, applicants will be notified.

The candidate must have:

  • a valid letter of support from a UK-licensed sponsor
  • a passport or other travel document verifying identification and nationality
  • proof that the applicant has worked for their employer abroad for at least a year
  • financial proof, and, if they are from a specific country,
  • a valid tuberculosis test certificate

If the applicant is from outside the UK, a decision should be made within three weeks; if they are from within the UK, it should take eight weeks.

What are the application costs for a UK Expansion Worker visa?

A UK Expansion Worker visa requires a number of payments. The applicant must also pay a £259 application fee and a £624 yearly immigration health premium.

Sponsorship fees and CoS issuing fees must also be considered by the company. The sponsor licencing fee for the temporary worker route will be £536, regardless of size or charitable status. A letter of recommendation from a UK Expansion Worker costs £21.

How long does a UK Expansion visa last?

If a UK Expansion Worker visa application is approved, leave will be granted for either 12 months after the start date of the job listed on the sponsorship certificate or 14 days after the job ends. UK Expansion Workers are permitted to stay in the country for a period of 12 months. A UK Expansion Worker visa allows for a two-year stay.

There is also a maximum cumulative term for UK expansion staff on other GBM routes. If they have previously visited the UK on this or another visa, they may not be able to stay as long on a UK Expansion Worker visa. A previous GMB visa holder, an intra-company graduate trainee, or an intra-company transferee may only stay in the UK for a total of 5 years in any 6-year period.

Although a senior or specialised employee may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain via another immigration route, the UK Expansion Worker route does not result in settlement in the UK.

How we can help

If you need some assistance with your UK visa application then Mishoura can help you. Based in London, our dedicated team of sourcing professionals can, after an initial consultation, put you in touch with a suitably experienced and qualified immigration lawyer in your area.

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