UK Global Business Mobility Visa

If you are an overseas business looking to send staff to the UK to fulfil roles that cannot be undertaken by resident workers, one of the Global Business Mobility Visa routes may be suited to your purpose.

About The Global Business Mobility Visa

The Global Business Mobility Visa was introduced in April 2022 by the UK government in a bid to bring multiple routes together under a single banner. These changes aim to remove inconsistency and improve the utility of the routes.

GBM Visa UK allows you to enter the UK for work purposes, such as opening a representative office of a foreign company, taking work internships, etc. Once your visa expires, you may extend the Visa or switch into another category, as it is not a path towards settlement. If you need permanent residence, switch to a different immigration category.

The 5 routes gathered under the Global Business Mobility (GBM) banner are:

  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa - this visa has replaced the Intra-company Transfer visa and it's for senior employees and specialist employees who wish to temporarily work in the UK at their employer's branch.
  • Graduate Trainee visa route - this visa route allows overseas workers to be transferred by their employer to fulfil a work placement in the UK as part of their graduate training programme.
  • UK Expansion Worker visa - this visa route is suitable for senior employees and specialist employees who are transferred to the UK by their employers for the expansion of an overseas business.
  • Service Supplier visa - this visa applies to service providers who wish to undertake temporary work in the UK and provide services under the UK's international trade commitments.
  • Secondment Worker visa - this applies to overseas workers who are temporarily seconded to the UK.

While each route to this visa category will have specific requirements, there are some general eligibility criteria and requirements that are applicable to all routes.

To receive a Global Business Mobility Visa UK, the company must obtain the Sponsor Licence, which provides candidates with the appropriate Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

Types of Global Business Mobility Visas

UK Global Business Mobility Visa includes 5 types of visas. Each of them has individual requirements and different durations.

Senior or Specialist Worker

Senior or Specialist Worker Visa allows you to enter the UK to work at a branch of your employer.

To qualify for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa, you must:

  • Be a current employee of an organization approved by the Home Office as a Sponsor, e.g. a company with a Sponsor Licence.
  • Have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your employer detailing your job in the UK.
  • Perform a job included in the list of permitted occupation codes.
  • Receive a salary of at least £45,800 per year.

You can stay in the UK on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa for a maximum of 5 years, or the period stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship + 14 days.

Applying for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa involves several mandatory expenses:

  • Application fee: £719 to £1,500, depending on your circumstances.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee: £1,035 per year.

In addition, you must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show that you can support yourself once you arrive in the UK.

The decision to issue the visa will be made within:

  • 3 weeks if you are outside the UK.
  • 8 weeks if you are in the UK.

Graduate Trainee

Graduate Trainee Visa allows you to be transferred to the UK branch of your employer, as part of a graduate training programme.

To qualify for a Graduate Trainee Visa, you must:

  • Be a current employee of a UK company with a Sponsor Licence.
  • Have worked for your Sponsor outside the UK for at least 3 months immediately before submitting your application.
  • Have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your employer detailing your job description in the UK.
  • Perform duties included in the list of permitted professions.
  • Receive a salary of at least £24,220 per year.

You can stay in the UK on a Graduate Trainee Visa for a maximum of 12 months, or the period stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship + 14 days.

Applying for a Graduate Trainee Visa involves the following expenses:

  • Application fee: £298.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee: £1,035 per year.

You must also have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show that you can support yourself once you arrive in the UK.

The decision to issue the visa is made within 3 weeks.

UK Expansion Worker

UK Expansion Worker Visa allows you to open a UK branch of a foreign company that has not yet started operating. You must be an existing senior manager or specialist in the foreign business.

To qualify for a UK Expansion Worker Visa, you must:

  • Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your employer.
  • Work for your Sponsor outside the UK.
  • Perform a job in the list of permitted Occupation Codes.
  • Receive the minimum salary of £45,800 per year or the ‘going rate’ for your job – whichever is higher.

You can stay in the UK on the UK Expansion Worker Visa for a maximum of 12 months after you start working, or the period stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship + 14 days.

Applying for a UK Expansion Worker Visa involves these costs:

  • Application fee: £298.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee: £1,035 per year.

You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show that you can support yourself once you arrive in the UK.

The decision to issue the visa will be made in 3 weeks, or longer if the Home Office needs to conduct further verification, investigation, or an interview.

Service Supplier

You can apply for a Service Supplier Visa if you have a contract to provide services to a UK company, either as:

  • An employee of a foreign company.
  • A self-employed specialist located abroad.

To qualify for a Service Supplier Visa, you must:

  • Be a representative of a foreign company or a self-employed service provider located abroad.
  • Provide services to a UK business under a contract covered by an international trade agreement.
  • Meet the work requirements by having the relevant qualification and work experience.
  • Have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your employer detailing your job in the UK.
  • Have worked for your employer for at least 12 months outside the UK, or have at least 12 months of professional experience if you are a self-employed service provider.

You can stay in the UK on a Service Supplier Visa for a maximum of 6 months or 12 months, depending on the trade agreement under which you provide services or the period stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship + 14 days.

Applying for a Service Supplier Visa involves several mandatory expenses:

  • Application fee: £298.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee: £1,035 per year.

In addition, you must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show that you can support yourself once you arrive in the UK.

The decision to issue the visa will be made within 3 weeks, or longer if the Home Office needs to conduct further verification, investigation, or an interview.

Secondment Worker

Secondment Worker Visa is required when your employer transfers you to the UK to work for another organization.

To qualify for a Secondment Worker Visa, you must:

  • Be an active advisor of an overseas organization that has a significant value contract with your UK Sponsor, approved by the Home Office.
  • Have worked for your overseas employer for at least 12 months outside the UK.
  • Have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your employer detailing your responsibilities in the UK.
  • Perform works in the UK included in the list of permitted professions.

You can stay in the UK on a Secondment Worker Visa for a maximum of 12 months after you start working, or the period stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days.

Applying for a Secondment Worker Visa involves the following expenses:

  • Application fee: £298.
  • Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): £1,035 per year.

In addition, you must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show that you can support yourself once you arrive in the UK.

The decision to issue the visa will be made within:

  • 3 weeks if you are outside the UK.
  • 8 weeks if you are in the UK.

Please note that you can obtain any of these visas faster for an additional fee.

Global Business Mobility Visa requirements

In order to successfully be granted this visa, there are three main areas that all applicants must consider:

  • Validity requirements – these include the minimum criteria that must be met in order to be fully considered.
  • Suitability requirements – these check that the applicant is suitable for the chosen route.
  • Eligibility requirements – these are the main criteria for the Global UK Business Mobility routes.

Before applying to one of the routes, businesses should ensure that the role, business, and employee meet the following criteria:

  • UK businesses receiving the employees need to have a Sponsor Licence
  • Workers must be existing employees of the business.
  • Jobs' skill level must be RQF Level 6 or above.

Please note that there are no English language requirements for these routes.

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Applying to Global Business Mobility Visa routes

All applications are made online on the Home Office website, regardless of whether you are an overseas employer outside the UK or applying from within the country.

Applicants must review the required documentation for the chosen route before applying and ensure that they are meeting all of the eligibility and requirements criteria.

If you need any assistance with the process, don't hesitate to contact QC Immigration. Our team of expert immigration lawyers can assist all types of businesses with their applications. This will save you time and increase your chances of being granted your chosen visa on your first application.

Extension of the Global Business Mobility visa.

You can extend your Senior or specialist worker visa; the maximum extension is 5 years in any 6-year period if your salary is under £73,900 per year, or 9 years in any 10-year period if your salary is £73,900 or more per year.

You cannot extend your Graduate Trainee visa but you can apply for another Graduate trainee visa.

You can extend your UK Expansion worker visa. Specifically, may apply to extend the visa for a further 12 months. The maximum stay on this visa is 2 years, so if you need to stay longer, you may need to switch to another visa.

You can extend your Secondment Worker visa for 12 months. The maximum stay on this visa is 2 years.

You can extend your Service Supplier visa up to either 6 months or 12 months, depending on the trade agreement.

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Can dependents come to the UK under a Global Business Mobility visa?

Yes. Dependents are defined as your spouse and children and they must meet certain eligibility criteria. You must be able to prove the relationship to your spouse and they must be able to meet the financial criteria. Children must meet age and care requirements too.

How QC Immigration can help

Our London-based team of lawyers will be able to offer you a comprehensive approach and practical guidance, to help you put together a thorough and clear application that has a good chance of being accepted. This can be done remotely, or in-person as we work with clients seeking to gain access to the UK from across the globe.

We have maintained an exceptional success rate, even when handling complicated cases. Contact us now to discuss your unique case.

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FAQ

How much does a Global Business Mobility Visa cost?
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The application fee will vary depending on which route you are applying for. The Immigration Skills Charge may also apply for your chosen route.

On top of the fee, applicants may need to pay the healthcare surcharge every year. You can check how much you may need to pay here.

When considering the overall cost of a visa, it is also important to take into account the cost of any certified translations, biometric enrolment, or legal support.

Can I bring my family on a Global Business Mobility Visa?
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If your family members are eligible, they can apply to come to the UK as the applicant’s dependents. Eligibility criteria may include financial requirements and may be specific to each route.

Is there an English Language requirement for the Global Business Mobility Visa?
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No, there is no English test or qualification needed for the Global Business Mobility route. Therefore, this route is very practical for foreign companies to send experienced staff efficiently to the UK.

Can I obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain in future on the Global Business Mobility route?
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The Global Business Mobility Visa is a temporary path which does not lead to Settlement. In other words, you would not qualify for ILR or Permanent Residence despite the time spent on this route. Therefore, it is advisable to switch to another Visa category which leads to Settlement, such as the Skilled Worker Visa, Partner Visa or Family Visa if you wish to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Citizenship in future.

What are the essential requirements for obtaining a Global Business Mobility Visa?
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The applicant must meet the following criteria:

In addition, the applicant must have at least £1,270 in a bank account to demonstrate that they can support themselves upon arrival in the UK.

What is the application process for the Global Business Mobility Visa routes?
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Global Mobility Visa application process includes several stages. They include obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from a Licensed UK employer and submitting an online application via the UKVI website along with the necessary supporting documents.

You also have to verify your identity. Depending on your type of identification documents, you can do this at a visa centre or using the app called UK Immigration: ID Check.

Is it possible to extend a Global Business Mobility Visa, and what's the process for that?
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The possibility and extension period for each type of visa is different:

  • Senior or Specialist Worker Visa: you can extend your visa for 5 years in any 6-year period if your salary is less than £73,900 per annum or 9 years in any 10-year period if your salary is over £73,900 per annum.
  • Graduate Trainee: You cannot extend your visa, so you must apply for a new visa.
  • UK Expansion Worker Visa: you can extend your visa for 12 months.
  • Secondment Worker Visa: you can extend your visa for 12 months.
  • Service Supplier Visa: you can extend your visa for 6 or 12 months, depending on the trade agreement.

To extend your visa, you must apply via the UK Home Office website.

Can dependents accompany the visa holder to the UK under this program?
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Yes. Global Business Mobility Visa routes allows you to bring your spouse and children to the UK as dependents if they meet the relevant relationship, age, maintenance and relevant requirements.

What documentation and information are required when applying for this visa?
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When submitting your application, you must provide:

  • Certificate of Sponsorship number.
  • Valid passport or other document proving your identity and citizenship.
  • Your job title and annual salary.
  • Occupation code.
  • Your employer's name and sponsorship licence number.
  • Evidence that you have sufficient personal savings to support yourself in the UK.
  • Proof of your relationship with your partner or children if they are applying with you.
  • Tuberculosis test results if you are from a country included in this list.
  • Any other documents relevant to your case, based on the latest Immigration Rules

Is my business ‘globally mobile'?
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Yes, if your company has or is starting UK operations and you are currently transferring EU and non-EEA employees to work in the UK.

What are the charges and processing durations?
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You should pay an application fee of £298 and a Immigration Health Surcharge fee of £1.035 per year. In addition, you must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show that you can support yourself once you arrive in the UK.

The decision to issue a visa is made within 3–8 weeks, depending on your location.

All the above may change with government policy, please check the Home Office website or with a qualified Immigration Advisor.

Whom can the Global Business Mobility Visa assist?
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The Global Business Mobility Visa is essential for employers to transfer skilled workers from outside the UK.

Is a sponsoring employer a prerequisite for applicants of the Global Business Mobility Visa?
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Yes, working for an employer with a Sponsor Licence is a prerequisite for applying for any Global Business Mobility Visa.

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