Hadi Law

Recent research into the UK economy shows that business confidence remains high, indicating that the country has passed the worst of the 2022/23 cost of living crisis. For overseas companies looking to open a subsidiary or branch office in the UK, now is the perfect time to turn strategy into action. The Senior or Specialist Worker Visa, which replaced the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa, is a prevalent route for Indian and other overseas companies who wish to send expert employees and senior managers to work in their UK operations. The Senior and Specialist Worker Visa is one of five UK Global Mobility Visas (GMV).  

What are the Eligibility Requirements for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

To successfully apply, the employee must work for your company, and your organisation needs to have a UK Sponsorship Licence. Your head office must provide the employee applying for the visa with a Certificate of Sponsorship. In addition, the UK position being taken up by the employee must be a job on the eligible occupations list and come with a salary of £45,800 or the job’s annual going rate, whichever is higher. You can check the annual going rate for your employee’s position going rates table. Employees who earn less than £73,900 per year must have worked for your company for a minimum of 12 months before they are eligible to come to the UK on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa. Those earning over £73,900 per year are exempt from this requirement.  

How Long can an Employee Stay in the UK on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

Your employee can stay for a maximum of:
  1. Five years in any six year period if you are paid less than £73,900 a year.
  2. Nine years in any ten year period if you are paid £73,900 a year or more.
Any time spent in the UK on one of the following visas will be included in your employee’s maximum total stay:
  1. Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa
  2. Intra-company Transfer visa
  3. Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility)
  4. Secondment Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  5. Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility)
  6. UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
 

Can an Employee’s Family join them in the UK?

Absolutely, provided they are eligible. Your employer can bring the following with them to the UK:
  1. Their spouse or partner.
  2. Any children under the age of 18 years.
  3. Dependant children over 18 if they are currently in the UK.
Unmarried partners must show they have been living together for two years or that they are in a relationship but cannot live together due to working in different places or that it is not acceptable to live together before marriage in their culture.  

How does My Company Become a UK Licenced Sponsor for Immigration Purposes?

If you have a subsidiary or branch office in the UK and want to transfer an existing employee who works in a non-UK office to Britain you will need a valid Sponsorship Licence to grant your employee a valid Certificate of Sponsorship. They cannot apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa without this. To successfully apply for a UK Sponsor Licence, you must show your business:
  1. Is genuine and has an operating or trading presence in the UK.
  2. Has the human resource systems in place to meet the reporting and recording duties attached to the licence.
  3. Can offer genuine job vacancies.
  4. Will comply with UK immigration and employment law.
  5. Has any unspent criminal convictions relating to immigration law breaches or have a history of non-compliance with UK immigration laws.
  6. Has filled the three key personnel roles required for a Sponsor Licence, namely the Authorising Officer, Key Contact, and Level 1 User.
Sponsorship Licence applications are submitted online, and the form should take only around 20-30 minutes to complete. You must collate all the necessary documents to prove that your business can meet the eligibility requirements. An experienced Business Immigration Solicitor can do this for you. Your UK premises will likely receive a pre-licence compliance visit from the Home Office to check that your organisation’s HR systems are adequate and that the business and job vacancies it can offer are genuine. It is crucial to take this pre-licence compliance visit seriously. It is advisable to have an experienced Business Immigration Law Solicitor visit your business premises and identify any weaknesses in your HR policies and procedures before you submit your application.  

Wrapping up

A Specialist or Skilled Worker Visa provides an ideal route to bring talented foreign national employees to Britain to boost your UK operations and sales.  

Get Specialist Immigration Law Advice

Our entire team are committed to providing honest and affordable advice, representation, and legal services to all our clients. Our Business Immigration Law Solicitors will help you collate all the documents your employee needs to successfully apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa. For further information on applying for any UK Visa speak to us on 01772 447000 or reach out to us on our seven day a week WhatsApp helpline 07869760533.

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