New ‘Global Business Mobility’ Visa Routes
Five Global Business Mobility routes have been introduced, four of which replace existing visa routes.
The Global Business Mobility (GBM) routes are a new category of visa routes for overseas businesses looking to establish a presence in, or transfer workers to, the UK. An organisation looking to make use of these new routes must first register for a sponsor licence.
Five routes fall within the GBM scheme, one of which is new; the other four replace existing visa routes.
The Secondment Worker route is a brand-new route for workers being seconded to the UK as part of high-value contracts or investment by overseas businesses. The worker’s employer must have a contract with the UK-based sponsor worth at least £50 million. The worker must have worked for their employer outside the UK for at least 12 months, and their job must be a “skilled occupation” with pay of at least £42,400 (or the “going rate” for their job, if this is higher).
Senior or Specialist Worker
The Senior or Specialist Worker route replaces the Intra-Company Transfer route. It is designed for senior managers or specialist employees, who are assigned to a UK business linked to their overseas employer. The worker must have a “skilled occupation” with pay of at least £42,400 (or the “going rate” for their job, if this is higher). The worker must also have been working for their employer outside the UK for at least 12 months or earn at least £73,900.
The Graduate Trainee route replaces the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route. This route is for workers on graduate training courses leading to senior management or specialist position, who are required to do a work placement in the UK as part of their training. The worker must have a “skilled occupation” with pay of at least £23,100 (or 70% of the “going rate” for their job, if this is higher), and they must have been working for their employer outside the UK for at least 3 months.
UK Expansion Worker
The UK Expansion Worker route replaces the Representative of an Overseas Business route. It is designed for senior managers or specialist employees who are assigned to the UK to undertake work related to the business’ expansion into the UK. The worker must have a “skilled occupation” with pay of at least £42,400 (or the “going rate” for their job, if this is higher). The worker must also have been working for their employer outside the UK for at least 12 months, unless they are earning at least £73,900 or they are a Japanese national working for a Japanese company which is expanding into the UK.
The Service Supplier route replaces the contractual service supplier and independent professional provisions under the Temporary Work – International Agreement route. This route is for individuals, either as employees of overseas service supplier businesses or who are operating in a self-employed capacity abroad, that need to undertake an assignment in the UK to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade commitments. The individual must have a “skilled occupation” or have relevant qualifications and professional experience; this will normally require the individual to have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent technical qualification, along with 3-6 years’ professional experience, depending on whether they are self-employed or not. They must also have been working for their overseas employer or, if they are self-employed, been working in the same sector as the service they will be providing, for at least 12 months.
It should be noted that none of these routes lead to settlement. Furthermore, workers can only stay in the UK on GBM visas for a maximum of five years within any six-year period (except for Senior or Specialist Workers earning at least £73,900, who have a nine-year maximum stay within any ten-year period instead).
The “skilled occupations” are obviously a consideration when assessing whether a worker is eligible for a visa under the GBM scheme. You can find a list of these occupations, along with their “going rates”, here.
As previously mentioned, any organisation looking to make use of the GBM routes must register for a sponsor licence. We have a 100% success record in obtaining sponsor licences for our clients.
If you require any assistance in obtaining or managing your sponsor licence, or if you would like advice on these new visas, then please get in touch with the immigration team at FSP at [email protected]