News & Insights

Statement of changes to the immigration rules March 2022

An array of new business visas are being introduced in 2022.

  1. Global Business Mobility routes from April 2022

The Global Business Mobility routes are a new category of sponsored routes for overseas businesses seeking to establish a presence in, or transfer staff to, the UK for specific business purposes. An organisation must register for a sponsor licence to make use of these routes.

There will be five routes, four of which replace existing visa routes.

Senior or Specialist Worker

The Senior or Specialist Worker route is for senior managers or specialist employees who are being assigned to a UK business linked to their employer overseas. This route replaces the Intra-Company Transfer route.

Graduate Trainee

The Graduate Trainee route is for workers on a graduate training course leading to a senior management or specialist position and who are required to do a work placement in the UK. This route replaces the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route.

UK Expansion Worker

The UK Expansion Worker route is for senior managers or specialist employees who are being assigned to the UK to undertake work related to a business’s expansion to the UK. This route replaces the Representative of an Overseas Business route.

Service Supplier

The Service Supplier route is for contractual service suppliers employed by an overseas service provider and self-employed independent professionals based overseas, that need to undertake an assignment in the UK to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade commitments. This route replaces the contractual service supplier and independent professional provisions in the Temporary Work – International Agreement route.

Secondment Worker

The Secondment Worker route is for workers being seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their employer overseas. This is a new visa route.

  1. High Potential Individual (HPI) from 30 May 2022

The High Potential Individual route aims to attract the brightest and best to the UK.

Applicants must have either a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree qualification from one of the top global universities outside the UK, as published in the Global Universities List by the Home Office, awarded during the 5 years before the date of application. The list will be compiled on an annual basis and consists of eligible non-UK institutions that are included in the list of the top 50 universities in at least two of the following ranking systems:

  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings
  • Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings
  • The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Permission will be granted for a period of 2 years for applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s level degree, and for 3 years for those with a PhD. Applicants will be permitted to work full time at any skill level. They must have English language at B1 level and finance requirements will apply. Successful applicants will be able to bring dependent family members.

  1. The Scale-up route from 22 August 2022

The Scale-up route will allow migrants with a job offer from a recognised UK scale-up to qualify for a fast-track visa. The Scale-up route will provide small businesses who meet the Scale-up criteria with an alternative option for recruiting workers from overseas.

Applicants must have a sponsored job offer from an authorised UK scale-up company. The job must be skilled to graduate level and be paid a minimum salary of £33,000 or the going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher.  Permission will be granted for 2 years, with the option to extend for a further 3 years provided the applicant earns at least £33,000 per year for at least 50% of their time in the route.

Successful applicants will be permitted to work full time at any skill level. This will be contingent on the applicant continuing to work in a job skilled to graduate level, for their sponsoring employer, for the first 6 months. After that, the immigration status will no longer be tied to that employer.

The standard suitability requirements will apply. English language at B1 and finance requirements will apply. Successful applicants will be able to bring dependent family members.

The route leads to settlement. Applicants must have earned at least £33,000 in 24 months of the 3-year period immediately before the application for settlement, in addition to the standard settlement requirements.

  1. Expansion and updates to the Seasonal Worker Route from March 2022

Roles in ornamental horticulture will be included in the list. Ornamental horticulture includes, but is not limited to, those growing daffodils and Christmas trees, as well as forest nursery workers. A new minimum hourly pay of at least £10.10 per hour is required to bring this route in line with the Skilled Worker route.

All references to poultry production work, driving work in the transportation of food goods, or pork butchery work have been deleted, as concessions no longer apply.

If you need advice on these new visas, please get in touch with our Head of Immigration [email protected]