If you need assistance with your application, QC Immigration can support you. Our immigration lawyers have extensive experience in Business Visas and will be able to help you build a strong case, ensuring you are meeting all the requirements and increasing your chance of success.
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The Senior or Specialist Worker Visa allows workers to come to the UK to carry out an eligible job at their overseas employer’s UK branch. This visa may allow workers to stay in the UK for 5 years, or the time stated on their Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.
Senior or Specialist Worker Visa eligibility
There are core requirements you need to meet in order to be eligible for this visa:
- You must have worked for your current employer outside of the UK.
- Your employer must provide you with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
- Your job must be on the list of eligible occupations.
- Your salary must be at least £42,400 or the going rate for your profession, whichever is higher.
You will also need to ensure that you have worked for your employer long enough to apply. If your salary is under £73,900, you must have worked in your current job for at least 12 months. Over £73,900, there is no minimum.
If your employer is not currently licensed to sponsor workers, they will first need to apply for an Employer Sponsorship Licence.
Documents you may need
To prove that you meet the requirements for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa, you will need to provide documents. These documents may include:
- Proof of identity and nationality (passport or another valid document).
- Your job’s occupation code, title and annual salary.
- A valid Certificate of Sponsorship reference number, your employer’s Sponsor Licence number and their full business name.
- Evidence that you can support yourself financially unless your employer chooses to support you.
If you are coming to the UK with your partner and children, you will also need to provide proof of relationship.
Individuals coming from a listed country may also need to provide a tuberculosis test.
Based on your circumstances and your profession, there may be additional requirements, such as evidence you have worked for your employer outside the UK, or a valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if your job requires it.
Please note that any documents that are not in English or Welsh will need to have a certified translation for your application.
Application & Costs
When applying for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa, you will need to pay the application fee as well as the healthcare surcharge (usually £624 per year).
If you are applying from outside the UK, the application fee is:
- £625 per person for up to 3 years.
- £1,235 per person for over 3 years.
If you are applying from inside the UK, the application fee is:
- £719 per person for up to 3 years.
- £1,423 per person for over 3 years.
Additionally, you need to have at least £1,270 available to support yourself when you arrive, and any partner or children coming with you will also need to prove they can support themselves. Your employer may choose to support you financially, but this should be clearly stated in your Certificate of Sponsorship.
Contact us for help
Our London-based team of immigration lawyers has decades of experience helping businesses and workers across the globe with all Business Visas, and will be happy to assist with your Senior or Specialist Worker Visa or Global Business Mobility Visa application. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your case.
Can I extend a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
You may extend this visa as long as it does not exceed the maximum stay allowed, which 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.
Can I switch to a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
If you are already in the UK on a different visa, you may be able to switch to a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa, as long as you meet the requirements. Some UK Visas are not eligible to switch, such as those on short-term visas.
Can I bring dependants on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?
If they are eligible, your partner and children (‘dependants’) may apply to join you in the UK. You will need to provide proof of relationship, and you and your partner will need to be able to financially support your family. Contact us if you would like additional guidance.