We have decades of experience working with businesses and workers worldwide, helping them move successfully to the UK with a relevant Business Visa or Work Visa. If you are looking to sponsor an employee for a UK Expansion Worker Visa or require more information to be sponsored by your employer, please contact us using the link below.
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The UK Expansion Worker Visa is one of the new visa options under the Global Business Mobility Visa routes. It is best suited for overseas businesses who wish to start trading in the UK and require employees to set up a branch of the business.
This visa may allow workers to stay up to 12 months from the job starting date, or the time specified on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), whichever is the shortest of the two.
UK Expansion Worker Visa requirements
While specific eligibility requirements may vary depending on the job you will be carrying out, the main criteria to meet are the following:
- You must have worked for the business outside of the UK for at least 12 months, unless you are a high earner receiving more than £73,900 or are a Japanese national working for a Japanese company.
- Your job must be on the list of eligible occupations.
- Your employer must provide you with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship.
- You must be paid the minimum eligible salary for your occupation.
- The UK business has not started trading yet.
- You will establish a new UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of an established overseas business.
The minimum eligible salary is either £42,400 or the going rate for your job, whichever if the highest of the two.
If your employer is not yet licenced to sponsor employees, they will first need to apply for an Employer Sponsorship Licence.
Proving you are eligible
To prove that you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be required to submit certain documents and information as evidence. These may include:
- Information about your job title, annual salary, and occupation code.
- Information about your employer and their sponsor licence number.
- Your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number.
- Evidence that you have worked for your current employer outside of the UK, if applicable.
- Any valid official documents to prove your identity, such as a passport.
- Documents showing that you and any dependants have enough money to support yourselves, such as bank statements.
- Proof of relationship, if you are bringing your partner and/or children with you.
Nationals from certain countries may also be required to provide a tuberculosis test result.
Depending on your occupation, your employer may tell you that you need additional documents such as an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate.
How to apply
You will need to apply on the Home Office website. You may submit your application up to 3 months before you are due to start working in the UK.
You will also need to pay the application fee of £259. You’ll also have to consider additional costs such as the healthcare surcharge (usually £624 per year), biometrics enrolment (usually £19.20) or the cost of any certified translations you may need.
You will also need to ensure you and your dependants have enough money to support yourselves when you come to the UK.
With extensive experience in business immigration, our team of experts can provide a professional service no matter where you are based. We know what the Home Office is looking for when assessing applications, so we can help you build a strong case and ensure that all requirements are clearly met.
If you would like to discuss your case in greater detail, please get in touch.
Can I extend a UK Expansion Worker Visa?
If you require to stay in the UK for longer, you 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 suitable visa.
Can I switch to a UK Expansion Worker Visa?
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be able to switch to a UK Expansion Worker Visa if you are already in the UK on a different visa. If you are on a short-term visa, such as Student Visas or similar, you may not be able to switch.
Can I bring dependants on a UK Expansion Worker Visa?
If you wish to bring your partner and/or children to the UK, they will each need to apply separately, pay the application fee and show they meet the requirements, such as proof of relationship and financial requirements. They will need to provide your application number and must complete their application before they travel to the UK. Contact us for further guidance.