- 28 April 2022
As of 11 April 2022, the Global Business Mobility (GBM) routes have now replaced the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) routes. Under the GBM routes, there are five main categories:
- Senior or Specialist Worker route, replacing the Intra-Company Transfer route
- Graduate Trainee route, replacing the ICT Graduate Trainee route
- Service Supplier, replacing the provisions for contractual service suppliers and independent professionals within the Temporary Work – International Agreement route
- Secondment Worker route, for overseas workers being seconded to the UK as a part of a high value contract/investment by their overseas employer
- UK Expansion Worker route, for senior managers/specialist employees of overseas businesses who are coming to the UK to set up a branch. If the overseas business is already trading in the UK, the worker should instead apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa.
Existing ICT workers are eligible to apply for extensions and changes of employment under the Senior or Specialist Worker and Graduate Trainee routes, and dependant family members of workers on ICT routes can apply to join them under the provisions of the Senior or Specialist Worker and Graduate Trainee routes.
None of the five categories provide a path to settlement in the UK, and leave granted under these routes cannot be combined with leave granted under another Points-Based System (PBS) route to count towards a qualifying period of stay for settlement.
The UK Expansion Worker route replaces the provisions for Sole Representatives in the Representative of an Overseas Business route, however workers already in the UK with permission on the Representative of an Overseas Business route are not expected to switch to the UK Expansion Worker route.
A senior manager or specialist worker applying for a UK Expansion Worker visa must evidence the below with their application.
The applicant must provide evidence that their overseas business has established a UK ‘footprint’ (registered with Companies House or purchased/leased business premises in the UK) if:
- The applicant’s overseas business is listed on the London Stock Exchange;
- An international stock exchange that the Financial Conduct Authority considers to have an equivalent level of regulation to UK markets; or
- Its expansion to the UK is supported by the Department for International Trade/Department for Business/Energy and Industrial Strategy/another government department.
Overseas trading presence
The applicant must evidence that their overseas business has been continuously trading overseas for at least 12 months immediately preceding the date of application in addition to providing evidence of their business trading overseas three years prior to the date of their application.
Japanese businesses are exempt from the requirement to show a trading presence three years prior to applying, however if this is not provided, the business will be limited to sponsoring one employee at a time in the UK.
The UK Expansion Worker route replaces the provisions for Sole Representatives in the Representative of an Overseas Business route
Planned expansion to the UK
The applicant must evidence their overseas business’ UK expansion plans in the form of a business summary or business plan, market research, etc. and show the capability of the business to fund the planned expansion to the UK. Specifically, that the business has the requisite funds to cover the initial costs in the first 12 months of UK trading, as projected in the business expansion plan.
There are various documents which must be provided in support of a UK Expansion Worker’s visa application, with little room for error or omission. We have yet to see how flexible or inflexible the Home Office is when considering UK Expansion Worker applications, but as ever with all types of UK visa applications, the safest approach is to always provide more documents and information than less.
The incorporation of the Global Business Mobility routes is one fragment of the UK government’s wider ‘Plan for Growth,’ which also includes the upcoming introduction of the High Potential Individual visa route for ‘top global’ university graduates to work and eventually settle in the UK without sponsorship, set to open on 30 May 2022, and the Scale-up visa route for SMEs to employ highly-skilled migrant workers without the need to sponsor them, scheduled to open on 22August 2022.
Sign up below to our mailing list to keep to date with the changing immigration law as the Government look to bring business to the UK following Brexit.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.
About this article
SubjectThe UK Expansion Worker visa
Published28 April 2022
Read, listen and watch our latest insights
- 11 May 2022
The right to disconnect
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that, for many people, the boundary between work and home life has become blurred. A vast amount of people were suddenly required to work from home which meant for many, homes became offices and this has resulted in many struggling to disconnect from work outside of their working hours.
- 10 May 2022
Brain fog and unlawful discrimination risks
Brain fog has been in the news lately because of its association with Long Covid and the menopause. But what is brain fog and how should employers support staff suffering from it?
- 10 May 2022
Building Safety Act receives Royal Assent
The long-anticipated Building Safety Act (BSA) has completed its passage through Parliament and received Royal Assent. The BSA, which is the culmination of reforms following the Grenfell fire tragedy, has both been described as ‘the biggest changes to building safety legislation’ and having ‘changed beyond all recognition’ from the Building Safety Bill first introduced.
- 09 May 2022
The motivation challenge in the workplace
As the challenges of the 21st century become even tougher , the pressure placed on employers continues to mount. It is no wonder that in this environment, senior organisational leaders are prioritising talent acquisition, talent engagement and talent retention.
- 05 May 2022
Clarkslegal unveils a brand refresh
Clarkslegal adapts for the road ahead as it unveils a brand refresh covering a new logo, values and website.