Global Business Mobility Routes

The new Immigration Rules for the Global Business Mobility Routes came into force on 11 April 2022 and will provide more new solutions for overseas firms moving staff to the UK. On the same day, the Government published information for employers on applying for and using a Sponsor’s Licence under the new categories.

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The new Immigration Rules for the Global Business Mobility Routes came into force on 11 April 2022 and will provide more new solutions for overseas firms moving staff to the UK. On the same day, the Government published information for employers on applying for and using a Sponsor’s Licence under the new categories.

We have reviewed the latest business guidance and updated regulations, so you don’t have to. Our guide to the Global Business Mobility visa and the revised UK work visa routes that accompany it has been revised, as we assist numerous companies with navigating the new routes and transitioning from previous immigration paths such as Intra-Company Transfers and Representative of an Overseas Business.

Global Business Mobility Visa routes (GBM)

The Global Business Mobility is a newly introduced Sponsored route designed for companies seeking to establish a presence in the United Kingdom, engage in a contract with an overseas provider, or relocate employees for specific business purposes.

These visa routes were launched on April 11th, and we are fully equipped to assist businesses with navigating these new immigration pathways, including the transition from previous immigration routes such as Intra-Company Transfers and Representative of an Overseas Business.

The Global Business Mobility visa introduces a multi-category Sponsored route that builds upon and expands several existing business visas. These include Intra-Company visas, Representative of an Overseas Business visas, and Temporary Work – International Agreement route visas for contractual service providers and independent professionals.

Furthermore, it provides a new opportunity for international workers to come to the UK as part of a high-value contract or investment from their overseas parent company. The new route aims to simplify and streamline the UK’s immigration system for businesses and their employees.

Who should apply for a Global Business Mobility visa?

The Global Business Mobility visas could be beneficial for foreign companies that are setting up operations in the UK or sending over trainees, senior executives, or specialised personnel to the UK to fulfil contracts, regardless of whether the company already has a presence in the UK.

The new visa route has been divided into five categories by the Home Office:

  • A Senior or Specialist worker, In order to meet specific business needs, (replaces Intra-Company Transfers)
  • Graduate Trainee within the context of a training programme (replaces Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route)
  • Secondment Workers are being sent to UK businesses for high-value contracts or investments
  • A Service Supplier route has been introduced for the UK trade agreements (replacing the T5 International Agreement routes)
  • To establish a presence in the UK, a UK Expansion Worker route has been introduced (replacing a Representative of an Overseas Business)

The first two options are intended for companies that already have a presence in the UK. However, secondments can be used by both types of companies to fulfil staffing requirements in the UK.

Different types of visa options for Global Business Mobility?

The Global Business Mobility program will consist of five different routes, each tailored to a specific type of temporary job assignment. These routes include:

  • Work as a Specialist Worker
  • Expansion Worker in the UK
  • Graduate Trainee Pathway
  • The route for Secondment Workers
  • The Service Supplier route

Each of these routes has its own set of eligibility requirements, including meeting certain financial requirements and, if applicable, providing valid tuberculosis (TB) certificates. The specific additional prerequisites for each route will be discussed in detail below.

The Senior or Specialist Worker route

The Senior or Specialist Worker route is designed for senior managers and specialists who are assigned to a UK-based company by their employer overseas and wish to work in the UK for a specified period of time. This route replaced the previous Intra-Company Transfer visa. To be eligible for this route, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Unless the applicant will be working in the UK as a high earner with a gross income of £73,900 per year or more, they must be employed by the Sponsor group and have worked for that group outside the UK for a total of at least 12 months.
  • In addition, the candidate must hold a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the specific position they seek, which must be provided by an employer authorised by the UK Home Office to Sponsor a Senior or Specialist Worker and has paid the full Immigration Skills Charge. The candidate must also be Sponsored for an approved employment position that pays a minimum of £42,400 per year, or the “going rate” for that particular role.

If the applicant is approved, they will be granted permission to work in the UK for a period of either 5 years from the start date of the job specified in the Certificate of Sponsorship, 14 days after the end date of this job, or until the point at which the applicant has been granted a cumulative total of 5 years of permission on the Global Business Mobility and Intra-Company routes within any 6-year period, or 9 years in any 10-year period if applying as a high earner – whichever comes first.

UK Expansion Worker visa

The UK Expansion Worker route is designed for foreign employees who intend to work in the UK on a temporary basis and who are either senior management or specialised employees being deployed to the UK to assist with the company’s expansion.

This visa route replaces the Representative of an Overseas Business route and can only be used if the company has not yet begun operations in the UK. If the company already has a presence in the UK, workers should apply through the Senior or Specialist Worker route.

To be considered for this route, the applicant must fulfil the following requirements:

  • To be eligible for the UK Expansion Worker route, the candidate must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the position they are applying for. The Certificate of Sponsorship must be provided by a company that has been approved by the Home Office to Sponsor an Expansion Worker.
  • Unless the applicant is a high earner or a Japanese national seeking to establish a UK branch or subsidiary under the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, they must currently be employed by the Sponsor group and have worked for that group outside the UK for a minimum of 12 months.
  • In addition to the above requirements, the applicant must be Sponsored for a suitable employment position that pays a minimum of £42,400 per year or the “going rate” for that particular role, whichever is greater and must be at or above a relevant minimum skill level.

Visa for Graduate Trainees

The Graduate Trainee route is designed for international employees who are enrolled in a graduate training programme leading to senior management or specialised positions and are required by their employer to complete a work placement in the United Kingdom. This route replaces the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa.

To be considered for this route, the applicant must fulfil the following requirements:

  • To be eligible for the Graduate Trainee route, the applicant must be employed by the Sponsoring organisation at the time of application and must have worked for that organisation outside of the UK for at least three months prior to the application deadline.
  • In addition to the above requirements, the applicant must have Sponsorship for a qualified job with a standard salary of at least £23,100 per year for that position or whatever is the “going rate” for the job role. They should also have a clearly defined progression towards a management or specialist function within the Sponsor organisation as part of a structured graduate training programme.
  • The candidate must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the position they are applying for, which must be provided by an employer that has been approved to Sponsor a Graduate Trainee by the UK Home Office.

Secondment Worker route

The Secondment Worker route is designed for foreign employees who are sent to the UK temporarily as part of a high-value contract or investment by their overseas company. This route is a new way to enter the country.

To be eligible for consideration under this route, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • To qualify for the Secondment Worker route, the applicant must currently be employed by a foreign company that holds a Home Office registered contract with their UK Sponsor. Additionally, the applicant must have worked for the foreign company for at least 12 months outside of the UK.
  • In order to apply for the Secondment Worker route, the applicant must possess a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the position they seek. This certificate must be provided by an employer who is authorised by the Home Office to Sponsor Secondment Workers and who has a Home Office registered contract with the overseas company where the applicant will be working.
  • The applicant must be Sponsored for qualifying employment requiring a minimum skill level.

Service Supplier route

This route is intended for contractual service suppliers employed by foreign service providers and self-employed independent professionals outside the UK. Its purpose is to enable them to work temporarily in the UK, providing services covered by a UK international trade agreement. This new route will supersede the provisions for contractual service providers and independent professionals under the Temporary Work – International Agreement route.

To be considered for this route, the applicant must fulfil the following requirements:

  • To be eligible for this route, the applicant must be employed by or providing services to an overseas service provider that will offer services to their UK Sponsor. The applicant must have worked in this capacity for at least 12 months outside of the UK.
  • The candidate must be Sponsored for a qualifying position that requires a minimum skill level of at least a university degree or a comparable technical qualification and experience. Alternatively, the candidate may possess a university degree or an equivalent technical qualification and experience.
  • In order to apply for this route, the candidate must possess a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are applying for. The Certificate must be issued by an employer who is authorised by the Home Office to Sponsor a Service Supplier and who has a Home Office registered contract with an overseas service provider for which the candidate will work in the UK.
  • As a Service Supplier, the candidate must meet the nationality requirements specified for this route.

Requirements need to demonstrate by Global Business Mobility visa applicants

    The newly implemented Immigration Rules stipulate that applicants will be subjected to specific requirements based on their assignment type. These requirements are as follows:

    • Sponsorship from the UK organisation that receives applicants
    • The right level of skill set for the job
    • A salary as per their route requirement
    • Minimum number of years a candidate has worked for the foreign company
    • Temporary assignments are expected (though adjustable and routes should be convertible to more permanent positions)

      How much will it cost Sponsors to go on the Global Business Mobility routes?

        According to the new guidance on transitional arrangements for existing Sponsored categories, the Senior or Specialist Worker category will fall under the Worker category, whereas all other categories will be classified under the Temporary Worker category. Therefore, the costs associated with the Senior or Specialist Worker license will be calculated similarly to Intra-Company Transfers.

        The license fee will depend on whether the Sponsor organisation is large or small/charitable, and the Certificate of Sponsorship required for Senior or Specialist Workers should be the same as for Skilled Workers.

        The routes classified as Temporary Workers will have the same license fee as that of a small Sponsor, irrespective of their size. Additionally, the Certificate of Sponsorship fee charged for these routes will be the lower fee applicable to other Temporary Worker categories such as Creative, Charity, or Religious Workers.

          Can you travel to the UK on a Global Business Mobility visa with your dependents?

          The Global Business Mobility visa allows applicants to bring their partner and any dependent children along with them. However, the spouse or partner of the primary visa holder must meet several eligibility criteria, including relationship and financial requirements, to be able to travel to the UK through this route.

          Why should you choose MAK25 London for guidance?

          Our commitment is not only to assist you with your Global Business Mobility visa applications but also to ensure your ongoing compliance with all Home Office regulations. We understand that the Home Office has become more stringent in enforcing frequently changing requirements, but we remain dedicated to developing effective compliance practices for our clients.

          We provide comprehensive “hand-holding” assistance, ensuring that you have peace of mind and a high likelihood of a positive outcome. Our services cover all aspects of Sponsorship, leaving no stone unturned.

          Please visit our Compliance, Auditing & Training services page for more understanding about the Auditing and Compliance services.

          How can we help

          We take pride in having one of the Best Immigration Lawyer in the business, one with a wealth of experience and knowledge to handle all manner of UK Corporate & Personal Immigration matters.

          Our expert would be delighted to help you out by conducting a mock audit of your HR processes and later assist you in managing your Sponsorship Management System (SMS). This will enable us to determine any potential weaknesses and implement an action plan to fix them before you make your formal application.

          We look forward to working with you to make this experience successful!