A Guide to Global Business Mobility Visa UK 2024

1. Overview of Global Business Mobility Visa Routes

The UK offers five distinct Global Business Mobility routes for overseas professionals on short-term work assignments. These routes cater to different professional needs and are crucial for facilitating international business operations in the UK. Below is a summary of each route:

Visa RoutePurpose
Senior or Specialist WorkerFor senior managers or specialists assigned to a UK branch of an international employer
Graduate TraineeDesigned for individuals on management training courses targeting specialist roles in the UK
UK Expansion WorkerTailored for managers or specialists supporting a business’s expansion into the UK
Service SupplierFor contractual service suppliers or independent professionals on UK assignments linked to international trade agreements
Secondment WorkerFor individuals seconded to the UK by their international employer under a high-value contract
An Overview of Global Business Mobility Visa Routes

Dependent partners and children are also eligible to apply under these Global Business Mobility routes.

It’s important to note that these Global Business Mobility routes do not provide a pathway to UK settlement. They are specifically designed for short-term assignments and have distinct eligibility criteria and conditions.

2. Transitioning to Global Business Mobility Visa UK

The UK Global Business Mobility routes offer new opportunities and replace several older visa programmes. Each route has specific guidelines for transitioning:

New Visa RouteTransition from Old Programme
Senior or Specialist WorkerReplaces the Intra-Company Transfer route. Allows job changes and extensions for existing workers. Dependents can join.
Graduate TraineeSucceeds the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route. Facilitates job changes and extensions. Dependents can join.
Service SupplierNew route, replacing aspects of the Temporary Work – International Agreement route. Allows extensions for professionals with prior permissions.
UK Expansion WorkerSubstitutes provisions for Sole Representatives. Not a direct legacy route but permits extensions and settlement aims for previous route workers.
Process and Guidelines for Transitioning to Global Business Mobility Visa UK

Transitioning to these new Global Business Mobility Visa routes in 2023 means foregoing eligibility for settlement for some routes. It’s essential for applicants to understand these nuances, especially those transitioning from older visa programmes.

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    3. Essential Requirements for Global Business Mobility Visa

    Applicants must meet three main categories of requirements:

    • Validity Requirements: Foundational criteria, such as using the correct form and providing identity documents.
    • Suitability Requirements: Assesses overall suitability based on factors like past breaches of immigration laws.
    • Eligibility Requirements: Core criteria specific to each sub-route of the Global Business Mobility Visa.

    Validity & Suitability Requirements

    Type of RequirementDetails
    Validity Requirements– Payment of application fees and Immigration Health Charge
    – Provide biometrics and a valid passport
    – Obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
    – Must be 18 years or older
    – Written consent required if sponsored for study in the last year
    – Restrictions on switching visas
    Suitability Requirements– No overstaying of visas
    – Ineligibility for those under immigration bail in the UK
    Comprehensive Breakdown of Validity and Suitability Requirements

    Eligibility Criteria by Global Business Mobility Visas Sub-route

    Global Business Mobility Visa Sub-routeEligibility Criteria
    Senior or Specialist Workers– Score 60 points (sponsorship, job skill, salary)
    – Comply with non-points-based requirements
    – Specific leniencies for existing workers
    Graduate Trainees– Accumulate 60 points (sponsorship, job skill, salary)
    – Specific non-points-based requirements
    UK Expansion Workers– Obtain 60 points (sponsorship, job skill, salary)
    – Abide by additional non-points-related criteria
    Service Suppliers– Earn 40 points (sponsorship, job skill level)
    – Adherence to non-points-based requirements
    – Meet nationality/residency based on trade agreements
    Secondment Workers– Achieve 40 points (sponsorship, job skill level)
    – Comply with additional non-points-based criteria
    Summary of Eligibility Criteria for Each Global Business Mobility Visa Sub-route

    Applicants must strictly meet these Global Business Mobility visas sub-criteria to qualify. Any failure might lead to application refusal.

    4. Overseas Work Criteria in Global Business Mobility Routes

    The overseas work requirement is key in all Global Business Mobility visa routes, ensuring the applicant’s genuine link to the sponsor and their relevant skills. Here’s how this requirement applies across different routes:

    Visa RouteOverseas Work Requirement
    General Stipulation for All RoutesWorked for the sponsor or associated entities outside the UK for at least 12 months. Continuous employment within the sponsor’s group is crucial.
    Senior or Specialist Worker & Graduate TraineeConnected to the sponsor via ownership/control or in a joint venture.
    UK Expansion WorkerDirect connection to the sponsor through shared ownership/control.
    Service SupplierServing an international service provider contractually bound to the sponsor, operating own business for the sponsor, or involved in a subcontracting chain.
    Secondment WorkerEmployed under an overseas entity contractually supporting the secondment.
    Specific ExceptionsHigh earners, Graduate Trainees, UK Expansion Workers under certain trade agreements, Self-employed Service Suppliers, and Secondment Worker Extensions have specific exemptions or reduced requirements.
    Overseas Work Requirement for Global Business Mobility Visa

    Evidence Requirements:

    • Senior or Specialist Workers, Graduate Trainees, UK Expansion Workers: Sponsor’s endorsement on the Certificate of Sponsorship.
    • Service Suppliers and Secondment Workers: Declaration in the application about fulfilling the requirement.
    • Extensions: Usually, no additional evidence if extending in the same role or sponsor group.

    Non-adherence to these requirements results in application refusal. Specific routes like Senior or Specialist Workers, Graduate Trainees, and UK Expansion Workers emphasize this requirement for sponsorship.

    5. Salary Criteria for Global Business Mobility Visa

    This section provides detailed financial requirements for applicants of the Global Business Mobility visa in specific categories:

    ApplicabilitySenior or Specialist Workers, Graduate Trainees, UK Expansion Workers
    Scoring20 points for salary, contingent upon 20 mandatory sponsorship points
    Minimum Salary Requirement– Senior/Specialist Worker, UK Expansion Workers: £45,800
    – Graduate Trainees: £24,220
    Inclusions in Salary CalculationGuaranteed basic gross pay and select allowances
    Exclusions from Salary CalculationOvertime, bonuses, employer-contributed pensions, etc.
    General Allowances InclusionCounted if guaranteed for entire duration
    Accommodation Allowances Limitation– Senior/Specialist Worker, UK Expansion Workers: 30% cap
    – Graduate Trainees: 40% cap
    General Salary Threshold– Senior/Specialist Workers, UK Expansion Workers: £45,800
    – Graduate Trainees: £24,220 <br> (Thresholds apply irrespective of work hours)
    Going Rate– Senior/Specialist Workers, UK Expansion Workers: Full going rate per occupation code
    – Graduate Trainees: At least 70% of going rate
    Pro-ratingBased on weekly working hours from the annual going rate
    UK Salary Requirements and Assessment for Global Business Mobility Visa

    The salary requirements and assessment ensure that overseas employees are compensated fairly and in line with UK standards. This is crucial for preventing exploitation and aligning overseas compensation with local market rates.

    6. Assessing Skill Level in Global Business Mobility Routes

    Understanding the skill level and ensuring compliance are key aspects of the Global Business Mobility routes. Here’s a breakdown of the requirements:

    Skill Level Requirement– 20 points for jobs aligned with required skill levels
    – Points awarded for occupations in Appendix Skilled Occupations (except Service Suppliers)
    Exaggerated/Incorrect Occupation Codes– Points denied if occupation code accuracy is doubted
    – Evaluation includes job descriptions, previous rejections, and sponsor’s rationale
    Concerns & Compliance Visits– Compliance visits may occur if suspicions arise
    – Applications could be halted pending visit results
    Deception & Implications– Interviews for suspected deception, with repercussions depending on status and severity
    Graduate Training Programme– Must be enrolled in a relevant training scheme
    – Evidence required in the certificate of sponsorship
    Service Suppliers– Option A: Sponsorship in an occupation from Table 1 or 2
    – Option B: University degree or equivalent, professional credentials, and experience
    Degree Equivalence & Exemptions– Use evidence or UK ENIC statement for degree equivalence
    – Specific qualifications from countries like Switzerland considered equivalent
    ATAS Requirement– Necessary for certain research roles in specific disciplines
    – Details in Appendix ATAS
    Evaluating Skill Level and Compliance in Global Business Mobility Routes

    These criteria ensure that overseas employees possess the appropriate skills and experience, and that sponsors adhere to regulations. This is essential for the integrity of the Global Business Mobility routes and the UK labour market.

    7. Meeting the Financial Criteria for Global Business Mobility

    Understanding and meeting the financial requirement is essential for applicants of the Global Business Mobility routes. Here’s how the financial criteria are assessed:

    IntroductionEssential for applicants to have adequate finances during their UK stay.
    Automatic EligibilityApplicants in the UK for 12 months with valid authorization automatically meet the criteria. Refer to financial requirement guidance for details.
    Alternative Methods to Meet RequirementFor those not automatically eligible:
    a. Sponsor Certification– A-rated sponsor to support applicant’s needs for the first month
    – Minimum support of £1,270
    – UK Expansion Workers excluded from this option
    b. Proof of Funds– Evidence of holding a minimum of £1,270 for 28 days
    – Relaxed from the previous 90-day requirement for Tier 2 applications
    – Detailed evidence requirements in the financial requirement guidance
    ConclusionApplicants must either prove 12 months’ stay in the UK with permission or demonstrate financial capacity via sponsor assurance or proof of funds.
    Assessing Financial Criteria for Global Business Mobility Routes

    This table summarizes the financial requirement for Global Business Mobility Visa UK applicants, providing clarity on both automatic eligibility and alternative methods to meet this crucial criterion.

    8. Additional Information on Global Business Mobility Visa

    Important supplementary details for Global Business Mobility Visa UK routes are summarized below:

    Maximum Length of Assignments– Standard limit: 5 years within a 6-year period
    – High earners in Senior/Specialist Worker route: up to 9 years in a 10-year period
    Transitional Arrangement– Senior/Specialist Workers from before 6 April 2011 may apply under older rules continuously
    Changes of Employment– Application required for changing employer, occupation code, or significant salary changes
    – No application needed for job changes within same occupation code, pay hikes, or job transfers due to mergers
    Supplementary Employment– Generally, not allowed for Global Business Mobility workers
    – Exceptions for Senior/Specialist Workers pre-11 April 2022 under specific conditions
    Granting/Refusing Visa– Successful applicants receive digital status or BRP
    – Refused applicants can request administrative review; no in-country appeals
    Conditions of Stay– Must work for sponsor, with limited supplementary work
    – No access to public funds
    – Allowed to study if it doesn’t interfere with job; ATAS certificate for specific courses
    – Voluntary work allowed in any sector with reimbursement of reasonable expenses only
    Supplementary Information Global Business Mobility Visa Guidance

    This table effectively encapsulates additional information pertinent to the Global Business Mobility Visa routes, including limits on assignment lengths, employment changes, and conditions of stay. This layout assists applicants and stakeholders in understanding the various nuances and specific details of these visa routes.

    9. FAQs: Global Business Mobility Visa UK

    1. What is the Global Business Mobility Visa UK?

      The Global Business Mobility Visa UK is designed to facilitate the movement of skilled professionals to the UK, aiding international businesses in transferring their staff seamlessly.

    2. Who can apply for the Global Business Mobility Visa UK?

      International businesses looking to transfer their skilled workers to the UK can utilize this visa, as long as the specific eligibility criteria for the chosen sub-route are met.

    3. What are the different sub-routes under the Global Business Mobility Visa?

      There are five sub-routes UK Global Business Mobility routes viz. Senior or Specialist Workers, Graduate Trainees, UK Expansion Workers, Service Suppliers, and Secondment Workers.

    4. Who are ‘Senior or Specialist Workers’ in this context?

      These are workers with specific expertise, skills, or seniority that are crucial for the company’s operations in the UK. They typically include executives, managers, and specialists.

    5. What’s the ‘Graduate Trainees’ sub-route?

      It’s designed for recent graduates being transferred to the UK as part of a structured, company-wide training program.

    6. Can you elaborate on ‘UK Expansion Workers’?

      This sub-route is for employees from overseas businesses that intend to establish a presence in the UK. These workers play a foundational role in setting up and expanding the company’s UK operations.

    7. Who qualifies under the ‘Service Suppliers’ category?

      Service Suppliers are individuals coming to the UK to provide pre-agreed services as a result of contracts secured by their overseas employer with a UK-based organization.

    8. What about ‘Secondment Workers’?

      These are employees of multinational companies who are being transferred to a UK-based entity under a service contract between the entities.

    9. Is there a specific salary requirement for these sub-routes?

      Salary requirements vary based on the chosen sub-route and the nature of the job. It’s essential to consult the official guidelines or seek professional advice for specifics.

    10. Can Senior or Specialist Workers engage in supplementary employment?

      Yes, if they were granted permission under rules in place before 11 April 2022. They can undertake supplementary employment under certain conditions, such as jobs on the shortage occupation list or within the same occupation code, among other stipulations.

    For further details please refer to Immigration Rules Appendix Global Business Mobility routes.