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Secondment Worker visa

The Secondment Worker visa allows overseas employers to transfer their workers to a UK-based organisation to work an eligible job- provided that they have a high-value contract with the UK company. This new worker visa category is part of the Global Business Mobility scheme implemented by the government to boost the UK economy.

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    What is a UK Secondment Worker visa?

    As part of the government’s new plans to boost the UK economy, the UK Secondment Worker visa sits within the Global Business Mobility routes web- these routes allow overseas businesses to initiate connections and expand into the UK market, as well as allowing foreign companies to transfer their workers into the UK.

    The UK Secondment Worker visa allows an overseas employer to transfer a migrant worker to the United Kingdom to work in an eligible job at a different organisation on a temporary basis.

    In order to second a worker into the United Kingdom, the overseas employer must be in possession of a high-value contract with the UK organisation they wish to transfer their workers to on a Secondment Worker visa.

    For more information on how Birmingham Immigration lawyers can help you, or, for advice on the UK Secondment Worker visa, call 0121 667 6530 for a chat with one of our friendly advisors.

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    Who is eligible for a Secondment Worker visa?

    This type of temporary worker visa comes with stringent eligibility criteria. To ensure this is the right worker visa route for you, you must:

    • Be an existing employee of an overseas company that has a high-value contract in place with a UK sponsor
    • Be in possession of a certificate of sponsorship from your proposed UK sponsor- the certificate must have the eligible job detailed clearly on the document (clear details of the job role you have been offered)
    • Have worked for your overseas employer for at least 12 months prior to applying
    • Work a job in the UK that is on the list of eligible occupations
    • Be over the age of 18 years old at the time of applying

    Points-based system

    The Secondment Worker visa operates under the points-based system, so, in addition to meeting the requirements listed above, the applicant must have an award of 40 points- split into two categories.

    Sponsorship (20 points)

    The first 20 points you require can be gained by getting a certificate of sponsorship issued by your UK sponsor who will be overseeing your employment in the UK. Along with the UK sponsor, you must b able to demonstrate that your UK employer’s intentions to recruit you are genuine and not seen as a ‘sham’ to allow a migrant access to leave to remain in the UK.

    Skill level and competency (20 points)

    The second half of the points you require can be awarded based on the skills you are being employed for. You must be sponsored for a job that is listed on the UK government skilled occupations list that has been deemed as eligible under the Global Business Mobility routes. Your UK sponsor must allocate you the most appropriate occupation code for the job detailed on the certificate of sponsorship. Not allocating the appropriate occupation code could raise the suspicions of the Home Office.

    Home Office approved UK employer

    To be granted a Secondment Worker visa, the UK employer sponsoring you must be approved by the Home Office to sponsor overseas workers under the new Secondment worker route.

    UK employers approved by the Home Office to sponsor secondment workers must have an A-rated sponsor licence- which is the highest rating a sponsor licence holder can have. If the employer in the UK does not already have a sponsor licence, they must apply online for a sponsor licence before any plans for an overseas transfer can be put into place.

    Similarly, if the British employer has a sponsor licence, but does not have the correct permission to sponsor under the Secondment Worker visa route, they must seek authorisation to do so from the Home Office at the earliest possible convenience to begin proceedings and make the relevant bodies aware of their plans to accommodate a transfer.

    UK Secondment Worker Visa Sponsorship Guidelines

    To secure a UK Secondment Worker visa, individuals need sponsorship from a Home Office-approved employer possessing an A-rated sponsor license. This sponsorship involves meeting a ‘eligible contract requirement’ involving financial investment or contracts with overseas businesses, depending on contract duration. The UK employer can only issue a valid CoS to a potential overseas worker after obtaining approval from the Home Office.

    The UK sponsor must hold at least one eligible contract matching the worker’s duties and registered with the Home Office. If the sponsor plans to bring workers under a new contract, they must notify and gain approval from the Home Office before assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship, utilising the ‘Request change of circumstances function’ in the Sponsorship Management System, and providing necessary supporting documents within a specified timeframe.

    Documents required to apply

    It is important that you submit the correct documents with your Secondment Worker visa application in the first instance to avoid any delays in the application process.

    You must submit the following documents:

    • Certificate of sponsorship reference number (given to you by the UK employer)
    • A valid passport of other document which proves your identity and nationality
    • Job title and job occupation code
    • The name of the sponsor and their sponsor licence number (this can be found on the certificate of sponsorship you are allocated)
    • Evidence of sufficient personal savings or funds to support yourself when you arrive in the UK to work
    • Tuberculosis test results if you are migrating from a listed country

    Depending on your personal circumstances, you may also be required to present the following documentation:

    • Evidence you have worked for your employer overseas
    • A copy of a valid ATAS certificate if you are working in a research sensitive subject at PhD level or higher (your sponsor will tell you whether this is required or not)

    How to prove you have worked for your employer outside of the UK?

    A Secondment Worker visa applicant may be required to submit further documents to prove that they have worked for their overseas employer for a minimum of 12 months.

    The following documents may be requested:

    • Printed payslips
    • Online payslips along with a letter from your sponsor that has been signed by a senior staff member in the organisation
    • Bank or building society statements
    • A building society passbook

    Failure to submit the documents requested could result in your application being delayed or even rejected by the Home Office.

    How much does it cost?

    There are various costs to consider when applying for a Secondment Worker visa. These include the initial application fee, immigration healthcare surcharge, and, funds to support yourself when you arrive in the UK.

    The cost of the application is £259 per person applying.

    If you are granted entry clearance as a secondment worker, you will be subjected to paying the Immigration healthcare surcharge for every year that you remain staying and working in the UK. Currently, the healthcare surcharge payable per year is £624.

    Finally, it must be taken into consideration whether the applicant has enough personal savings or funds to support themselves and any dependents when they arrive in the UK. It is required that the person applying has at £1,270 available to them (unless your sponsor is planning to cover these costs on your behalf).

    Applying for a Secondment Worker visa

    You should apply online for a Secondment Worker visa. Before you apply, it is a good idea to ensure you have all of the required documentation to hand.

    A large part of the application process is to prove your identity. How you do so will depend on your location and passport type. You will do one of the following:

    • Attend an appointment at a visa application centre to have your fingerprints and photographs taken- this will allow you to be issued with a biometric residence permit
    • Use the ‘Immigration ID check’ app to submit and scan the requested documents to prove your identity

    When you apply, you will be told which method of identity check you need to do as part of your application.

    If you do need to attend an appointment at a visa application centre, you may have to allow them to keep your passport and other documents whilst your application is being processed. Also, you may be required to travel to get to the closest visa application centre. On some occasions, this could be in another country.

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      How long does it take to get a decision?

      You will need to submit your application and documents, and, prove your identity before you can receive a decision on your visa application.

      Once you have met all of the application and identity requirements, you can expect a decision within 3 weeks of applying from outside of the UK. If you are applying from inside the UK, the average decision wait time is 8 weeks in total.

      If you have to attend any appointments, or any clarification of your documents is needed, you should be aware that the wait time is likely to increase slightly.

      You can pay for a faster decision via the priority service, but this will come at an additional cost.

      Length of stay in the UK

      You can either stay in the UK on a Secondment Worker visa for:

      • 12 months after the start date of your job in the UK
      • The time specified on your certificate of sponsorship, plus an additional 14 days after

      You can stay in the UK for whichever is shorter of the two. The maximum stay in the UK on a Secondment Worker visa is 2 years in total.

      What if I have spent time in the UK on a Secondment visa or another type of visa before?

      You can stay in the UK for a maximum of 5 years in any 6-year period if you’ve spent time on any of the following visas:

      • Intra Company routes
      • Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility)
      • Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
      • Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility)
      • UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)

      What is allowed and not allowed on a Secondment Worker visa?

      The Secondment Worker route allows you to do the following things in the UK:

      • Work for your sponsor in the job specified on your certificate of sponsorship
      • study at a UK institute
      • Bring your partner and any dependent children with you
      • Participate in voluntary work
      • Travel abroad and return back to the UK

      Whilst there are many allowances for a secondment worker, the following things are not permitted to those who have taken the Secondment Worker route:

      • Apply for the majority of public funds (means-tested benefits)
      • Apply for a state pension
      • Change jobs unless you update your visa
      • Apply to settle permanently in the UK under Indefinite Leave to Remain
      • Work a second job

      How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help?

      Applying for a visa can seem like a taxing process, as there is a lot to consider to get your application correct the first time around.

      Birmingham Immigration Lawyers are experts in visa applications and gaining entry clearance into the United Kingdom. Our dedicated team of lawyers are ready and waiting to help you take a step toward an exciting new work experience here in the UK.

      For more information on how we can assist you with your visa query, call our friendly team of advisors on 0121 667 6530 for a chat. Alternatively, fill in one of our contact forms.

      If you have any questions about your British Citizenship application, our team is happy to assist. Contact Us

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  You are not permitted to change jobs when in the UK on a Secondment Worker visa unless you apply to update your visa completely.

                  If you choose to change jobs and update your visa, you must do so at least 3 months before the start date of your new job. You are able to continue working in your current job whilst a decision on your request to update is being made.

                  Yes, you can bring your partner and children to the UK as a secondment worker as long as they are deemed as dependents. A dependent partner or dependent child is any of the following:

                  • A husband, wife, civil partner or an unmarried partner
                  • A child under the age of 18 who is not married or pregnant at the time of the application
                  • A child over the age of 18- if they are currently in the UK as your dependent

                  You must be able to prove your relationship to your partner. If you are married, you must present a valid marriage certificate that is recognised in the UK. If you are unmarried, you should prove that you have been living together for at least two years prior to applying for a dependent visa.

                  Any dependent adults and children must apply separately to the main visa applicant.

                  Secondments are typically meant to last for a short-term period, however it depends on what you have agreed upon, and what is stated on your contract. If the secondment is intended to be more than 2 years it would be considered permanent or fixed-term.

                  Going on secondment does not mean your contract with a company will be terminated. Instead the employee is expected to return to work on their usual contract after the secondment period has ended.