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Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

The Senior or Specialist Worker visa was implemented to replace the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa (ICT). It allows foreign workers to take up temporary work in the UK as a senior or specialist worker.

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    What is the Senior or specialist worker visa?

    The Senior or Specialist Worker visa or the Global Business Mobility visa, has replaced the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visa. It allows a senior or specialist worker to reside in the UK whilst they work for their company’s UK branch.

    Typically, it is for skilled employees of multinational organisations who are being transferred to the UK to fill a relevant post in a branch of that company.

    If you are an employee who is being transferred to the UK, you may be eligible for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa.

    To be eligible for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility), both the applicant and employer must meet the eligibility requirements set out. The overseas worker must be assigned to a UK business linked to their existing employer overseas.

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    Am I eligible for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa?

    To qualify for a Senior or Specialist Visa (Global Business Mobility), both you and your employer must meet specific requirements depending on your role and circumstances. You must meet the following criteria:

    • You must be an existing employee of an organisation that has been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor
    • You must acquire a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer which specifies what work you will carry out once in the UK as a senior or specialist worker
    • You plan on working an eligible job- set out in the list of eligible occupations for a Senior or Specialist worker
    • You must have an appropriate minimum skill level for the job you are undertaking
    • Must have a minimum salary of £42,000 per year

    Before applying for a visa under the specialist worker route, you must ensure that your employer has the means to sponsor you. To do so, they must have a sponsor licence to accommodate a senior or specialist worker.

    To prove to the Home Office that your employer is a valid sponsor, they must provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship to support your Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility) application.

    A Certificate of Sponsorship is an electronic record detailing your personal information and a thorough explanation of your job role in your new role- in this instance, as a senior or specialist worker for the UK brand of your company.

    You will be issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship reference number which you must provide on your application for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility).

    What is the minimum salary required?

    The minimum salary for the Senior or Specialist (Global Business Mobility) is dependent on the going rate for your planned job role.

    Usually, the minimum salary requirement you should meet is £42,400 annually, however, the going rate for a specific role may differ from the standard minimum requirement.

    You can find out your job’s going rate based on the occupation code assigned to your employer’s company. This can be used in conjunction with the going rates table to decipher the minimum salary required for you to apply and be granted entry clearance with a Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility).

    You must ensure that you pick the relevant occupation code when applying to ensure you give an accurate picture of the salary you can be expecting to earn with your UK employer.

    Required documents for Senior or Specialist Worker visa

    To apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility), you must submit the following documents along with your application:

    • Your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number- given to you by your employer
    • A valid passport along with additional documents which prove your nationality and identity
    • Your job title and details of your annual salary
    • Employers name and sponsor licence number- you can obtain these details from your Certificate of Sponsorship
    • Evidence that you have access to sufficient funds and personal savings to support yourself whilst you live in the UK (bank or building society statements)
    • If you have children or a partner applying alongside you, you must prove their relation to you
    • Results of a tuberculosis test (if you are from a listed country)

    You must provide the original version of these documents; photocopies will not be accepted.

    If your documents are not already in English or Welsh, you must ensure that they are translated before submitting them to the Home Office. However, both the translations and the original documents must be sent.

    Minimum requirements for personal savings

    You must meet the minimum requirements for personal savings when applying for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa. This is to allow you to support yourself whilst living in the UK.

    You must have a minimum savings balance of £1,270 for 28 days before submitting your Senior or Specialist Worker visa application. You can prove this by sharing copies of your bank or building society statements in support of your application form.

    There are certain circumstances where you do not need to meet the personal savings requirements. For example, if your sponsor has the means to cover the minimum amount to support a Senior or Specialist worker. This is something that will need to be specified on your Certificate of Sponsorship.

    How long can you stay in the UK on a Senior or Specialist Worker visa?

    A senior or Specialist worker who has been granted a visa to work in the UK can stay in the UK for which is shorter of the following:

    • Five years
    • The time specified on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days

    For a Senior or Specialist Worker visa holder, the maximum permitted stay is:

    • If the employee is paid less than £73,900 per year, they may stay for five years in any six-year period
    • If the employee is paid less than £73,900 or more per year, they may stay for nine years in any ten-year period

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      How much does a Senior or Specialist Worker visa cost?

      Applying for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa comes at a cost. You will need to have sufficient funds to ensure that you can cover the cost of the following:

      • Senior or Specialist worker application fees- which can range from £625 to £1,423
      • Cost of paying healthcare surcharge (approximately £624 per year)
      • Funds to support yourself upon arriving in the UK to work

      An exact cost to be paid will be specified when you are ready to apply.

      How to apply

      You can apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa online. You are required to follow the online application process depending on which situation applies to your case:

      • You are a Senior or Specialist worker outside the UK and intend to come to the country
      • You are a Senior or Specialist worker inside the UK and you are applying to extend your visa
      • You are a Senior or Specialist worker inside the UK and you are switching from another visa category

      Your application form must be submitted along with all of the supporting documents before a decision can be made on your worker visa.

      As well as this, you should pay the application fee as the main Senior or Specialist worker visa applicant and for any dependents or dependent children, the healthcare surcharge (annually), and proof of your personal savings.

      For any Senior or Skilled worker planning on bringing family members to accompany them, partners and children need to apply separately to the main specialist worker applicant.

      Can I extend my visa as a Senior or Specialist Worker?

      A Senior or Specialist Worker can usually apply for a UK visa extension from inside the UK provided that the following criteria are met:

      • You are still working the same job that you were when you were granted entry as a senior or specialist in the UK
      • Your job remains in the same occupation code as it was when you attained your visa as a Senior or Specialist Worker
      • You are still working for the employer who gave you your initial Certificate of Sponsorship
      • You have not reached the maximum period of stay as a Senior or Specialist Worker

      It is important to remain within the UK whilst you are awaiting a decision on your visa extension. Failure to do so could result in an application withdrawal.

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        How can IAS help?

        For those looking to apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, it can seem like a daunting task. IAS has a dedicated team of trained immigration lawyers who can assist you with the full specialist worker route process. They can also assist a UK business in acquiring a sponsor licence to employ a foreign worker.

        Each lawyer has proven experience in assisting employers and employees in acquiring a Senior or Specialist Worker visa. Our team can eradicate the stress of applying, by acting on your behalf and supporting you on your journey to becoming a Senior or Specialist worker in the UK.

        For further information on how IAS can help you, call our friendly tea, today on 0121 667 6530.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Yes you are permitted to bring your partner and children with you provided that they apply separately as dependants. You must be able to prove their relationship to you.

                  Their visa will end the same time as yours.

                  Once in the UK, you may be able to apply to change your visa. You must meet all of the eligibility requirements to do so.

                   

                  You must update your visa with the appropriate occupation code. You must however, remain with the same employer.

                  Your partner and children will also need to update their visa accordingly.