UK Graduate Trainee visa sponsorship requirements and updates

09 Apr 2024, 26 mins ago

For individuals seeking to enhance their skills and experience through a graduate training programme, the UK Graduate Trainee visa presents a viable pathway to come to the UK.

As part of the Global Mobility Scheme, a Graduate Trainee visa will help overseas businesses establish a UK presence or transfer employees to their UK branch. It has replaced the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee visa, but it no longer allows you  to undertake other employment.

To qualify for a Graduate Trainee visa, you must:

  • be an existing employee of an organisation that’s been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor;
  • have worked for your sponsor outside the UK for at least 3 months immediately prior to application;
  • have a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) from your employer (with a valid sponsor license);
  • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations and part of a graduate training programme for a managerial or specialist role; and
  • be paid the minimum eligible salary required for your job.

You can only apply for a Graduate Trainee visa from outside the UK. You can stay in the UK with a Graduate Trainee visa for a maximum of 12 months, or the time given on your CoS plus 14 days, whichever is shorter. Whilst you cannot apply to extend or change (‘switch’) to a Graduate Trainee visa from inside the UK, you can apply multiple times for a Graduate Trainee visa from overseas. However, you can only stay in the UK for a maximum of 5 years in any 6-year period if you’ve spent time on an Intra-company or Global Business Mobility visa, or a combination thereof.

Applications can be submitted up to three months before the intended start date listed on the certificate of sponsorship. Upon submission of the application and required documents, you will typically receive a decision on your visa within three weeks.

Permitted activities under a Graduate Trainee visa include; working for your sponsor as described in the certificate of sponsorship, study, engage in voluntary work, bring your partner and children with you as your dependants and travel abroad and return to the UK.

However, there are some restrictions, which include; ineligibility for most benefits, state pensions, changing jobs, undertaking secondary employment, or applying for permanent settlement in the UK.

Additionally, the recent immigration update has seen the general threshold for graduate trainees under the Global Business Mobility route being increased from £24,220 to £25,410. The going rates remain based on 70% of the 25th percentile.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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