UK Expansion Worker Visa
What is the UK Expansion Worker visa?
The UK Expansion Worker visa is a UK immigration category which allows a senior manager or specialist employee of a connected overseas company to undertake a temporary work assignment in the UK.
It can only be applied for where the overseas company in question has been formed, but has not yet begun trading in the UK. If it has begun trading already, a Skilled Worker visa is more suitable.
Do I qualify for the UK Expansion Worker visa?
To be eligible to apply for leave under the Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker route, you must:
- have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK sponsor;
- have been working for your employer, or a member of the corporate group, outside the UK for a cumulative period of at least 12 months before the date of application – unless you are applying as a high earner;
- be sponsored for a job which is on the list of eligible occupations;
- be paid the minimum eligible salary required for your job;
- show that you have sufficient funds to maintain yourself in the UK (unless maintenance is certified by your sponsor);
- there must be a genuine need for you to come to the UK to further establish the business.
What period of leave will I be given? Can I extend my visa?
If your application is approved, you will normally be granted leave as a UK Expansion Worker for a minimum period of 1 year.
It is possible to apply to extend this visa from within the UK for a further year. After 2 years, you will need to switch into another suitable UK visa category.
However, care has to be taken not to spend more than the maximum cumulative time permitted in the UK under any of the Global Business Mobility routes – in most cases, this is a maximum of 5 years in any 6-year period. If you are applying as a high earner (i.e. you will be earning at least £73,900 per annum), this limit increases to 9 years in any 10-year period.
What kind of activities can I undertake in the UK as an Expansion Worker visa holder?
As a UK Expansion worker, you are only permitted to work in the UK in the job for which you are sponsored.
You are also permitted to study in the UK in addition to working, subject to certain conditions.
Can I bring my family with me?
The UK Expansion Worker visa allows a dependant spouse or partner and dependant children who are under the age of 18 at the time of the initial application to accompany you.
Does the UK Expansion Worker visa route lead to settlement in the UK?
The UK Expansion Worker route does not lead to settlement in the UK. It may be possible, however, to switch from this route into an immigration category which does lead to settlement, such as a Skilled Worker visa.
For more information about us and our corporate immigration services, please contact a member of the team who can answer any questions and guide you through the process.