Global Business Mobility (Expansion worker) Visa

UK Expansion Worker visa

The Global Business Mobility (Expansion Worker) visa was introduced by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on 11th April 2022 as a direct replacement for the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa.

What is a Global Business mobility visa for the UK?

The Global Business Mobility (Expansion Worker) visa enables workers from an overseas business to come to the UK to set up a new branch or subsidiary here. While the Expansion Worker visa replaces the older Sole Representative visa, there is one important difference. Whereas the Sole Representative visa was an unsponsored route, those applying under the newer Expansion Worker scheme must have a Certificate of Sponsorship from their employer. This means that the overseas businesses wishing to establish a presence in the UK must have a sponsor licence. As a specialist in UK business immigration, We Manage Your Visas regularly guides overseas business through the process of applying for and gaining a sponsor licence. To discuss your Global Business Mobility visa sponsor licence requirements please contact one of our friendly experts at We Manage Your Visas.

Who is eligible to apply for a Global Business Mobility visa for the UK?

Global Business Mobility (Expansion Worker) visa applicants must be in a senior management or specialist role for their overseas employer, and have the skills and experience necessary to establish a business presence in the UK. They must also have been employed by their overseas employer/sponsor outside the UK for one or more years. The only exception to this requirement is where the applicant is paid £73,900 or is a national of Japan working for a Japanese company.

What are the requirements for a Global Business mobility visa for the UK

Expansion Worker visa applicants must score “60 points” based on the following eligibility criteria:

Assuming that the applicant scores 60 points based on the above criteria, they will also need to show that they have at least £1,270 to support themselves in the UK. These funds must have been held by the applicant bank for at least 28 days prior to their application being made.

Note: Under the Global Business Mobility (Expansion Worker) visa, there are no English language requirements.

In addition, to qualify for a sponsor licence (this must be secured before submitting a visa application), the overseas business must be able to prove it:

  • Is not currently trading in the UK
  • Has genuine plans to setup a new UK branch or “wholly-owned subsidiary” here
  • Has a “footprint” in the UK – this does not mean that the business must be trading the UK, but rather than it is taking steps to establish a presence in the UK e.g. by having arranged a commercial property lease agreement
  • Has been active and trading outside the UK for one or more years
  • Has genuine and credible plans for expansion of its business in the UK – in the form of a detailed business plan.

How long is a Global Business mobility visa for the UK valid for?

Global Business Mobility (Expansion Worker) visas are normally granted for up to 12 months initially and this can be further extended (please see the extension section below).

Can I bring my family with me on a Global Business mobility visa for the UK?

Yes, dependant family members (i.e. spouse/partner and children) of Global Business Mobility (Expansion Worker) visas holders are also able to come to the UK.

To qualify as a dependant partner, the applicant must be the main visa holder’s married partner, civil partner, or unmarried partner (as long as they have been living together for at least 2 years). Dependant children must be under 18 (unless they are currently in the UK as a dependant) and financially dependant on the main visa holder.

If granted a dependant visa, family members can stay in the UK for the same duration as the Expansion Worker visa holder.

Can I work while on a Global Business mobility visa for the UK?

As a Global Business Mobility (Expansion Worker) visa holder, you can only work in the role for which you have been sponsored by your employer (i.e. the job shown on your Certificate of Sponsorship). The rules also prevent Expansion Worker visa holders from having a second job.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you take your next career step !

Reach out to us for more information or to see how we can help you?