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Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)

The Senior Worker or Specialist Worker visa gives you the right to come to the UK and do an eligible job at the UK branch of your employer.

Apply for the UK Specialist Worker Visa

Global Business Mobility Visa: Senior or Specialist Worker Requirements

The Intra-company Transfer visa, formerly known as the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa, has been replaced by the Senior Worker or Specialist Worker visa.

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UK senior worker visa overview

With a Senior or Specialist Worker visa you can:

  • work for your sponsor in the position described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • Study in the United Kingdom
  • Bring your partner and children along with you as your 'dependents' if they meet the eligibility requirements
  • Work as a volunteer
  • Travel abroad and return to the United Kingdom after your trip

If your application for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa is successful, you'll get a detailed list of what you are allowed and forbidden to do with your visa.

Our immigration consultants have helped employees transfer to a UK subsidiary or branch of an overseas company.
To start on time and advance in a way that is consistent with your business goals, our consultants can assist you in making the necessary preparations.

UK senior visa eligibility

You must meet the following requirements to qualify for a visa as a Senior or Specialist Worker:

  • The applicant must be a current employee of an organisation that has been approved by the Home Office as a sponsoring organisation
  • Worked for your employer outside the United Kingdom for a significant amount of time
  • Your employer must provide you with a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ detailing the work you will perform in the UK
  • Work in an occupation that is on the list of jobs that are eligible for the program
  • A salary of at least £42,400 is required

Request a free eligibility assessment from a top-notch Royal Migration immigration consultant by filling out the contact form.

UK senior or specialist visa requirements

When you apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Depending on your circumstances, you need to pay an application fee
  • Pay the healthcare surcharge 
  • Unless exempt, you must support yourself when you arrive in the UK-If your employer can support you instead the sponsorship certificate must confirm this. The ‘sponsor certifies maintenance’ section of your certificate needs to be filled out by your employer.

Documents you'll need to apply for a Global Business Mobility Visa

You will need to provide the following information when applying:

  • The reference number for your certificate of sponsorship provided to you by your employer
  • A valid passport or another document proving your nationality and identity
  • The title of your job and the annual salary you earn in the form of a pay slip
  • The occupation code for your job
  • A certificate of sponsorship which will contain the name of your employer and the sponsor license number of your employer
  • A bank statement (unless your sponsorship certificate shows your employer can support you) is evidence that you have sufficient personal savings to support yourself in the UK
  • Providing proof of your relationship with your partner or children if they are applying with you
  • The results of your tuberculosis test if you are from a country that is listed

Other Documents You Might Need

Depending on your circumstances, you might need to provide:

  • Evidence that you have worked for your employer outside the UK
  • A valid ATAS certificate if your job involves research on sensitive subjects at PhD level or higher, as determined by your employer
  • If you need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph) at a visa application centre, you’ll need a blank page in your passport. During the application process, you’ll be told if this is necessary
  • Documents that aren’t in English or Welsh must also be accompanied by a certified translation
  • Evidence you’ve worked for your employer outside the UK
  • A person earning less than £73,900 annually, may be asked to show that they have worked for their employer outside of the UK for at least 12 months 

How to apply

There are different ways to apply depending on whether you’re:

  • Travelling to the UK from outside the UK
  • Working in the UK as a Senior or Specialist Worker, and you wish to extend your stay
  • Switching from a different visa to a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, while inside the UK

In most cases, you will be able to apply for a visa up to 3 months before you are due to start working in the UK. You will find this date listed on your sponsorship certificate.
During the application process, you will need to prove your identity and provide your documents as part of the application process.

In most cases, after you have applied, proven your identity, and provided your documents, you will get a decision on your visa within a couple of days:

3 weeks, if you are not in the United Kingdom
8 weeks, if you are in the United Kingdom
There may be a chance that you will be able to pay for a faster decision if you need to go to an appointment. There are a few different ways you can do this depending on whether you are located outside the UK or inside the UK. Get help from a Royal Migration immigration consultant by filling out the contact form.

You will receive a “certificate of sponsorship” with information about the work that you will be doing in the UK from your employer – also known as your sponsor. 

Your visa application requires the reference number from the sponsorship certificate. You must apply for your visa within three months of receiving your sponsorship certificate.
There is a possibility for your employer, if they are eligible, to apply for a sponsor license if they don’t already hold a license to sponsor people to work in the United Kingdom.

Royal Migration is considered one of the most prestigious, professional, and successful immigration consultants in the MENA Region (the Middle East and Africa). Thousands of businesses and individuals from around the world, including many in Europe and the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, owe their success to our services. Having served our clients with over two decades of experience, our track record of 250000 plus successful visas says it all. Get in touch with us today and begin your application process with one of our immigration specialists.

The application process requires you to prove your identity. Depending on where you come from and what kind of passport you have, there are different ways to prove your identity.

You’ll either:

  • Take a photo of yourself and your fingerprints at a visa application centre to obtain a biometric residence permit
  • You will be able to scan your identity document using the UK Immigration: ID Check app (if you do not have an account, you will also be able to create or log into your account at UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI))

Royal Migration will inform you of what you need to do when you apply.

While your visa application is being processed, your passport and documents may need to be kept by the visa application centre.

The decision on your application will be sent to you via email or letter.

You can make changes to your application after you have sent it by contacting UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). UKVI will only refund your fee if your application has not yet been processed.

How long you can stay

As a Senior or Specialist Worker visa holder, you can stay in the UK for a period that is shorter than the following:
The time specified on the sponsorship certificate, plus 14 days.
Generally, if your annual salary is less than £73,900 you can work for five (5) years in 6 years.
If you earn over £73,900 a year, you can keep working for nine (9) years in any ten (10) years.
If you wish to extend your visa or apply for another one in the future, you can do so as often as you wish up to the maximum stay allowed.

It is possible to extend your stay as a Senior or Specialist Worker if you already have an Intra-company visa or a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa.
Your maximum stay will include any time you spend in the UK on one of the following visas:

  • Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa
  • Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Secondment Worker 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)

If you had a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa before 6 April 2011
If you have been in the UK since 6 April 2011 on any of the following visas, you can stay for as long as your employer sponsors you:

  • Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa
  • Intra-company Transfer visa
  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)

Questions? You’re covered

You must have worked for your employer outside the UK for at least 12 months if you earn less than £73,900 a year.
There is no minimum time requirement if you earn £73,900 or more a year.

Senior and Specialist Worker visas can be granted for five years, or the amount of time specified on your sponsorship certificate plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

You may be entitled to extend your stay in the UK as many times as you want if the extension is within the following maximum time frame after you have stayed in the UK for the approved period:

  • Five years in six years, if your annual salary is less than £73,900
  • Nine years in ten years, if your yearly salary is £73,900 or more

The time spent on other visas will be included in your maximum total stay if you are already in the UK on another visa.

Yes. If the primary visa holder is a Senior or Specialist Worker, it may be possible to bring dependents into the UK if they meet the eligibility criteria.

A Senior or Specialist Worker's dependent family members include:

  • Husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner
  • Children under the age of 18 – including children who were born in the UK during the visa holder's time in the UK
  • Children over the age of 18 living in the UK who are dependent on the visa holder

UK Senior or Specialist Worker Visa Eligibility Check

Are you eligible for the UK senior or specialist work visa?

Our immigration consultants have helped many senior workers worldwide work in the United Kingdom for business, pleasure, and family obligations. Contact us to discuss your UK visit visa application.

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