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New Global Business Mobility routes – Senior/Specialist Worker and Graduate Trainee routes

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On 15 March 2022, the government published a Statement of Changes to the United Kingdom’s Immigration Rules, featuring the new Global Business Mobility routes set to launch on 11 April 2022.

These routes are a new category of sponsored routes for overseas businesses seeking to establish a presence in, or transfer staff to the UK for specific business purposes. The new routes are poised to replace four existing business mobility provisions, and create a new provision for secondments.

Senior or Specialist Worker

This route is intended for senior managers and specialist employees being assigned to a UK business linked to their overseas employment. The route is set to replace the existing Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) route, which will close to new applicants on 11 April 2022.

Whilst many elements of the ICT routes have been carried over, various occupation codes for creative employment have been removed, including artists, authors, writers, translators, actors, entertainers, presenters, dancers, choreographers and product/clothing designers.

Applicants for this new route must be currently working for a company linked to their UK sponsor by common ownership or control, or by a joint venture under which they are sponsored to work. Unless they are a high earner (earning £73,900 per year or more), applicants must have worked outside the UK for the linked organisation for a period of at least 12 months.

As the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa is a sponsored route, applicants will require a valid Certificate of Sponsorship tailored to the specific job they intend to do, assigned by a Home Office approved UK employer with a Sponsor Licence. This new route does not require applicants to satisfy an English Language requirement, however, the job in question must be eligible at or above a minimum skill level, with a salary that equals or exceeds £42,400 per year and 100% of the occupation’s going rate, whichever figure is higher.

This Visa will be granted for a specified period on the applicant’s Certificate of Sponsorship, up to 5 years. The maximum time period permitted under the Senior or Specialist Worker route will be 5 years in any 6-year period if the applicant earns less than £73,900 per year, or 9 years in any 10-year period if the applicant earns equal to or more than this.

Graduate Trainee

This route is intended for workers on a graduate training course, leading to a senior management or specialist position, and who are required to do a work placement in the UK. This route is set to replace the existing Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route, which will close to new applicants on 11 April 2022.

Applicants for this route must currently be working for a company linked to their UK sponsor by common ownership or control, or by a joint venture under which they are sponsored to work. They must also have worked outside the UK for the company in question for at least 3 months immediately prior to the date of their Visa application.

As this is a sponsored route, applicants will require a valid Certificate of Sponsorship tailored to the specific job they intend to do, assigned by a Home Office approved UK employer with a Sponsor Licence. This new route does not require applicants to satisfy an English Language requirement, however, the job in question must be eligible at or above a minimum skill level, with a salary that equals or exceeds £23,100 per year and 70% of the occupation’s going rate, whichever figure is higher.

This Visa will be granted for 1 year, with the maximum time period permitted under this route totalling 5 years in any 6-year period.

Considerations for Existing Sponsors

From the standpoint of existing sponsors, if a valid sponsor licence for the existing Intra-Company routes is held, the new Senior or Specialist Worker route will be automatically added to the relevant sponsor licence. Additionally, Certificate of Sponsorship allocations for existing sponsors will remain the same. Intra-company sponsor licences will be retained, although sponsors will no longer have an active Certificate of Sponsorship allocation for those routes.

Settlement Under Global Business Mobility Routes

All 5 of the new Global Business Mobility Routes will not directly lead to settlement in the UK.

Should you wish to discuss any of the above-mentioned routes or your UK immigration matters, please contact our expert team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at barar.london@bararassociates.co.uk or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via https://bararassociates.com/.

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