- An Overview Of The UK Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
- Eligibility And Requirements Of The UK Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
- UK Senior or Specialist Worker Visa Application Fees
- Senior or Specialist Worker Visa Application Process
- Application Processing Time
- Extending The Visa
- Benefits And Restrictions Whilst On a UK Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
- Bringing Dependants
- Our Immigration Team Can Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
An Overview Of The UK Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
You can temporarily send some of your specialist employees or senior managers to work at your business’s branch in the UK. To do this, you must sponsor their Senior or Specialist Worker Visa (Global Business Mobility Visa) application. This visa replaced the defunct Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) for a Long-term Staff visa.
To be eligible for the global business mobility senior or specialist visa, your Egyptian employee must earn at least £73,900 per annum. If they make an amount below this, then they must have been working for you for at least 1 year. It is vital to note that the visa is a temporary permit to work in the UK and is not a route to settlement in the UK.
Employees who can get this visa must demonstrate that they are specialists or have senior managerial roles in your company. Employees without much job experience cannot apply for this visa. To get your Egyptian employee to move to the UK on this visa, you’ll have to sponsor them. You can only sponsor an employee from outside the UK if your business has a valid sponsor licence.
Employees who can move to the UK on this visa are senior employees or specialists. As such, they must be above 18 to apply.
To be eligible to sponsor an Egyptian employee to move to the UK, you must have a valid sponsor licence approved by the Home Office. If you do not have one or had your licence downgraded, you must apply for a sponsor licence first.
Certificate of Sponsorship
All applicants for this visa must show that they have obtained a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) from their employers. This means that you’ll have to direct the branch of your business in the UK to issue CoS to the Egyptian employee coming to work in the UK. The CoS must contain the details about the work the Egyptian is coming to do. It must also specify the duration of the job. In addition to issuing a CoS, you’ll need to pay the immigration skills charge for sponsoring overseas staff to the UK.
Not all employees from your company can move to the UK on the Global Mobility Business visa. The visa is for specialist or managerial roles like account managers, quality assurance managers, senior librarians, production managers, executive directors and chief executive officers. Note that employees who work in the creative industry are no longer eligible for this visa.
Often, people apply for visas with the wrong intentions. The Home Office will need to be convinced that the job the Egyptian is going to do is genuine. Your business in the UK will need to prove that it requires the services of a specialist or senior manager.
Time Working for the Employer
Global Business Mobility visa is for employees who are in your current employ. Applicants must prove they have worked for a branch or subsidiary of their prospective company in the UK. The Home Office requires employees to work with the employer for at least 1 year. If you want to send an employee who has not completed at least 1 year of work with you to the UK, they must prove that their annual salary is up to £73,900.
For your senior manager or specialist employee to be eligible for this visa, you must pay them at least £45,800 annually. If the Senior or Specialist Worker’s salary is lower than the going rate for their role, you must pay them the going rate. Their visa application can be denied if this requirement is not met.
Apart from meeting the salary requirements, your employee must meet the financial requirements for the Global Mobility visa. The Home Office requires applicants to have enough money to take care of themselves for at least a month before their first salary is paid. Your employee must show that they have at least £1,270 sitting in their bank account for 28 consecutive days. The last day of the 28 must be within 31 days from the employee’s application date. The sum they need to show will increase if they apply with their family.
To lessen the requirements your employee would have to meet, you can undertake to cover their cost for the first month. If you wish to do so, you can indicate in the certificate of sponsorship that “sponsorship certifies maintenance”.
Documents Required for Application
Below are the documents applicants will need to present to prove that they are eligible for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa:
- Reference number of the certificate of sponsorship issued by the employer.
- Valid Egyptian passport, which proves nationality and identity. The passport must have been issued within the last 10 years. There must also be at least 2 blank pages where the visa will be attached.
- Job contract showing annual salary and occupation code.
- Details of the employer and their licence number.
- Bank statement showing you have enough money to support yourself in the UK. If the employer agrees to cater to your living costs, you are exempt from this requirement.
- Marriage and birth certificates that show your relationship with the family you’re travelling with.
- Proof that you have worked for the employer in Egypt or elsewhere outside the UK.
- Valid ATAS certificate if your employer requires it.
- Payslips that show you earn up to £73,900 per year.
- Evidence that you have paid the visa fees.
- Evidence that you have paid the health surcharge fee.
- Confirmation page printout to show that you were scheduled to come for a visa appointment on that day.
- Recent digital passport photographs taken no earlier than 6 months to the date you submitted your application.
It is important to note that if your documents are in Arabic instead of English or Welsh, you must provide a translation certified by the Home Office.
UK Senior or Specialist Worker Visa Application Fees
Below are the fees you’ll need to pay when applying for the Global Mobility Visa:
- £719 for each family member included in the application if you will stay in the UK for 3 years.
- £1420 for each family member included in the application if you will stay in the UK for 5 years.
- £624 per annum for each family member included in the application.
- £1,270 in your bank account if you are applying alone. You’ll prove an extra £285 if you are applying with your partner, an additional £315 for the first child and then £200 for each extra child added to the application.
Step 1: Obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship
The first thing you need when applying for the visa is to be issued a CoS. You’ll need a unique reference number to make your application.
Step 2: Gather Your Documents
After obtaining the CoS, you must assemble your supporting documents. You can use the documents required section above as a checklist for what you need. Our immigration advisors can also help you in this regard. Speak with them by calling +44 (0)333 305 9375 or sending a message online.
Step 3: Pay the Application Fee
You can then pay the application fee and healthcare surcharge. Remember to get receipts; you’ll need to attach them to your supporting documents.
Step 4: Apply Online
Visit the Home Office website and use the online portal for the visa. The first thing you need to do is create an account with the Home Office if it is your first time applying for a UK visa. Otherwise, you’ll need to sign in to your account. You’ll be required to input your information and that of your employer. If you are applying with your family, you’ll need to input details about them, too. Ensure that the details you submit on the portal correspond with those on your supporting documents. Discrepancies between both will result in your application being delayed or even denied.
Step 5: Upload Supporting Documents
Your next step would be to upload your documents on the portal. You can scan your supporting documents and then attach them to the necessary sections on the portal. Ensure that the images are clear and the writings on them legible.
Step 6: Schedule an Appointment
After submitting your documents, schedule a visa appointment at the visa application centre in Egypt. You can apply through the TLScontact visa application centre in Cairo or Alexandria.
Step 7: Go for Your Appointment
Take the appointment confirmation printout and your passport with you when going to the visa application centre for your appointment. At the centre, your biometrics will be captured. If you included your family in your application, they’ll need to attend the appointment. Their biometrics will be captured, too. They will also have to submit their passports. Note that you may be required to pay for the services rendered by the visa application centre. If you cannot scan and upload your documents to the platform when applying online, you can ask the officials at the application centre to do so for you.
Step 8: Wait for Processing Time
You can then wait for some time for your visa application to be processed.
Step 9: Pick Up Your Visa
If your application is successful, the Home Office will notify you via email. They can also contact you if additional information is needed on your application. You’ll also be told how and when you’ll get your passport and visa.
Application Processing Time
It takes the Home Office 3 weeks to make a decision on your application. Sometimes, there could be delays because the Home Office needs more information on your application or wants to verify the information you supplied. In rare cases, you may be invited for an interview. Errors in your application can also affect visa processing time. To avoid this delay, let us make the application on your behalf. We have expert immigration lawyers who are thorough in their approach and can submit an error-free application, thus increasing your chances of getting approval.
Extending The Visa
You can apply to extend your UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa. To do so, you’ll have to meet the following criteria:
- You must be working in the same role for which you got a visa to the UK.
- You must be working in the same job with the same occupation code for which you got a visa to the UK.
- You must still be working for the employer who issued you a certificate of sponsorship.
- You have not reached the maximum stay for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa.
Your family members on a dependent visa must also apply for an extension of their visa, as your extension does not automatically extend theirs. The maximum time you can spend on a Senior or Specialist Worker visa in the UK is:
- 5 years within a 6-year period if your salary is less than £73,900 per year.
- 9 years within a 10-year period if your pay is equal to or higher than £73,900 per year.
It is important to note that time spent on other Global Business Mobility visas counts towards the maximum total stay. These visas include:
- Intra-company Transfer visa
- Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa.
- Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility).
- Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility).
- Secondment Worker visa (Global Business Mobility).
- UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility).
You’ll need to apply for an extension before the visa expires. To do so, sign in to your account with the Home Office and fill out the extension form. Then, upload your documents on the platform. The documents you need to scan and upload are the same as the ones you used for your initial application. Only ensure that every document is up to date, including the CoS.
The next step is to pay the extension fee and healthcare surcharge and prove you still meet the salary and financial requirements like you did during your first application. Each family member included in your application for extension will pay £827 if you are extending for 3 years. For extensions for more than 3 years, everyone will pay £1,500 each. Finally, you’ll also need to pay a £624 health surcharge per annum for every family member.
After submitting your application online and paying the fees, you must schedule an appointment with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). They will collect your biometrics and passport. It will take the Home Office 8 weeks to make a decision on your application. It could take longer if there are details the Home Office needs to verify.
Benefits And Restrictions Whilst On a UK Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
While on the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you can bring dependents to the UK, travel and return to the UK at will, apply for an extension or switch to a different kind of visa. It is also possible for you to volunteer or study in the UK. You cannot access state pension or public funds, get a second job or apply for permanent residency even if you spend 5 years on the visa.
You can bring dependents to the UK on a Senior or Specialist Worker visa. The Home Office categorises the following as dependants:
- Your wife, husband, civil or unmarried partner.
- Your child below 18.
- Your child over 18, if they are in the UK.
You must show that you are legally married or have lived with your partner for at least 2 years before applying. If your child is up to 16, you need to prove that:
- They are not in any civil partnership or marriage.
- They do not have children.
- They are dependent on you for financial support.
- They must be living with you, except they are in school.
If the child is living with you, you must present a document proving they share an address with you. This document could be an official letter sent from their college or school. You’ll need to pay their visa fees, and their costs are the same as yours. Their dependent visas are also valid as long as yours is. Finally, you’ll need to prove you have enough money to care for your family size.
Our goal at Total Law is to make your Egyptian employee’s visa application process as smooth as possible. Many UK visa applicants experience long wait times because of errors in documentation and online applications. At Total Law, we have expert immigration consultants who can assess your employee’s eligibility, prepare their documents and submit an error-free application.
If you are an employer looking to hire overseas staff, we can help you apply to obtain a sponsor licence. Our immigration advisors can help fast-track your application and provide information on how to maintain your sponsor licence rating.
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There are no English language requirements for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa. The Home Office does not mandate applicants to show they have sufficient knowledge of English for the visa.
You cannot apply for permanent residency with a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa. The global business mobility visa senior or specialist worker visa is for temporary work, not a route towards permanent residency or citizenship. However, if you intend to get permanent residency in the UK, you may need to switch to a different kind of visa and then meet the permanent residency requirement on such a visa. A common visa for this is the Skilled Worker visa.