- Can Irish citizens apply for the service supplier route?
- What is the UK service supplier visa?
- What is permitted while living in the UK on this visa?
- UK Service Supplier Visa eligibility requirements.
- What is the service supplier visa application process?
- What supporting documents are needed for the service supplier visa route?
- Is there an application fee to apply to be an overseas service provider?
- How long can visa holders stay in the UK?
- How Total Law Can Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Can Irish citizens apply for the service supplier route?
Thanks to the long withstanding agreement between the UK government and Irish governments, Irish citizens can move to the UK for a job freely. Irish citizens, not inclusive people from Northern Ireland, can freely work, live, study and reside without immigration obstruction. This agreement is called the “Common Travel Area.”
As such, Irish citizens do not require any immigration control or immigration system that citizens from other countries require to work in the UK with the intention of providing services.
However, if you permanently and legally reside in Ireland but are not an Irish citizen, you need to apply with your personal or financial information for the service supplier visa prior to moving to the UK.
What is the UK service supplier visa?
The Service Supplier visa is a brand new visa route which is a new facet of the Global Business Mobility visa scheme, the UK visa permits an overseas service provider with a contract to offer their services to a UK company, so long the applicant is either:
- An employee of an overseas company
- Self-employed professional outside the UK
The Service Supplier route allows an overseas service provider to come to the UK as a contractual service supplier, offering temporary work assignments only, provided that the work is covered fully by a valid international trade agreement.
As mentioned, Irish citizens do not need to apply for a visa or to the EU Settlement Scheme thanks to the Common Travel Agreement.
What is permitted while living in the UK on this visa?
A Service Supplier visa benefits from the following rights while in the UK:
- Work freely for your sponsor in the designated job described on your Certificate of Sponsorship
- Bring your partner and children with you to the UK, if they are eligible
- Do volunteering
- Travel abroad and return to the UK
- Oppositely, you may not:
- Apply for public funds (benefits) or a state pension department
- Change jobs, unless you update your visa accordingly
- Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and settle permanently in England/UK
- Work a second job
UK Service Supplier Visa eligibility requirements
To be eligible to become a service supplier visa holder, the applicant who wishes to provide services in the UK has to meet the following: Be an employee of an overseas business or a self-employed service provider, based overseas and established in the territory of a party to an eligible trade agreement. Provide services to a UK business contractual service suppliers, that are covered by that agreement. Meet the relevant nationality or residence requirements applicable.
Providing a service to a UK business that’s a Home Office-approved sponsor. Hold a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK sponsor that details the work that the applicant will be doing in the UK. Do an eligible job occupation and have a relevant occupation code mentioned on their certificate of sponsorship using the most appropriate occupation code.
Have worked for their current employer for a minimum of a year outside the UK or, if the applicant is a self-employed service provider, have worked for at least 12 months immediately before applying and the job has to be in the same sector as the service.
Ability to support themselves financially, by showing proof of funds of at least £1,270, unless they’re exempt. This money must be in their bank account for at least 28 consecutive days, within 31 days of the date that they apply for their visa.
If the service supplier visa applicants do not have the eligible occupation code, there is still a chance to be eligible to apply for a UK Service Supplier visa, if they have relevant qualifications:
- A bachelor’s degree or higher in any subject or technical qualification is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.
- 3 years of professional experience relevant to the service they provide.
- 6 years of professional experience if self-employed.
Please note that some services have different experience and qualifications requirements:
- Fashion and modelling: no qualifications are required
- Chef de cuisine: an advanced technical qualification
- Entertainment services: no qualifications required
- Management consulting services: bachelor’s degree
- Advertising or translation: relevant qualifications
- Technical testing and analysis: bachelor’s degree or a relevant technical qualification.
What is the service supplier visa application process?
Applying for a service supplier visa must be done from outside the UK.
As part of the application process, the applicant will be required to submit a number of documents and prove their identity to the Home Office.
In order to prove to the UK government your identity, you may be required to attend an in-person appointment at a designated visa application centre to give biometric information.
This will depend on which passport you have. You may be able to prove your identity through the UK gov app.
What supporting documents are needed for the service supplier visa route?
When it comes to the application, you must gather plenty of original documents. It is vital you include all of the correct documents to avoid delays or issues. This is something that our team at Total Law can help with. Please note that all documents must either be in English or Welsh. If your documents are in another language, you have to get them translated officially.
The documents are as follows:
- A certificate of sponsorship reference number- this will be given to the applicant by their UK employer
- A valid passport or alternative document which proves identity and nationality
- The job title and job occupation code
- Name of the UK sponsor and their sponsor license number
- Evidence of sufficient funds or savings to support themselves when they arrive in the UK- bank
- Proof of relationship to any dependant partner and children – only if applicable
- Tuberculosis test results (if applicable, depending on your identity)
You may also need the following to prove how long you’ve worked for your overseas employer, to which you can provide:
- Printed payslips
- Online payslips supported by a letter from your sponsor signed by a senior staff member
- Bank or building society statements
- A building society pass book
- If you’re self-employed, you can provide:
- Invoices for work you’ve done
- Copies of your business accounts
- An accountant’s letter confirming the activity of the business and its profits
- Leases on business premises
- Adverts or marketing material for the business
- Business or personal bank statements to prove the income of the business
Is there an application fee to apply to be an overseas service provider?
For a UK Service Supplier visa, in addition to being able to show proof of funds, there will also be the following fees:
- The application fee of £259
- The immigration health surcharge of £624 per year
There will be additional fees for any dependents you wish to bring with you to the UK.
How long can visa holders stay in the UK?
With a Service Supplier visa, the visa holder can work and live in the UK for between 6 and 12 months, depending on the agreement they have with the UK employer.
Once a UK Service Supplier visa expires you can either apply for a different type of visa to stay in the UK, or you can apply for a Service Supplier visa in a different country.
If you intend on staying, you have to apply for a new UK visa prior to your current Service Supplier visa expiring.
How Total Law Can Help?
Total Law is an excellent team of qualified immigration solicitors who are experts in this immigration route. Our immigration team can provide excellent support in applying for the service supplier visa, meeting all requirements, and aid in answering any questions. We are able to advise you on sponsorship obligations, job skill level requirements and more!
Reach out to us anytime to discuss, as the chances of getting a visa are much easier with immigration solicitors’ support. We are available seven days a week and can be reached by phone – (+353) 061 518 025 – or by using the online chat function to speak with one of our client care agents!
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The Common Travel Area (CTA) is an arrangement between the United Kingdom and Ireland that allows citizens of those countries many rights including the ability to travel freely and move between both countries freely without any immigration control.
The applicant has to be providing a service to a UK business with a contract that’s covered by the UK’s international trade agreements, for a business that is a Home Office-approved sponsor.