UK Expansion Worker Visa: Apply from the US

A UK Expansion Worker visa, often referred to as a Global Business Mobility visa, allows foreign workers to enter the United Kingdom to set up an established overseas business that has not started trading in the UK yet.

If you have any questions regarding the UK expansion worker visa, sponsor licence or immigration rules, contact our expert team of immigration lawyers to discuss any concerns you may have.

Please call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.

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    What Is The Eligibility For The UK Expansion Worker Visa?

    To be eligible for a UK Expansion Worker visa you must fulfil the following requirements:

    • Hold a valid certificate of  sponsorship from your overseas business/employer
    • Have worked for your employer outside the UK, for at least 12 months unless you’re either earning more than £73,900
    • Work in a UK business job that’s on the list of eligible occupations, with a matching appropriate occupation code
    • Meet the minimum salary requirements for your job, which is at least £42,400 per year or the “going rate” for your job – whichever is higher. Please note that every occupation code has its own annual going rate.
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    What Is Permitted With UK Expansion Worker Visas?

    With a UK Expansion Worker visa, the skilled worker is permitted to do the following activities while in the UK:

    • Work for your UK sponsor in an eligible job described in your certificate of sponsorship
    • Study
    • Bring your partner and dependent children with you, if they’re eligible
    • Do voluntary work and unpaid work
    • Travel abroad freely and return to the UK

    Per the immigration rules, the following activities are not permitted while being a UK expansion worker:

    • Apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
    • Change jobs, unless you are eligible
    • Hold a second job
    • Apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’)

    What Is The Visa Application Process For A UK Expansion Worker Visa?

    To apply for a UK Expansion Worker visa, the US applicant must complete an online application, using their Certificate of sponsorship reference number. They can apply for a UK expansion worker visa up to 3 months before the day that they’re due to start work in the UK.

    The US applicant has to then prove their identity and provide the documents necessary. They may also need to attend an appointment to do this.

    Once the applicant has proved their identity, provided their documents and paid the relevant fee, a decision should be made in 3 weeks if outside the UK, and 8 weeks if inside the UK. Once approved, they can arrange travel to join the UK branch with their overseas business visa.

    What Are The Documents Necessary For A UK Expansion Worker Visa?

    There are a number of documents needed to apply for the UK expansion worker route.

    These documents include:

    • Your sponsorship licence reference number – your employer will provide this
    • A valid passport or another document that shows your identity and nationality
    • Your eligible job title and annual salary
    • Your job’s most appropriate occupation code
    • The name of your employer and their sponsor licence number – this will be on your certificate of sponsorship
    • Evidence that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, for example, bank statements
    • Proof of your relationship with your partner or dependent children, if they’re applying alongside you
    • US applicants do not need to submit their tuberculosis test results
    • If these documents are not already English or Welsh, you’ll also need to provide a certified translation.

    Depending on your situation, you may be required to also provide the following for the UK expansion worker visa:

    • Additional evidence that you’ve worked for your employer outside the UK. This can be done with the following:
      • 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
    • A valid ATAS certificate – if your job involves researching a sensitive subject at PhD level or higher

    What Is A Valid Certificate Of Sponsorship From Your Employer?

    Your employer, or your sponsor, will provide you with an electronic  ‘certificate of sponsorship’ that includes details about the job you will do in the UK.

    You’ll need the reference number from the certificate of sponsorship for your visa application. You must apply for your visa within 3 months of getting your certificate of sponsorship. In the instance that your employer is not currently approved to be a UK sponsor, they can apply for a sponsor licence.

    To be eligible for a UK expansion worker sponsor licence application, the employing organisation must be a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of an established overseas business and the business has no UK trading presence yet within the UK.

    Should a linked overseas employer want to send a senior manager or specialist employee to the UK on a temporary work assignment for overseas businesses that are already trading in the UK, they should apply for a different UK visa, such as a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, or even a Skilled Worker visa.

    If you have any questions regarding the UK Expansion Worker visa, our team can help you. Contact us

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      How Long Does A UK Expansion Visa Last?

      The amount of time the global business mobility visa will be valid is whichever is shorter than 12 months after the start date of the job on the sponsorship certificate and 14 days after the end date of that job.

      If the US UK Expansion Worker is looking to stay longer in the UK, they are permitted to extend their visa, but only for another 12 months, one year.

      The maximum time that an individual can stay in the UK on a UK Expansion Worker visa is 2 years.

      However, it is crucial to note that UK expansion workers are subject to the maximum period for other UK visas.

      This means that if they have spent time in the UK on this or another visa, they might not be eligible to remain in the UK on a UK Expansion Worker visa because visa holders may only stay in the UK for a maximum of 5 years in any 6-year period if they’ve spent time on any of the other visas, or as an Intra-company graduate trainee or intra-company transferee.

      The UK Expansion Worker route does not lead to settlement in the UK.

      However, a senior or specialist employee may be eligible to apply for leave to remain under a different immigration route.

      What Is The Application Fee For A UK Expansion Worker Visa?

      There are various costs involved with the global business mobility routes.
      The fees are:

      • Funds of at least £1,270 or 1,532.67 USD
      • The application fee of £259 or 312.57 USD
      • Immigration health surcharge of £624 or 753.22 USD every year.
      • Additional funds for any dependents joining on the specialist worker visa

      Bringing Your Dependents With You On An Overseas Business Visa

      Your partner or spouse and your children can apply alongside you to join you in the UK as your ‘dependants’ if they’re eligible.

      If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.

      For the skilled worker visa, a dependent partner or child is defined as the following:

      • Your husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried partner
      • Your child under 18 – including if they were born in the UK during your stay
      • Your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as your dependant

      You’ll show evidence of your relationship when you apply, such as a marriage certificate, or proof you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply.

      Any children must live, not be married, in a civil partnership or have any children and must be financially supported by you,

      Your partner and children must have a certain amount of money available to support themselves while they’re in the UK.

      You – or your partner or child – will need to showcase the following funds:

      • £285, or 344.22 USD for your partner
      • £315, or 380.46 USD for one child and £200, or 241.56 USD for each additional child

      Once the family member has applied online, proved their identity and provided their documents, they’ll normally receive a decision within 3 weeks.

      Total Law lawyers have the experience to help you get the right UK visa for your personal situation. Contact us

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        Total Law is a qualified team of immigration lawyers that are able to advise you on sponsorship obligations, UK business, job skill level requirements and plenty more.

        You can contact us to discuss the UK expansion worker visa. We are open seven days a week and can be reached by phone or by using the online chat function to speak with one of our client care agents.

        Please call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  To get a UK Expansion Worker visa, the applicant will need to be given a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK sponsor authorized by the Home Office to sponsor this worker category.

                  If you get a new job, you’ll be required to update your UK Expansion Worker visa if your job changes to a different occupation code. Regardless, you must have the same employer.