UK Senior or Specialist Worker Visas
The Senior or Specialist Worker visa is a category of the Global Business Mobility visa for those who wish to come to the UK to work for their overseas employer at a UK branch or subsidiary.
The visa has been established to allow organisations to send skilled and senior employees and their expertise to the UK base of a business. Both the employer and employee will need to satisfy eligibility criteria.
At IBB Law, our specialist immigration team represent workers in all types of business, providing Senior or Specialist Worker visa guidance and making visa applications on their behalf.
We have in-depth expertise in all aspects of immigration law and a sound understanding of the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration. We are known for our excellent client service and attention to detail, as well as for our sound legal knowledge.
We deal with a full range of UK work visas. If you would like to discuss whether a Senior or Specialist Worker visa is the right option for you, we would be happy to hear from you.
Complete support for UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa applications
Our immigration solicitors provide a full service for those needing Senior or Specialist Worker visa advice and representation, including the following:
- Assessing your situation to ensure that a UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa is the best option
- Preparing Senior or Specialist Worker visa applications
- Compiling the correct documents in support of your Senior or Specialist Worker applications
- Advice and representation if you have received a Senior or Specialist Worker visa rejection or refusal
- Renewing a Senior or Specialist Worker visa
We also represent employers who wish to move employees to work for them in the UK.
Why choose IBB Law for Senior or Specialist Worker visa advice?
Our skilled immigration lawyers at IBB Law offers:
- Exceptional legal knowledge both in immigration law and navigating the UK Visas and Immigration application process
- Hands on help from a lawyer who will take the time to understand your unique circumstances and requirements and who will ensure they are available to discuss your case with you as necessary
- A cost-effective service from lawyers who actively work to ensure your application is submitted without delay
- Genuine immigration experts who have been independently recognised by leading lawyer directory, The Legal 500, for their excellence in immigration law and their high standards of service
Looking for immediate help with a UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
If you need help with Senior or Specialist Worker visa applications or you would like to explore your options for coming to the UK as a worker, our immigration team will be happy to help.
For more information on our services, see UK business immigration lawyers.
What is a UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
A UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa is one of five categories of the new Global Business Mobility visa, and it replaces the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visa. It is available for higher level workers who wish to live and work in the UK temporarily for their overseas employer.
It does not directly lead to settlement in the UK, although you may be able to switch to a different visa in the future, which could give you eligibility to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
How to apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa
In the guide below, there is information covering the following key points:
- Who can apply for a Senior or Specialist worker visa?
- How do I get a Senior or Specialist worker visa?
- Making a Senior or Specialist Worker visa application
- Senior or Specialist Worker visa refusals and rejections
- Renewing a Senior or Specialist Worker visa
- Alternatives to a Senior or Specialist Worker visa
- Senior or Specialist Worker fees
- What rights does a Senior or Specialist Worker visa give you?
- Senior or Specialist Worker visa requirements
- Supporting documents for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa application
- How long does it take to get a Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
- How long can I stay in the UK on a Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
- Can my family members come with me on a Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
- Can I take another job or change my job while on the Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
In order to make Senior or Specialise Worker visa applications, those wishing to come to the UK on behalf of an overseas business will need to have a valid certificate of sponsorship. Your employer will need to be licensed to provide this.
The job you hold will need to be on the government’s list of eligible occupations, and you should be paid the minimum eligible salary for your work. You can find out whether your job is eligible by checking the four-digit occupation code for the job. Your employer can provide this, or you can find it on your certificate of sponsorship.
You should also have worked for your employer outside of the UK for at least 12 months if you earn less than £73,900 a year. If you earn £73,900 or more, there is no minimum requirement.
Your salary will need to be at least £42,400 or the specified going rate for your job, whichever is higher. You can check the going rate on the government’s website.
You are required to apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa online and prove your identity. This will be done either by providing your biometric information at a visa application centre, where you will be provided with a Biometric Residence Permit or by using the UK Immigration: ID Check app.
You will need to hold a certificate of sponsorship that was issued no more than three months before you make a Senior and Worker visa application.
The online form needs to be completed, and you will be prompted to supply a range of documentation by way of evidence in respect of the various requirements.
If you receive a Senior or Specialist Worker visa refusal or rejection, you are advised to speak to an expert immigration lawyer about the best course of action to take.
If you ask us to represent you, we will look at your application and your circumstances and discuss your possible next steps with you.
It may be that you have not included adequate documentation by way of evidence in respect of certain points, in which case we may be able to submit a new application on your behalf.
If the authorities have made an error in processing your visa application, you can request an administrative review of their decision. In limited cases, it may be possible to apply for a judicial review where the decision did not properly follow the law or where the right process was not used.
You can extend or renew a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, provided the following circumstances exist:
- Your job remains the same as when you were originally given a visa
- The job is still within the same occupation code
- You still work for the same employer who provided your current certificate of sponsorship
- You have not yet reached the maximum total stay
An application to extend a Senior or Specialist Worker visa must be made online before the existing visa that you hold expires.
Depending on your individual circumstances, alternatives to a Senior or Specialist Worker visa include:
- UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
- Secondment Worker (Global Business Mobility)
If you would like to discuss the requirements for these visas, we would be happy to talk them through with you.
The application fee for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa is as follows:
Applying from outside of the UK:
|For up to three years
|For more than three years
Applying from inside of the UK to extend, switch or update your visa:
|For up to three years
|For more than three years
You will also be required to pay the healthcare surcharge, which is usually £624 per year.
You must have a minimum of £1,270 in your bank account when you apply, and you will need to provide evidence that you have held this for at least 28 consecutive days. The 28th day must be within 31 days of the date of your application. Your employer could agree to support you, and if they will be doing this, they should include confirmation on the certificate of sponsorship.
If you will be bringing a partner and/or children with you to the UK, they will also have to pay visa application fees, and healthcare surcharges, and evidence will need to be provided showing that financial support is in place for them.
You can work for your employer doing the job outlined on the certificate of sponsorship, and it is also open to you to study and do voluntary work in the UK if you wish.
You can bring your partner and children with you if they are eligible. You also have the right to leave and return to the UK.
You may not apply for most benefits or change jobs unless you can do so within the UK immigration rules. If you do change jobs, you will need to update your visa.
You cannot usually hold a second job, and you cannot apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Requirements for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa include holding a high level job with an employer who is able to provide a certificate of sponsorship at the minimum salary level and having sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK.
The authorities will need to be provided with evidence in respect of all of their requirements. This means that your application will need to be accompanied by a wide range of documents, including the following:
- A valid passport or other national identity document
- The reference number for your certificate of sponsorship, which your employer can provide and which will include your employer’s name and sponsor licence number
- Details of your job title, annual salary and the job occupation code
- Evidence of your personal savings, such as bank statements or confirmation from your employer on the certificate of sponsorship that they will support you
- Evidence of your relationship with your partner and/or children if they will also be applying to come to the UK
- Tuberculosis test results if you are from an affected country
If you have applied from outside of the UK, you should receive a decision within three weeks of providing all necessary evidence. If you have applied from inside of the UK to renew or switch visas, you should receive a decision within eight weeks.
You may be able to pay extra for a faster decision.
If you hold a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you can stay in the UK for the shorter of either the time on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days or five years.
The maximum total stay is five years in any six year period if you are paid less than £73,900 per year and nine years in any ten year period if you are paid £73,900 per year or more.
You can extend your visa up to the maximum total stay, but you should note that if you have been in the UK on certain other work visas, including other Global Business Mobility visas, the time spent under those visas will be included in the total.
Your partner and dependent children can come to the UK with you, provided they are eligible. They will each need to apply for their own visa.
You cannot change jobs on a Senior or Specialist Worker visa unless you update your visa and the new job that you switch to means that you are eligible.
Get immediate expert advice on applying for a UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa
If you need expert advice and guidance in respect of a UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa application, our business immigration solicitors will be happy to assist.