UK Service Supplier Visa - Advice & Guidance
The UK Service Supplier visa is a category of the Global Business Mobility visa aimed at contractual suppliers of services who are either self-employed and based overseas or who work for a service provider based overseas.
The visa gives permission to the service provider to live and work in the UK on a temporary basis, including bringing a partner and children if they are eligible. While the UK Service Supplier visa is not a direct route to settlement in the UK, it is possible in some circumstances to switch to a different visa in the future, which could make you eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
At IBB Law, our expert immigration solicitors represent service suppliers from all sectors. We can ensure that you have chosen the best immigration route for your circumstances, and we have the experience to prepare the strongest possible UK Service Supplier visa application on your behalf.
As well as a deep understanding of immigration law and the process that needs to be followed in securing a visa, we offer exceptional service to our clients. If you ask us to help you, we will work closely with you, giving you guidance and support throughout. We will ensure we are available to speak to you and answer questions as needed.
We often obtain visas for clients in complex circumstances, and we have the experience to deal with difficulties efficiently and without unnecessary delay.
We deal with all types of UK work visas. If you would like to talk through which visa option is best for your situation, please feel free to call us.
Complete support for UK Service Supplier visa applications
Our team helps people from all over the world with Service supplier visa applications and advice. Our services include:
- Discussing your circumstances with you to establish whether you are eligible and providing UK Service Supplier visa guidance
- Making UK Service Supplier visa applications
- Putting together all of the documentary evidence in support of your Service Supplier visa application
- Dealing with UK Service Supplier visa rejections and refusals
- Renewing a UK Service Supplier visa
Why choose IBB Law for Service Supplier visa advice?
Our UK immigration law experts offer:
- Decades of experience in UK immigration law, with an in-depth understanding of the policies and procedures in place
- Support and guidance throughout your time with us
- A cost-effective service from lawyers who stay up to date with legal developments and who will work proactively to progress your application without delay
- Independently accredited lawyers with immigration expertise that has been recognised by leading solicitor directory, The Legal 500, in recognition of both our legal expertise and our high levels of service
Looking for immediate help with a UK Service Supplier visa?
If you need a UK Service Supplier visa and you would like guidance and representation in making your application, we will be happy to hear from you.
For further information in respect of our services, see UK business immigration lawyers.
What is a UK Service Supplier visa?
A UK Service Supplier visa is one of five options under the Global Business Mobility visa. It is intended for overseas service providers who may work for an overseas business or be based overseas in a self-employed capacity.
The contract that will be taken up by the service supplier must be with an employer who holds a sponsor licence and who is able to provide a certificate of sponsorship. The contract will also need to be covered by a valid international trade agreement.
How to apply for a UK Service Supplier visa
In the following guide, you can find information in respect of the following key areas:
- Who can apply for a Service Supplier visa?
- How do I get a Service Supplier visa?
- How long can I stay in the UK on a Service Supplier visa?
- Can my family members come with me on a Service Supplier visa?
- Can I take another job or change my job while on the Service Supplier visa?
- Service Supplier visa refusals and rejections
- Renewing a Service Supplier visa
- Alternatives to a Service Supplier visa
- Service Supplier visa fees
- What rights does a Service Supplier visa give you?
- Service Supplier visa requirements
- Supporting documents for a Service Supplier visa application
- How long does it take to get a Service Supplier visa?
Who can apply for a Service Supplier visa?
To be eligible to apply for a Service Supplier visa, you should meet the following criteria:
- Be employed by an overseas business or be self-employed overseas providing services
- Your service contract is covered by a valid international trade agreement
- The UK business that will be providing your contract holds a valid sponsor licence
- The job you do is eligible for a Service Supplier visa – your employer can give you the four-digit occupation code for the job, or you can find this on your certificate of sponsorship, and this can be checked against the list of eligible jobs on the UK government website
- If your job is not eligible, you may be able to apply for a Service Supplier visa if you have:
- A bachelor’s degree or above; or
- A technical qualification that is equal to a bachelor’s degree
- Three years’ relevant professional experience as an employee or six years’ relevant professional experience if you are self-employed
- Hold a certificate of sponsorship that has been issued for you by your UK employer
- Have worked outside of the UK for at least 12 months for your employer or have at least 12 months experience if you are self-employed
You must also have sufficient money to support yourself in the UK. This is a minimum of £1,270, which you must have held for at least 28 consecutive days. Alternatively, your sponsor can confirm on the certificate of sponsorship that they will fund you.
How do I get a Service Supplier visa?
You must apply online for a UK Service Supplier visa unless you are extending an existing visa or switching to the visa from another valid visa.
As well as completing the online application form, you will also need to provide evidence of your identity. This is either done by going to a visa application centre to request a biometric residence permit or by using the UK Immigration: ID Check app.
You will also need to include a range of documentary evidence to support all aspects of your application, including in respect of your job, your relationship with any dependents who will also be coming to the UK with you and in respect of your ability to support yourself financially.
How long can I stay in the UK on a Service Supplier visa?
You can stay in the UK on a Service Supplier for whichever is the shorter of:
- Six months or twelve months, depending on the trade agreement which covers your contract
- The time noted on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
Can my family members come with me on a Service Supplier visa?
Dependent family members can apply to come to the UK with you or join you after you have arrived, provided they are eligible. They will need to apply for a family visa, which will end on the same day as your Service Supplier visa.
Those who can apply are:
- Your spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
- A child aged under 18. If they are aged 16 or over, they need to:
- Live with you unless they are at boarding school, college or university
- Not be married or in a civil partnership or have children
- Be maintained financially by you
- A child aged over 18 who is in the UK and dependent upon you
You will also have to provide evidence that your partner and/or children can be supported financially while they are in the UK by showing that the following sums are money are available for them:
- £285 in respect of your partner
- £315 for your first child
- £200 each for any other children
Can I take another job or change my job while on the Service Supplier visa?
You cannot take a second job if you are in the UK under a Service Supplier visa. You may be able to change jobs provided you still work for the same sponsor, and the new job has an eligible occupation code. You would need to be provided with a new certificate of sponsorship and update your visa.
Service Supplier visa refusals and rejections
If your Service Supplier visa is refused or rejected, you are advised to seek legal advice about how to proceed.
If you have failed to provide enough evidence in support or you have made errors in completing your application, you may be able to make a new application.
Alternatively, where you believe that UK Visas and Immigration have made errors in processing your application, you can request an administrative review.
Where the law has not been correctly or fairly applied or the right process followed in dealing with your case, you may be entitled to ask for a judicial review.
Alternatives to a Service Supplier visa
In some circumstances, a different visa may be the right option for you, such as:
- A UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
- A UK Secondment Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
Our team can talk through your situation with you and advise you of the best available immigration route.
Service Supplier visa fees
The UK Service Supplier visa fee is £259. You will also need to pay the healthcare surcharge, which is generally £624 for each year that you will be in the UK.
You must also have funds available to support yourself in the UK. This is usually £1,270.
What rights does a Service Supplier visa give you?
If you hold a Service Supplier visa, you can work in the job detailed in your certificate of sponsorship and also study if you wish to and do voluntary work.
You can bring your partner and/or children with you if they are dependent upon you and eligible. You will also be able to go overseas and re-enter the UK.
You will not qualify for most benefits, and you can only change jobs if you are able to update your visa to reflect this.
The Service Supplier visa is not a route to permanent settlement in the UK.
Supporting documents for a Service Supplier visa application
Your application will need to be accompanied by full evidence in support, showing that you meet all of the eligibility criteria. The main documents required include the following:
- A valid passport or other national identity document
- Certificate of sponsorship reference number, available from your sponsor
- Your sponsor’s name and their sponsor licence number
- Details of the job you will be doing, including the job title and four-digit occupation code
- Evidence that you hold the necessary funds to support yourself, usually shown by six months’ bank statements
- Tuberculosis test results if you are from an affected country
You may also need to provide the following:
- Documents proving your relationship to dependants, if they will be coming to the UK as well
- Evidence of sufficient funds to support dependants
- Proof of your degree or other relevant qualifications
- Documents confirming that you have worked for your employer outside of the UK, such as payslips, a letter from someone in a senior position at the business or bank statements
- Evidence of your work as a self-employed person, such as copy accounts, invoices, bank statements, a copy of the lease for business premises or a letter from your accountant
How long does it take to get a Service Supplier visa?
Service Supplier visa applications can be submitted up to three months before the date you will start work, as noted on your certificate of sponsorship.
Once UK Visas and Immigration have your application and all accompanying documents and proof of identity, they aim to provide a decision within three weeks if you have applied from outside of the UK.
Where you have applied from inside of the UK to renew a visa or to switch to the Service Supplier visa, you should hear within eight weeks. In some cases, you may be able to pay extra for a faster service.
Get immediate expert advice on applying for a UK Service Supplier visa
If you need expert advice and guidance in respect of a UK Service Supplier visa application, our business immigration solicitors will be happy to assist.