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Expansion Worker Visa UK

The UK offers a thriving market to overseas businesses looking to expand abroad. For those looking to come to the UK in order to help set up a UK branch of an overseas business, the Expansion Worker visa (a type of global business mobility visa) is likely to be the best fit.

However, the process of applying for a UK visa can often be complicated. Contact Manchester Immigration Lawyers today on 0161 826 9783 to learn more about our services and how we can make the application process as simple for you as possible.

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    Expansion Worker Visa (Global Business Mobility) Overview

    The UK is often a popular choice with overseas businesses looking to expand into new markets. If you work for an established overseas business and plan to come to the UK in order to help set up its UK branch, you will likely need an Expansion Worker visa. The Expansion Worker visa is one of the UK’s Global Business Mobility visas.

    In order to be eligible for this visa, you will need to work for the overseas employer in question, as either a senior manager for the company or as a specialist employee.

    This visa will generally allow you to stay in the UK for 12 months, or for the amount of time specified on your certificate of sponsorship plus an additional 14 days. This visa can also be extended by up to 12 months, with a maximum stay of 2 years. Note that, if you have already stayed in the UK on a different visa type, you may not be eligible for the full 2-year period.

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    Eligibility Requirements for Expansion Worker Visa UK

    In order to be eligible for the UK Expansion Worker visa, you will need to satisfy a number of conditions. These are as follows:

    • You must obtain a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer. More information on how to do so is provided later in this article
    • You must already have worked for your overseas employer before coming to the UK
    • Your job must be on the list of eligible occupations
    • Your salary must meet the minimum eligibility threshold for your role

    If you do not successfully satisfy the eligibility criteria for this visa type, your application will likely be unsuccessful.

    How Do I Obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship?

    The certificate of sponsorship refers to an electronic record given to you by your employer. This record contains further information about the exact role which you will be performing in the UK. It also contains a reference number which you will need to include as part of your visa application. If you will be applying for a UK Expansion Worker visa, you will need to ask your employer for a certificate of sponsorship.

    In order to grant you a certificate of sponsorship, your overseas employer will need to be an approved sponsor. This means that they have been assigned sponsor status by the UK government. If they do not already have approved sponsor status, they can apply for a UK sponsor licence.

    In order to apply for this licence, they will first need to check that they are eligible.

    Required Documents for UK Expansion Worker Visa

    There are a number of documents which you will require in order to apply for an Expansion Worker visa. Whilst the exact documents vary depending on the role and applicant in question, you will generally require a combination of the following:

    • Valid passport
    • Certificate of sponsorship reference number
    • Proof of your job title
    • Proof of your annual salary
    • The occupation code for your role
    • Your employer’s name and sponsor licence number, which can be found on your certificate of sponsorship
    • If your partner and child(ren) are also included in your application, you will need to include proof of the familial relationship(s)
    • Evidence that you have sufficient personal savings to support yourself during your stay in the UK
    • Evidence that you have already worked for your employer from outside of the UK
    • A valid ATAS certificate
    • If certain cases, it may also be necessary to provide a negative tuberculosis test result

    How to Apply for UK Expansion Worker Visa

    There are a number of steps involved in applying for a UK Expansion Worker visa.

    Your application can be submitted online, via the government website. This is when you will need to submit your necessary documents. If you are applying from outside of the UK, you will generally also need to attend an appointment at a visa processing centre, where your biometric information will be collected.

    Once you have completed the necessary steps, your application will then be considered. If your application is successful, you will then be granted a visa which will allow you to legally enter the UK for the duration of time specified on your visa.

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      Application Costs

      There are a number of costs associated with the UK Expansion Worker visa.

      Firstly, you will need to pay a £298 application fee.

      You will also need to pay the NHS healthcare surcharge, which allows you to access the National Health Service during your stay in the UK. At the time of writing in June 2024, the surcharge costs £1,035 a year.

      Additionally, you will need to prove that you have at least £1270 in personal savings. Note that this amount increases if your partner and children are included in your application.

      Processing Time

      The exact processing time for the UK Expansion Worker visa will depend on a range of factors, such as how many other applications are currently being processed and whether you submit your application correctly. Generally, you should receive a decision within 3 weeks if you are applying from outside of the UK and within 8 weeks if you are applying from within the UK.

      What You Can and Cannot Do

      UK expansion workers are able to engage in numerous activities within the UK, such as:

      • Working for your sponsoring company in the capacity outlined in your certificate of sponsorship
      • Engaging in study
      • Being joined in the UK by your partner and children, if they satisfy the eligibility criteria
      • Leaving and re-entering the UK

      However, UK Expansion Worker visas will not authorise you to do the following:

      • Access most welfare benefits
      • Change jobs, unless you are eligible to do so and update your visa accordingly
      • Start a second job
      • Apply for permanent residence, known in the UK as ‘indefinite leave to remain’

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        How Manchester Immigration Lawyers Can Help

        The UK is an appealing location for overseas companies looking to expand into new markets. It offers a strong market, easy travel access to the EU, and a range of appealing work locations. If you are looking to come to the UK in order to help your overseas business employer expand into the UK market, the UK Expansion Worker route is likely for you.

        However, the UK’s immigration rules can often be difficult to navigate. At Manchester Immigration Lawyers, our legal experts have many years of experience in helping to make applications like this as simple as possible. Contact us today on 0161 826 9783 to learn more about our legal services and to receive bespoke immigration advice on your situation.

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          With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Yes, your partner and minor or dependant child(ren) will generally be able to join you under this visa type, assuming that they satisfy the eligibility criteria.

                  For more information on the exact eligibility requirements, contact Manchester Immigration Lawyers today on 0161 826 9783.

                  If your job changes whilst you are in the UK on an Expansion Worker visa, you will need to apply to update your visa. If your partner and children are in the UK as your dependants, they will also need to apply to update their visas.

                  You will need to make sure that your new role satisfies the eligibility requirements for this visa type. You will also need to obtain a new certificate of sponsorship, which must contain your updated job information.

                  Make sure to apply to update your visa within 3 months of the start of your new role.

                  No, this visa type does not allow you to become a permanent resident of the UK. It only authorises you to remain in the UK for up to 2 years. However, you may be able to switch to one of the UK visas which does allow permanent settlement, such as the Skilled Worker visa.

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