Updated April 2023
The Senior or Specialist Worker visa is one of the Global Business Mobility visa routes. It allows overseas businesses to temporarily transfer staff to the UK to meet business needs. The visa allows people to stay and work in eligible jobs in their employer’s UK branch in senior management or specialist roles.
At The Nathanson Partnership, we have a team of expert immigration professionals that can help you with your Senior or Specialist Worker visa. Applying for a visa can be a long and tiring process, which is why we offer support and guidance to our clients to ensure their experience is as stress-free as possible.
Who can apply for the UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
To qualify for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you must have continuously worked outside the UK for your overseas employer for 12 months unless your salary is over £73,900. Any breaks in that period must be legitimate such as statutory sick, maternity, paternity, or adoption leave. You also need a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) issued by a licensed sponsoring company.
The job you are sponsored to do must be genuine and must be listed among the Home Office eligible occupations. You must be paid an annual salary of £45,800 (increased on 12 April 2023) or the “going rate” for your particular occupation, whichever is higher.
Additionally, you must prove that you have at least £1,270 in your bank account if you are outside the UK. The funds must remain in your account continuously for at least 28 days. Alternatively your sponsor can cover the maintenance requirement for 1mth after arrival in the UK.
What are the Sponsor Requirements for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
To apply for your Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you must be sponsored by a UK-licensed Senior or Specialist Worker sponsor that is linked to your overseas employer by common ownership or control where both companies have the same overall owner, or by a joint venture agreement.
The sponsor must also provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) which must outline amongst other things:
- Your name, job, and salary
- Confirmation of working for your sponsor outside the UK for more than 12 months unless your annual income is at least £73,900.
- The start date for the job must be within three months of making your Senior or Specialist Worker visa application.
- Confirmation that you have not previously used your Certificate of Sponsorship.
How long can I stay on the Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
You can stay in the UK on the Senior or Specialist Worker visa for up to 5 years or the amount of time outlined on your CoS plus an extra 14 days, whichever is shorter. The rules say that you can extend your visa as many times as you want as long as you don’t reach the maximum allowed stay which is 5 years in any 6 years if you earn less than £73,900, or 9 years in any 10 years if you earn £73,900 or higher.
You should be aware that any time spent in the UK on any Global Business Mobility visa counts towards the maximum total stay. However, your sponsored stay is unlimited if you have worked in the UK with one of the following visas since 6 April 2011:
- Intra-company Transfer visa
- Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa
- Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker visa
Can I get ILR through the Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
You cannot get Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) through the Senior or Specialist Worker visa because it is not a direct route to settlement in the UK. However, you can change to a different immigration route that leads to ILR if you meet the eligibility requirements e.g Skilled Worker.
How can The Nathanson Partnership help you?
We have a friendly team of immigration experts at The Nathanson Partnership. We are regulated immigration professionals providing quality immigration advice that you can rely on. We are fully accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) which means that our immigration practices must meet very high immigration service standards.
Our team of immigration experts would be happy to assist you with your Senior or Specialist Worker visa. We are on hand to answer all your queries and concerns when applying for your Senior or Specialist Worker visa as we know that the rules are very specific and can be confusing to the untrained eye.
We provide a full Senior or Specialist Worker visa service in which we advise and assist with your visa application, ensuring all documentation is submitted correctly and that they meet the Home Office’s strict standards. We’ll give you the peace of mind you need to be able to confidently submit your application, guiding you throughout the whole process.
In representing a range of clients, we have years of experience dealing with different types of visa applications. Our specialised knowledge and in-depth experience allow us to give excellent advice and support to our valued clients.
If you need assistance with your Senior or Specialist Worker visa application, our team of specialists are here to help you.