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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 (SSW) 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 £42,400 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?

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.

Please contact us for a free initial assessment with our qualified and experienced UK immigration advisors.

Contact Our Expert Specialist Worker Visa Immigration Professionals

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.

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.

Please contact us today on 020 3476 9523 or email us at [email protected] 




Does My Sponsor Need to Pay the Immigration Skills Charge for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

Yes, your sponsor does have to pay the Immigration Skills Charge for Senior or Specialist workers, unless you were assigned a CoS on or after 1st January 2023, you are a national of an EU country or you usually work in the EU for an EU business and have been transferred to work in the UK temporarily for no more than 36 months.

How Long Does it Take to Get the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

Once you have applied for your visa online, provided any supporting documents and proven your identity, you will receive the decision within 8 weeks if you are inside the UK and 4-5 weeks if you are outside the UK. You may be able to pay to expedite the decision depending on where you are applying from.

When Can I Apply for the  Specialist Worker Visa?

You can apply for your Senior or Specialist Worker visa  no more than 3 months before your scheduled start date. The start date is indicated in your certificate of sponsorship. You must provide documents and prove your identity during your application.

What Can You Do on the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

A Senior or Specialist Worker visa will allow you to work as per your visa conditions and in-line with your CoS, you can also do volunteer work, study, and bring your dependants. 

How Long Do You Need to Have Worked for Your Employer to Get the Senior Or Specialist Worker Visa?

You must worked for your employer for 12 months or more outside the UK if your annual salary is less than £73,900. There is no time requirement other than being currently employed if your income is £73,900 or more.

What Is the Salary Requirement for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

The general salary requirement for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa is £42,400 or 100% of the going rate for that job, whichever is higher. Salary assessment is based on the guaranteed gross pay for a maximum of 48 hours a week, plus allowances. The list of eligible occupation codes and their going rates is available from the Home Office.

Can I Get a British Passport With the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa (SSW)?

You cannot get a British passport with a Senior or Specialist Worker visa.

Can I Bring My Family on the  you mean SSW Visa?

You can bring your eligible children and partner to the UK as your dependants if you prove your relationship when applying. Their visa will be valid until yours ends if their application succeeds.

Your partner will be eligible if you prove that either:

  • You are in a marriage or civil partnership recognised in the UK.
  • You have been in a relationship and living together for 2 or more years before your application.

A child who is 16 years or older must:

  • Live with you, except if they are full-time students in boarding school, university or college. You must provide proof of their address if they live with you.
  • Not have any children, be married or be in a civil partnership.
  • Be financially dependent on you.

Please note children 18yo and over do not qualify for a Dependant visa.

Please contact us on [email protected] 

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Tony is our UK Immigration Partner. With a diverse knowledge in a range of industry sectors including I.T, Legal Services, Engineering, Insurance as well as the Oil & Gas sectors, he has a wealth of experience in all aspects of immigration including corporate, education and high net worth and private individuals within his portfolio.