UK Expansion Worker Visa Application Guidance

uk expansion worker visa guidance
UK visa application guidance

WestBridge Business Immigration brings your business the right guidance and expertise to make the UK expansion worker visa application simple and convenient.

uk expansion worker visa guidance
UK visa application guidance
We Help You Expand Your

Business In The UK Through Expansion Worker Visa

A UK expansion worker visa is essential for expanding your business in the UK. It allows businesses to establish a branch of an international company in the UK. The expansion worker visa is your path to expanding your business in the UK.

Our business immigration specialist lawyers are here to provide you with the support you need for your a expansion worker visa. 

  • We provide in-depth expertise and knowledge regarding the visa application process and subsequent visa processing.
  • At each stage of the application process, we provide guidance and assistance.
  • A dedicated senior associate provides a comprehensive hand-holding service for each client.
  • We can guide you through the challenging immigration procedures.
  • We offer rapid responses to our clients.

We are the right law firm for businesses looking to expand their operations by creating a branch in the UK. Call us now to get personalised guidance on the UK expansion visa. 

A Brief Overview of the UK Expansion Worker Visa

The UK expansion worker visa was created to replace the Representative of an Overseas Business visa and to draw foreign investments into the British economy. This is one of the new options available under the Global Business Mobility visa route. It is a visa that allows businesses and corporations of all sizes which are not functioning their business operations or trading in the UK to move their business to the country.  

The visa allows skilled employees to come to the UK and set up an overseas business here. It is important to note that you must be working as a senior manager or a specialist employee in the overseas business to be fit for this visa. 

If your business is set up in the UK, you should apply for a Senior and Specialist worker visa instead of an expansion worker visa. 

This visa allows businesses to bring individuals into the UK for a period of up to two years. The business must hold a UK expansion worker sponsor licence, to sponsor individuals to set up a business in the UK. You can sponsor a number of individuals to come to the UK to set the business up in the UK.

Please note that, you can only apply in one year increments for up to two years. You cannot hold this visa for more than two years.

What You Can Do on a UK Expansion Worker Visa

  • Work for your sponsor in the job that has described on your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
  • Bring family members to the UK, including spouses or partners and children under the age of 18.
  • Travel outside of the UK and return while your visa is valid.
  • Participate and engage in voluntary work.

What You Cannot Do on the UK Expansion Worker Visa

  • Change roles inside the UK unless the Home Office gives approval.
  • Work in a role that you are not sponsored to work in.
  • Access public funds, including social housing, unemployment benefits, and other government benefits.
  • Have a second job.
  • Apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’)

It is important to note that this visa has specific requirements and restrictions. It is essential to comply with them to avoid any issues with your visa status. This is why it is so important for businesses to consult with immigration law firms beforehand. 

Who Needs to Be Sponsored on the UK Expansion Worker Route?

Regarding the sponsorship, all overseas employees who have not settled work in the UK need to be sponsored. Additionally, overseas workers who do not have immigration authorisation to work in the UK also need to be sponsored on the UK expansion worker route. 

Your employer must first apply for a sponsor licence. Once your employer has been granted a sponsor licence, they can assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to you.

You can sponsor a maximum of five workers at any one time. 

The Benefits of the UK Expansion Worker Visa

The UK expansion worker visa has many benefits for businesses and corporations looking to set up a branch of an overseas business in the UK. 

Benefits from an Employer Perspective

An important aspect of this visa is that it can prove to be highly beneficial to the employer. Various factors come into play when employers use a UK expansion worker visa to hire skilled employees. Ultimately, it can prove to be greatly advantageous for the company as well as the economy as a whole. 

Some of these benefits from the employer perspective are detailed as follows. 

  • Access to a larger pool of talent

The expansion worker visa allows employers to hire current employees (from your overseas branch) from outside the UK, which means they can access a wider pool of talent to set up your UK branch.

  • Greater flexibility

With the UK expansion worker visa, employers can hire workers for up to two years, which gives them greater flexibility in managing their workforce. Furthermore, you can bring in up to five people at a time, or switch employees from outside the UK.

  • Grow your business

You will be able to create a branch of your business in the UK, hence, growing your business with current employees from the overseas business.

Benefits from the Employee Perspective

Similar to the magnitude of advantages an employer can enjoy through the UK expansion worker visa, the employees also get various benefits. Needless to say, it brings an excellent opportunity to work in the UK and grow the business overseas. 

  • Opportunities senior and specialist workers to set up a UK branch

The expansion worker visa allows up to five senior and specialist workers to set up a UK branch.

  • Dependents can join

Visa holders’ dependents, such as their spouse and children may also be able to join them in the UK. 

You can get a deeper insight into the variety of benefits that this visa provides to employers and employees by contacting the right immigration lawyers. Our immigration experts can help you give you guidance on the UK expansion worker visa

How Much Does the UK Expansion Worker Visa Cost?

Application Fees

To apply for the UK expansion worker visa, you will have to pay the following fees: 

  • Pay the £298 application fee
  • Pay the healthcare surcharge – this is usually £1035 per year
  • Support yourself when you arrive in the UK – you’ll usually need to have at least £1,270 available (unless you’re exempt)

Money to Support Yourself

You must be able to evidence that you can sufficiently support yourself in the UK. You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to prove you can support yourself. The funds must have been accessible to you for at least 28 days straight. The end of the 28-day window must be 31 days or less before your application submission date.

How Long It Takes to Get the UK Expansion Worker Visa?

The processing time for the UK expansion worker visa can vary depending on several factors, including the applicant’s location and the application’s complexity. 

Here is a general overview of the processing times:

Applications Made outside of the UK

The processing time for applications made outside of the UK is typically around 15 working days from your appointment date. Priority services may be purchased to speed up processing. Processing times can vary depending on the volume of applications being processed by the Home Office.

Applications Made within the UK

The processing time for in-country applications is typically around 8 weeks from your appointment date. Priority services can be purchased to speed up processing. It’s important to note that these processing times are estimates and may vary depending on the individual circumstances of the applicant and the volume of applications being processed by the Home Office at the time of application. 

Requirements of Eligibility for the UK Expansion Worker Visa

To get the UK Expansion Worker visa applicants must fulfil a few eligibility requirements, specifically:

  • A Certificate of Sponsorship from the applicant’s sponsor
  • Applicants must have worked for the overseas business for at least 12 months unless an exemption applies, this is called the length of service requirement. 
  • Applicants must have an occupation from one of the listed qualifying professions that are considered senior or specialist.
  • Applicants must receive the minimum salary of £48,500 per year or the `going rate` for your role.

Length of Service Requirement

Migrants applying for an expansion worker visa must have spent at least 12 months working for their sponsor outside of the UK. However, some individuals are exempt if they meet either of the below requirements:

  • Earn over £73,900 per year 
  • Japanese nationals working for a Japanese business expanding operations in the UK. 

Qualification and Occupation Requirements

The Home Office has a list of acceptable professions that are eligible for sponsorship under the expansion worker route. Applicants and employers need to go through that list before proceeding with the application. You can also better understand the qualification requirements by consulting with immigration lawyers about the expansion worker visa

Required Documents for the UK Expansion Worker Visa

To complete your application for the visa to the Home Office, there are several required documents that you must submit. Additional documents might be needed according to the concerned authority’s decision or your concurrent situation. Still, the following are included in the requirement list:

1. Your passport

2. Your Certificate of Sponsorship

3. Proof of your relationships with your spouse and children in case they are included with your application

4. Depending on your country of origin, certification of your tuberculosis test reports

5. You must have a current ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) certificate if your work necessitates substantial classified research at the PhD level

6. Evidence of meeting the maintenance requirements.

If the documents mentioned above are not in English or Welsh, they must be presented in their original format, accompanied by a certified English language translation.

Global Mobility Visa: The Requirements for Your Family Come to the UK

You may be permitted to bring your family as your dependents. This means they can move to the UK with you. 

The following individuals may apply as your dependent:

  • Your spouse, an unmarried partner, or a civil partner
  • Even if your child was born in the UK, they are still under the age of 18.
  • Your child is older than 18 who is not leading an independent life and currently holds your visa.

Maintenance for Your Family Members

You must also evidence that you can maintain your family to the levels below:

  • For your partner – £285 
  • For the first included child – £315 
  • For each additional child – £200 per child after the first

Consider WestBridge for an Effortless Expansion Worker Visa

At WestBridge Business Immigration, we understand the importance of expanding your business globally. We are committed to providing top-quality service to organisations who wish to take their businesses to the next level. 

Our expert team of lawyers is dedicated to ensuring the success of your application by delivering custom-made, comprehensive advice that caters to your specific requirements.

We recognise the challenges that come with expanding your business to a new country, and we are here to help you every step of the way. Our team of experienced professionals understands the complexities of the visa application and sponsor licence processes and can provide the necessary guidance to ensure a successful outcome.

Whether you need assistance with your visa application, preparation of legal forms and supporting documents, or guidance on the financial requirements: WestBridge Business Immigration has the expertise to help. 

WestBridge Business Immigration has extensive experience dealing with the Home Office and the different Visa Application Centres around the world, which can be invaluable in obtaining a Global Expansion Visa. With our help, you can be sure that everything is in order and that your application has the best chance of approval.

Useful

FAQs

Q. What Is a UK Expansion Worker Visa?

The UK Expansion Worker visa is for workers from overseas who are looking to travel to the UK to set up a branch of your business in the UK. Do note that this visa can only be applied for if the UK branch has not yet started trading in the UK. Expansion workers should apply for Senior or Specialist Worker instead if the business has already started trading in the UK.

Q. What Are the Requirements for the UK Expansion Worker Visa?

The requirements for an Expansion Worker visa include having a job offer from a UK employer, a certificate of sponsorship from an approved sponsor, evidencing that you meet the maintenance and service requirements.

Q. Can I Switch Jobs While on the UK Expansion Worker Visa?

Yes, you can switch jobs while on the UK Expansion Worker visa, but you will need to obtain a new certificate of sponsorship from your new employer and prior approval from the Home Office.

Q. Can I Bring My Family with Me to the UK on the UK Expansion Worker Visa?

Yes, you can bring your spouse or partner and children under 18 years old to live with you in the UK, but you will need to provide evidence of your relationship and meet the maintenance  requirements to support your dependents.

Q. Can I Apply for Settlement on the UK Expansion Worker Visa?

No, you cannot apply for settlement on the UK expansion worker visa. This visa does not allow applicants to obtain indefinite leave to remain. As stated above, this visa is granted in 12 month increments for up to two years. You will need to switch visas to be eligible to settle in the UK

Q. How Long Does It Take to Process the UK Expansion Worker Visa?

The processing time for the UK Expansion Worker visa can vary depending on the individual circumstances of the application but typically takes around 3-8 weeks if you use the standard service.

Q. Do You Need Sponsorship for the UK Expansion Worker Visa?

Yes, applicants will need sponsorship from a Home Office pre-approved sponsor, that holds a sponsor licence in the UK expansion worker category. 

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