What is the Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
The Senior or Specialist Worker visa is part of the Global Business Mobility visa and has replaced the Intra-company Transfer visa. The Senior or Specialist Worker visa allows individuals to come to the UK to do an eligible role at their overseas employer’s UK branch or subsidiary.
If an applicant is successful in their application then they can stay in the UK for either 5 years or the time given on their certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days (whichever is shorter).
Senior or Specialist Worker Requirements
In order to apply for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Be paid at least £45,800 per year or the going rate for the job (whichever is higher).
- Be a current employee of the overseas linked/sister company and have been so for at least 12 months (unless they earn £73,900 per year or more).
- Have a valid certificate of sponsorship from an approved UK sponsor.
- Be coming to the UK to work in a role which is featured on the list of eligible occupations and the role must be at least RQF Level 6 or above.
- Have funds of at least £1,270 (unless your sponsor can certify that they will accommodate and support you during your first month in the UK).
Speak to an immigration advisor
Dependents and the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
Individuals with a Senior or Specialist Worker visa are able to bring their dependents (partner and children) to the UK with them (providing they are eligible). If dependents make a successful application then they will be able to work in the UK full-time and their visa will end on the same date as the main applicant (the individual with the Senior or Specialist Worker visa).
Application Fees and the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
An individual applying for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa will need to pay an application fee which ranges from £625 to £1423. Applicants will also be required to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge which is £624 per year.
Employers will be required to pay £199 (per worker) to assign a certificate of sponsorship. Additionally they will be required to pay either £364 per year (for small businesses) or £1000 per year (for medium and large businesses) as part of the immigration skills charge. From January 2023, businesses who transfer a senior or specialist worker from a branch in the EU will not need to pay the immigration skills charge.
Senior or Specialist Worker Fees
Senior or Specialist Worker Visa: FAQs
How long does a Senior or Specialist Worker visa last?
Individuals with a Senior or Specialist Worker visa can stay in the UK for either 5 years or the time given on their certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days (whichever is shorter).
Can you extend the Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
Individuals can extend the Senior or Specialist Worker visa as many times as they want until the maximum total stay is reached.
The maximum total stay for workers who earn less than £73,900 per year is 5 years in any 6 year period. Whereas, the maximum total stay for workers who earn £73,900 or more per year is 9 years in any 10 year period.
Can you switch to the Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
Individuals in the UK may be able to switch to the Senior or Specialist Worker visa if they meet the eligibility requirements.
If you are currently in the UK on a Student Visa, in addition to the eligibility requirements you must meet one of the following:
Completed the course you were sponsored to study; or
The start date of your job is after your course has finished; or
Studied for a PhD for at least 24 months.
However, if you are in the UK on one of the following you cannot apply to switch to this visa.
A Visit Visa;
A short-term Student Visa;
A Parent of a Child Student Visa;
A Seasonal Worker Visa;
A Domestic Worker in a Private Household Visa;
On immigration bail; or
You were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules.
How much is a Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
It costs between £625 and £1423* to apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa. All applicants are required to pay the immigration health surcharge as part of their application which is £624 per year*.
Employers are required to pay £199 (per worker) to assign a certificate of sponsorship and they must pay immigration skills charge (either £364 or £1000 per year).
* As recorded on 22nd December 2022
How do you apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa?
Individuals who wish to apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa must do so online.
When making an application the following documents must be provided:
- A certificate of sponsorship reference number.
- A valid passport or another document which confirms your identity and nationality.
- Your job title, annual salary and occupation code.
- The name of your employer and their sponsor licence number.
- Evidence (i.e. bank statements) which prove that the financial requirement is met.
- TB test results (if from a listed country).
- Evidence of your relationship with any dependents which will be applying with you.
Additional documents may be required.
Individuals who are applying from outside of the UK will be required to prove their identity by either attending a biometrics appointment or using the UK Immigration: ID Check app.
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