The UK Expansion Worker visa is for a senior employee of an overseas business to come to the UK and set up a branch of an overseas business that has not started trading in the UK yet. This route has replaced the previous Sole Representative of an Overseas Business route.
For example, if a well-established Chinese company wants to expand their business in the UK and set up a UK branch, they can send a senior manager or specialist employee from their company to the UK, this person needs to apply for a UK Expansion Worker Visa.
To apply for a UK Expansion Worker visa, there’re requirements that both the overseas company and the candidates need to meet.
Requirements for the overseas company
The overseas company needs to:
- Show proof of UK ‘footprint’, which means need to register a UK branch of the overseas company with the UK Companies House
- Show the UK branch has not started trading in the UK yet
- Show a detailed business plan for the expansion to the UK
- Show evidence of the overseas company has been actively trading for 3 years
- Show you have sufficient funds to support the UK branch for at least 2 years.
- Apply for a Sponsor Licence for the UK branch to sponsor the UK expansion worker
However, the requirements and documents might differ depending on the nature of your overseas company. If you’re an overseas company that wants to send your employee to the UK to set up a UK branch, WorkPermitCloud can help analyse your case and provide you with a detailed document list that you need to prepare. If you also would like to learn more about Sponsor Licence application, please contact our Immigration experts here at 07888 193300 (WhatsApp).
UK Expansion Worker Visa Eligibility
To be eligible for a UK Expansion worker visa, the candidate must meet the following Eligibility criteria:
- Must have already work for the overseas business as either a senior manager or specialist employee
- have a valid Certificate of sponsorship (CoS) from your employer
- have worked for your employer outside the UK for more than 12 months
- must be paid at least £42,400 per year or the ‘going rate’ for your job - whichever is higher
- do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
Documents required for UK Expansion Worker Visa
To apply for a UK Expansion Worker Visa, the documents the candidate needs to provide are:
- the CoS reference number issued by your employer
- evidence you’ve worked for your employer outside the UK
- a valid passport (with more than 6 months validity)
- your job title and annual salary
- your job’s occupation code
- the name of your employer and their sponsor licence number
- proof of finance if you apply from outside the UK (you need to have £1,270 savings in your bank account for more than 28 days)
- TB test report if you apply from outside the UK (if you’re from a listed country that requires a TB test)
- a valid ATAS certificate if your job involves researching a sensitive subject at PhD level or higher
If your documents for UK Expansion Worker Visa are not in English or Welsh, you’ll also need to provide a certified translation.
How long is a UK Expansion Worker Visa valid for?
Generally, a UK Expansion Worker visa is valid for 1 year, however, you can extend your stay for another 12 months if you want to stay longer in the UK.
The maximum time you can stay in the UK on a UK Expansion Worker visa is 2 years.
How much does a UK Expansion Worker Visa cost?
The cost of a UK Expansion Worker Visa includes the Visa Application fee and Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS).
The application fee for the UK Expansion Worker Visa is £259, it’s the same whether you apply from within or outside of the UK. The IHS fee is £624 per year.
How long does it take to apply for a UK Expansion Worker Visa?
If you apply for a UK Expansion Worker Visa from outside the UK, it usually takes 3 weeks for Home Office to give a decision.
If you apply for a UK Expansion Worker Visa from within the UK, it usually takes 8 weeks for Home Office to give a decision.
Need professional advice from an expert? – contact WorkPermitCloud Limited
The process for applying for a UK Expansion worker visa is complex, you’ll need to know everything you need to prepare before you submit the application, you can book our professional Immigration service to make your application bundle ready.
WorkPermitCloud Limited is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Our professional immigration advisers would like to assist you throughout the journey to maximise the probability of success
- Support by a dedicated and experienced immigration advisor
- Check supporting documents, and advise necessary amendments
- Assist in filling out the Sponsor Licence/visa application form(s)
- Check and review your application before submitting it to the Home Office
- Submit the application on your behalf to the Home Office
- Act as your nominated agent for all communication with the Home Office, up to and including the receiving of your visa application's decision
- Provide professional Immigration advice by letter, email, phone, or in-person throughout the process of completing your visa application as needed
- Once you've got a decision on your visa application, give professional guidance on what to do next.
- Cost forecast
- Correspondence and follow-up with Home Office
If you wish to require any further information about the cost please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org