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What is the Secondment Worker visa?

The UK Secondment Worker visa is one of five sponsored business immigration routes under the Global Business Mobility visa umbrella. It is a collection of various different routes for overseas businesses looking to establish a presence or expand their business in the UK or to transfer staff. These routes are important to any organisation with a global mobility program who wish to develop a UK based operation.

What are the Global Business Mobility visa routes?

There are five separate Global Business Mobility routes that correspond to different employer worker assignments. These include:

  1. Senior specialist workers route
  2. Graduate trainee route
  3. UK expansion worker route
  4. Service supplier route
  5. Secondment worker route

The UK Secondment Worker’s route

This visa is for workers who are looking to undertake work assignments in the UK on a temporary basis where the worker is due to be seconded to the UK as part of either a high value contract or investment by their employers overseas. This is a brand new route designed to facilitate trade.

Under this route, the applicant can apply for entry clearance from outside the UK or can apply to vary their leave if they are already in the UK. However, applicants cannot vary their leave if they were granted leave as visitors, a short-term student, parent of a child student, seasonal worker, domestic worker in a private household or outside the UK immigration rules.

As it is a points-based visa, the secondment worker requires to be awarded a total of 40 points against two criteria’s, namely sponsorship and having a job offer at an appropriate skill level. To score 20 points for sponsorship as a UK secondment worker, the applicant must have a valid certificate of sponsorship assigned by UK licenced sponsor for a job which they are planning to do in the UK. To score 20 points for skill as a UK secondment worker, the applicant must be sponsored for a job listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations and identified as eligible for Global Visa Mobility routes under the Immigration Rules.

To be eligible for the visa you must:

  1. Be an existing employee of the overseas organisation that has a high value contract with a UK sponsor that has been approved by the Home Office
  2. Have worked for your overseas employer for at least 12 months outside the UK

How long can I stay?

You can stay in the UK with this visa for 12 months after the start date of the job as detailed on your certificate of sponsorship or the time given on certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days. If you want to stay longer, you can extend your visa by 12 months. The maximum time you can stay in the UK on this visa is two years. If you spent time in the UK on a secondment worker visa or another visa before (as listed on the Home Office website), you can only stay in the UK for a total maximum of five years in any six year period.

How long does it take?

You can apply for a visa three months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. If you apply from outside the UK, you should receive a decision within three to eight weeks.

What you can and cannot do

With a secondment worker visa, you can work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship, study, bring your spouse or unmarried partner or children as your dependents, do voluntary work and travel abroad and return.

You cannot:

  1. Apply for most benefits
  2. Change jobs
  3. Apply to settle permanently in the UK
  4. Do a second job

Those applying for either entry clearance or leave to remain where they have been in the UK for less than 12 months must also satisfy financial requirements. The financial requirement must be made by showing proof of funds of at least £1,270 and you must have had the money available for at least 28 consecutive days. Alternatively, the sponsor must certify maintenance on the COS for one month.

Danielle invites you to take a look at her blog, where you will see the diverse range of clients that she has helped.

If you have any questions about the process or would like to apply for a Secondment Worker visa, please contact Danielle or call on 020 7267 4133. Danielle will only charge you for the first consultation if you decide to become her client and if she can assist you.

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