United Kingdom Expansion Worker Visa

What Is The United Kingdom Expansion Worker Visa Program

The UK expansion worker Visa allow foreigners to migrate to the UK to set up a branch or subsidiary of their overseas business, which will then allow them to switch to another visa that will lead to permanent residency. Applicants can apply to become UK permanent residents after living in the UK for 5 years with a qualifying visa that leads to settlement.

The Benefits

  • One of the highest standards of living in the world and is a
    member of the G-8 group of countries.
  • Diverse and multicultural society, represented by large
    cultural and ethnic communities.
  • A high standard of education including state and private
    schools, higher education institutions and universities.
  • One of the best free medical care services in the world.
  • Access to business opportunities throughout Europe.
  • London is unrivalled as a financial business centre.
  • The travel mobility and security of a UK passport.
  • Can include spouse/partner and children under 18 years.
  • Enables a senior employee of an overseas company to move
    to the UK and run a new branch or subsidiary.

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    The Requirements

    UK Expansion Worker Visa

    To qualify for the UK Expansion Worker Visa the applicant must:

    • Currently work for an overseas employer that has been
      active and trading for at least 3 years.
    • The overseas company must establish a new UK branch or
      company as a subsidiary of the overseas business.
    • Have worked for the employer outside the UK for at least 12
      months prior to date of application (some exceptions apply).
    • Have a valid certificate of sponsorship from the employer.
    • Perform a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations.
    • Be sponsored to undertake a genuine job in the UK.
    • Be paid the minimum eligible salary required for the job or
      at least £45,800 (whichever is higher).
    • Have sufficient funds – at least £1,270 available held for at
      least 28 consecutive days before the date of application.

    UK Permanent Residency

    • Can apply to become UK permanent residents after living in the UK
      for 5 years with a qualifying visa that leads to settlement.
    • Must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-
      month period.
    • Must demonstrate a knowledge of the English language and life in
      the UK.

    UK Citizenship

    • Must have lived for at least 5 years continuously in the UK.
    • Must have held Permanent Residence (ILR) for at least 1 year.
    • Must not have spent more than a total of 450 days outside the UK
      during the 5 years of living in the UK.
    • Not be ineligible for citizenship under the UK Immigration Rules.
      the UK.

    The Process

    Arrows process

    Due Diligence and Application

    • Overseas business must establish a UK subsidiary company.
    • The UK business must obtain a Sponsorship Licence to be able to
      sponsor the applicant.
    • The UK business must issue a certificate of sponsorship to the
      applicant.

    Approval and Visa

    • Within 3 months of issuing certificate of sponsorship, the applicant
      must apply for the UK Expansion Worker visa.
    • Applicant must attend a Visa Application Centre for biometrics.

    Residency

    • Visa will be issued for 1 year and may be extended for a further year
      for a maximum of 2 years in total.
    • Once a UK trading presence is established, the applicant can switch
      to a Skilled Worker visa.
    • Can apply for settlement after holding Skilled Worker visa for 5
      years.

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      Frequently Asked Questions

      To qualify for the UK Expansion Worker Visa, the Applicant must meet eligibility requirements which include:

      • Have a valid certificate of sponsorship from the Applicant’s employing UK Company.
      • The Applicant must have worked for the parent company outside the UK for at least 12 months (there are exceptions).
      • Have a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations.
      • Be sponsored to undertake a genuine job in the UK.
      • Be paid the minimum eligible salary required for the job or at least £42,400 (whichever is higher).
      • Have sufficient funds (at least £1,270 for the Main Applicant plus £285 for a dependent partner, £315 for a first child and £200 for each additional child) held for at least 28 consecutive days.
      • Pay the Health Surcharge Fee (GBP 624 per person).
      • Not be ineligible under the ‘general grounds for refusal’.
      • The Applicant must provide a Criminal Record Certificate confirming they have no criminal convictions issued within the last six months; and
      • Provide a ‘clear’ tuberculosis test result.

      The UK Expansion Worker Visa is valid for either 1 year after the start date of the job detailed in the Certificate  of Sponsorship or the time given on the Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

      The overseas business must not be trading in the UK but instead they must have a UK registered company  as either an overseas branch or a subsidiary of the overseas linked business. The overseas business must  also be active and trading overseas for a minimum of 3 years.

      The Applicant must have worked for the overseas business for at least 12 months prior to the date of the  application unless the Applicant’s gross annual is more than £73,900 or if the Applicant is a Japanese  National seeking to establish a UK branch or subsidiary of the linked business or organisation under the UK Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

      The Applicant must do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations, undertake a genuine job in the UK and  be paid the minimum eligible salary required for the job or at least £42,400 (whichever is higher).

      The Applicant will be able to extend the visa for a further 12 months only. Note that if the Applicant has  already spent time in the UK on any of the Global Mobility Routes or the former Intra-company routes then  the Applicant may not be able to stay in the UK on the UK Expansion Worker Visa for the full time period set out above.

      No, the visa only allows the Applicant to live and work in the UK.

      Yes, the spouse (or partner who you have lived with for at least 2 years) and children who are under 18 years  old (including adopted children) that are financially dependent on the Applicant may be included. Dependents  are free to work or study in the UK.

      No, however, after the UK Expansion Worker Visa holder establishes a trading presence in the UK, the applicant may become eligible to switch to a visa that leads to settlement such as the Skilled Worker visa.

      Once the applicant has switched to a visa that leads to settlement, they may become eligible to apply for permanent residence after 5 years of residence in the UK.

      The Applicant will become eligible to apply for British citizenship after having lived in the UK for at least 5  years AND having held permanent residence for at least 1 year, subject to meeting residency, language and  other requirements.

      Yes, there is no restriction on dual (or multiple) citizenship.

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