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Global Business Mobility Visas: new routes opening on 11 April 2022

The government have announced a variety of new immigration routes aimed at assisting businesses to fill labour shortages and plug the gaps left by Brexit. Here we summarise the changes that come into force in April 2022.

The Home Office released the statement of changes to the immigration rules on 15 March 2022 with details of the new routes that will open to applicants from 11 April 2022. There are a variety of new work routes all looking to serve differing business needs and to plug gaps that were created when free movement ended. This article will summarise the routes encompassed by the Global Business Mobility (GBM) visas which look to replace the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) routes.

All of the GBM routes are sponsored routes so employers who may need to use these routes must ensure that they have a sponsor licence which includes a licence for the relevant GBM routes. We await further information as to how sponsorship on the GBM routes will work in practice for existing licence holders, however we do know that the ICT route will be closing.

Other commonalities between the routes are:-

  • no English language requirement
  • no route to settlement – workers will have to switch to the skilled worker route if they want to settle in the UK. The limits on the route are generally five out of any six years. In some cases, this is nine in ten years for high earners.

New Route

Equivalent Route under previous rules

Summary of requirements

Salary threshold

Global Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker

 

Intra-Company Transfer

For overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is a senior manager or specialist employee and is being assigned to a UK business linked to their employer overseas.

 

Applicants must be currently working for the sponsor group and have worked for them for a cumulative period of at least 12 months, unless they are a high earner.

 

The job that the worker is coming to the UK to do must fall under one of the occupation codes listed in the immigration rules as eligible for the GBM routes, unless they fall into one of the limited exemptions.

 

£42,500 (some limited exceptions)

 

High earner: £73,900

Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee

 

ICT Graduate Trainee

For overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is on a graduate training course leading to a senior management or specialist position and is required to do a work placement in the UK.

 

Applicants must be currently working for the sponsor group and have worked for them for a continuous period of at least three months prior to the date of application.

 

£23,100 and if the job is listed in Table 1, 70% of the going rate. If the job is listed in Table 2, they must be paid at least 100% of the pro-rated going rate.

UK Expansion Worker

Sole Representative of an Overseas Business

For overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is a senior manager or specialist employee and is being assigned to the UK to undertake work related to a business’s expansion to the UK.

 

This route can only be used when the business has not yet begun trading in the UK. If the business is already trading in the UK, workers should apply under Appendix Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker instead.

 

The business must have an A-rated sponsor licence, unless the applicant was last granted permission on this route and is applying to continue working for the same sponsor as in their last permission or the applicant holds the role of authorising officer on the licence and the sponsor has a provisional rating. This latter provision may be a way to get around the fact that in order to get a sponsor licence, a business must be trading in the UK, which contradicts the requirement for this route that the business does not yet have a trading presence in the UK. This is not clarified in the statement of changes so we await guidance to explain how this will operate in practice.

The applicant must be currently working for the sponsor group and have worked for them outside the UK for a cumulative period of at least 12 months unless they qualify for one of the limited exemptions.

 

£42,400 for jobs listed in Table 1.

Appendix Global Mobility – Service Supplier

Tier 5 International Agreement

This is for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is either a contractual service supplier employed by an overseas service provider or a self-employed independent professional based overseas, and they need to undertake an assignment in the UK to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade commitments.

 

Applicants must currently be working for an overseas service provider that will provide services to the sponsor and have been working as or for them outside the UK for a cumulative period of 12 months.

 

There are two options with regards to skill level:

 

Option A: the applicant must be coming to the UK to carry out a job listed as eligible for the GBM routes

 

Option B: the applicant must have a university degree or equivalent level technical qualification unless they are employed by an overseas service provider supplying one of the identified services for which the qualification level is stipulated in the rules. These include fashion and modelling, chef de cuisine, management consulting services and services related to management consulting and technical testing and analysis, amongst others.

 

Applicants must have at least three years’ professional experience in the sector in which they will supply services, unless they qualify for one of the limited exemptions. They must be a national of the country in which the overseas service provider is based, unless an exception applies.

 

National Minimum Wage

Appendix GBM – Secondment Worker

 

This is for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK where the worker is being seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their employer overseas.

 

The applicant must currently be working for an overseas business that has a contract with the sponsor that has been registered with the Home Office by the sponsor and has worked outside the UK for that overseas business for a cumulative period of at least 12 months. It is not clear how contracts are to be registered with the Home Office. This will likely be clarified in guidance which will be published when the routes go live.

 

The applicant must be sponsored to do a job listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations as eligible for the GBM routes.

 

 

There are still some questions about the practicalities of sponsorship on these routes, which will no doubt be clarified when the accompanying guidance is released in due course. In the meantime, employers should consider which of the categories may be of use to them and ensure that sponsor licences are in place so they are ready to sponsor workers as the need arises.

Disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2022.

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