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Global Business Mobility Route: An Introduction

In the newest statement of changes the Home Office has announced a variety of new visa routes to cover a variety of scenarios as well as the abolition of some existing routes. In this series we will address each of them in turn with a summary of what we know about them so far.

We will start with the Global Business Mobility Route which will be replacing the Intra-Company Transfer visa as well as the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa. It is comprised of several pathways which we will discuss below. For all routes applicants cannot be present in the UK for more than 5 years in every 6. All positions must also be skill level RQF 6 or higher.


Senior or Specialist Worker


This route replaces most aspects of the Intra-Company transfer route. It is suitable for sponsoring firms that already are established in the UK. Workers on this route will require sponsorship. In many respects it closely resembles the Intra-Company transfer route and firms hoping to sponsor individuals will need to first apply for a sponsor license before being able to bring applicants over.

The key features at a glance are:

  • Applicants must have ordinarily been working for an overseas branch of the firm linked by common ownership or control, for a minimum of 12 months, unless they are making over £73,900 or applying as a graduate.
  • Applicants must earn at least £42,400 per annum or the going rate for the job, whichever is higher.
  • Applicants on the Graduate route must earn at least £23,100 or 70% of the going rate for the job, whichever is higher.
  • Supplementary employment is not permitted and the applicant must only work for the sponsoring company.
  • Applicants may bring dependant partners or children under the age of 18.
  • Settlement is not permitted for either the main applicant or their dependants.
  • There is a cap on the length of time applicants can spend in the UK on this route dependent on their salary.


Secondment Worker


This is a new addition to the roster. The details of how it will work still require some clarification, but so far we know that route is branded as being intended for overseas workers who are “being seconded to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by their employer overseas”. The details of what would count as a high value contract is not defined in the rules, and we will need to await further guidance on this. The MAC recommendations suggested a threshold of £50 million which would limit the scope of widespread accessibility to this route.

The key features at a glance are:

  • The visa can be granted for up to 12 months at a time and 2 years total (previously secondments came solely under the visit visa rules and were therefore limited to stays of 6 months at a time).
  • This route will require sponsorship.
  • There will need to be a registered contract with the overseas business for the applicant.
  • Settlement is not permitted.
  • Applicants may bring dependant partners or children under the age of 18.
  • Applicants must have 12 months tenure with the overseas business, with no exemption for high earners.
  • Pending further clarification, it seems likely the role will require roles to be at least RQF level 6.


Service Supplier


This route is covered by the International Trade Agreement and is designed to cover temporary work assignments in the UK. It is for workers who are either service suppliers employed by an overseas service provider, or independent self-employed professionals based overseas.

The key features at a glance are:

  • Applicants must have a sponsor to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • Applicants must have been working with the overseas service provider for a period of at least 12 months. There is no exemption for high earners.
  • The UK sponsor issuing the Certificate of Sponsorship must have a contract with the overseas service provider. The contract must be registered with the Home Office.
  • This route does not lead to settlement.
  • Applicants may bring dependant partners or children under the age of 18.
  • The job must be at the appropriate skill level for the visa.


UK Expansion Worker


This route will be replacing the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa. This constitutes a big change as the Sole Representative visa was not previously considered a part of the Points Based System.

The key features at a glance are:

  • Applicants will require a certificate of sponsorship, and we are awaiting details on how sponsorship under this route will work.
  • Applicants are not permitted to settle under this route.
  • Applicants are able to be a majority shareholder, which constitutes a change from the sole representative visa.
  • Less decision making authority is required than for the sole representative visa, but we are awaiting further details on what this might look like.
  • Applicants may bring dependant partners or children under the age of 18.
  • Applicants must have been working for the sponsor group for at least 12 months or qualify as a high earner.
  • Salary must be £42,400 or 100% of the going rate for the role, whichever is higher.
  • Applicants must be able to certify their own maintenance or have already been present legally in the UK for a minimum of 12 months, and this cannot be certified on a Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • Permission will be granted for up to 2 years.


If you need help with any of the above visa categories we can help. Get in touch with us by calling us on 01403 801 801 or by email at [email protected] to talk to one of our friendly experts.


No Win No Fee Visa Guarantee logo


We provide a ‘No Win – No Fee’ guarantee for all points-based system visa applications unless expressly stated at the time of appointment. We will guarantee our service for these applications by offering a full refund on our fee should it be unsuccessful.

These guaranteed terms are conditional upon the client being able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Home Office that they have earned the income claimed or that they have the necessary funding in place for maintenance or are fully conversant with their business plan in the case of Tier 1 Entrepreneurs.

It also presumes that neither the applicant nor their dependants have previously come under scrutiny or been under investigation by the Home Office for any immigration matter. In order that we can do our job properly the necessary information and details required should be made available and they must genuine as well as accurate.