As part of the revamp of immigration routes for business, the Senior or Specialist Worker visa has been introduced, replacing the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visa from the 11th of April 2022. This route is for overseas workers who will be undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, seeking to make it easier for overseas businesses to manage workers coming to the UK. The Home Office has championed this as a modernised immigration route addressing mobility issues of previous routes.
To qualify for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa you will need to:
- Be 18 years or over.
- Be a senior manager or specialist employee who is being assigned to a UK business linked to their employer overseas.
- Be working for a business or organisation linked to the sponsor by common ownership/control OR a business or organisation that has a joint venture with the sponsor on which the applicant is sponsored to work.
- Have a genuine job at an appropriate skill level.
- Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer issued no more than three months prior to the visa application.
- Ensure the sponsor confirms on the Certificate of Sponsorship that the applicant has the required overseas work experience even if they are a high earner
- Be paid at least £42,400 per annum or 100% of the ‘going rate’ for your job (whichever is higher).
- Have worked for the sponsor or the linked business for a period of at least 12 months before the date of application (unless you earn £73,900 per annum then there is no minimum time criteria)
- You have provided a valid TB certificate, if applicable.
With the visa you can:
- Work for your sponsor in the job stated in your CoS
- Travel abroad and return to the UK
- Do voluntary work
- Apply for your partner or children under 18, if eligible.
- Gain settlement
- Access public funds
- Change jobs, unless you update your visa
- Have a second job
Length of Stay
The length of the visa can either be:
- The work end date on the certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days; or
- 5 years
You can apply to extend your visa or apply for another one:
- 5 years in any 6-year period if you’re paid less than £73,900 a year; or
- 9 years in any 10-year period if you’re paid £73,900 a year or more.
It should be noted that this route is not a route to settlement as it is a temporary work visa. However, you may be eligible to switch into another route such as a Skilled Worker visa which can lead to settlement, but this is dependent on if you meet the requirements.
When should you apply?
- You can apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK.
Our team has experience in assisting employers and skilled workers in many different companies. We can also assist UK employers to obtain the right sponsor licence. Get in touch on 01403 582 340 or send us an email at [email protected] to talk to one of our friendly experts.