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Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

The Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility) is aimed at UK based employers who hold a Sponsorship licence and wish to relocate their overseas workers to the UK who are employed through a connected entity to work on projects for periods of time. This visa has replaced the Tier 2 Intra-company transfer visa and predecessor routes.

Workers need to have been employed oversees for at least 12 months if they are earning less than £73,900 per year, but there is no minimum period they need to have worked for the company if the salary is above that amount to be sponsored through this route.

The proposed role for which the Senior or Specialist Worker will be sponsored for must be for a ‘skilled role’ as stated on an approved list by the Home Office and meet a minimum salary requirement of £45,800 per annum or what is stated as the ‘going rate’ on the list, whichever is the higher.

The Senior or Specialist Worker visa is part of the points-based system where an applicant needs to score a minimum number of points, see below.

Senior or Specialist Workers are subject to time restrictions on their period of stay in the UK which is determined by their salary as follows:

  • 5 years in any 6-year period if the salary is less than £73,900 per year
  • 9 years in any 10-year period if the salary is above £73,900 per year.

Furthermore, time spent on the following visas will count towards the time restrictions:

  • Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa
  • Intra-company Transfer visa
  • Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Secondment Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility).


The Senior or Specialist Worker visa does not lead to settlement status following working in the UK for a period of time, typically 5 years. If the UK based employer or the proposed Senior or Specialist worker intend to settle, it would be more appropriate to consider the Skilled worker visa, as this does lead to settlement status following 5 years of continuous work.

However, a Senior or Specialist Worker can bring their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner and children under 18 to the UK.

The Senior or Specialist Worker does not need to meet an English language requirement in order to be sponsored through this route.

RLegal can of course provide advice and assistance for businesses who would like to sponsor Senior or Specialist Workers or on other immigration related issues, we can be contacted on +44 207 038 3980, by sending an email to or by completing our online form. Our immigration lawyers have a wealth of experience, and the firm is recommended to assist in immigration matters by the Legal 500.

A Senior or Specialist worker needs to be:

  • sponsored by a company holding a sponsorship licence with an ‘A’ rating and with the appropriate tier
  • who have issued a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ and
  • be paid at least £45,800 per year or at the ‘going rate’ stipulated for approved roles as defined by the Home Office if higher.

The Senior or Specialist Worker is subject to a points-based test.

An applicant needs to score 60 points from the following:

  • 20 points for sponsorship from an approved licence holder
  • 20 points for the job at the correct skill level
  • 20 points for the correct salary.

The role must be genuine and therefore needs to exist, cannot be a sham or have been created to simply assist the applicant to obtain a visa.

The applicant will need to show they have held £1270 in an approved regulated bank account for a minimum of 28 days unless their maintenance is ‘certified’ on the Certificate of Sponsorship by their prospective employer – which means the employer will assume this financial responsibility to maintain and accommodate the applicant or dependants (if relevant) for the first 28 days of their stay in the UK.

An applicant needs to:

  • provide a valid tuberculosis test if he/she is a national of a specified country
  • complete an online application
  • upload supporting documentation
  • provide biometrics through an approved provider or online process.

The visa processing time is approximately 3 weeks but can be expedited subject to paying additional processing fees.

An applicant needs to pay:

    • £1025 per year Healthcare Surcharge fee
    • £719-£1420 visa application fee depending on their circumstances

Dependants including the spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, or children under 18 will need to submit their application through the online form, upload supporting documentation and provide their biometrics in the same way as the main applicant.

The dependants may need to provide a tuberculosis test certificate if they are nationals of specified countries.

Dependants will need to show they have held the following funds for at least 28 days:

  • £285 for a partner
  • £315 for a child
  • £200 for each additional child.

The above funds are in addition to the £1270 the main applicant needs to hold.

If the employer ‘certifies’ maintenance on the Certificate of Sponsorship the dependants do not need to provide any evidence.

If the applicant and dependants have been in the UK for 12 months and are applying for an extension no maintenance is required.

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