The UK Expansion Worker Visa: Part 1

This article is part of the ‘Global Business Mobility’ series, which provides a detailed summary of the UK Expansion Worker Visa route.

There are three parts, which cover the following topics:


Part 1

What is the Purpose of the UK Expansion Worker Visa?

3 Requirements to Satisfy

The Validity Requirements

The Form

The Fee and IHS


Passport and Supporting Documents

What Documents do You Need to Provide with Your Application?

Evidence of Your Employment Outside the UK

A Certificate of Sponsorship



TB Test Certificate


Part 2:

The Suitability Requirements

Mandatory v Discretionary

The Eligibility Requirements

Points-Based Eligibility Requirements

20 Points for Sponsorship for a UK Expansion Worker

Certificate of Sponsorship

The Sponsor

The Sponsor Group

Your Job

20 Points for Job at Appropriate Skill Level for a UK Expansion Worker

The Appropriate Occupation Code 

Part 3:

20 Points for Salary for a UK Expansion Worker

The  General Salary Requirement

48 hours Per Week

The Going Rate Requirement

Non-Points-Based Eligibility Requirements

The Financial Requirement

Maximum Length of Assignments Requirement


The Decision, Period and Conditions

What You Cannot Do

What You Can Do

When Can You Apply?

How Long Does it Take to Get a Decision?


This is part 1 of the series.


‘Romanian Lavender’ is a firm based in Oradea, Romania. It has been trading since 1990.  It produced lavender-based beauty products. It wishes to expand into the UK. The company has not yet begun trading in the UK.

Costi Florea, Marketing Director at the ‘Romanian Lavender,’ has volunteered to oversee the expansion process.

He would like to invite four members of his team to set up a business in the UK.

Costi was told that the UK Expansion Worker visa is part of the Global Business Mobility route and will be appropriate for this mission. This is because this route is for overseas senior managers and specialist employees who would like to undertake temporary work assignments to establish their business presence in the UK when the company has not yet begun trading in the UK.

To succeed, Costi needs to understand the UK Expansion Worker Visa application rules.


What is the Purpose of the UK Expansion Worker Visa?

This visa replaces the Sole Representative visa. The UK Expansion Worker route is for overseas workers 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 company is already trading in the UK, workers should apply under Appendix Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker instead.

A dependent partner and dependent children can apply to come to the UK on this route.

The Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker route is not a route to settlement.


3 Requirements to Satisfy

The UK Expansion Worker Visa: Part 1
The UK Expansion Worker Visa: Part 1

You’ll need to meet three requirements to get a UK Expansion Worker visa:

  • The Validity Requirements
  • The Suitability Requirements
  • The Eligibility Requirements


The Validity Requirements

The Validity Requirements of the UK Expansion Worker visa are all about following the correct procedure.


The Form

If you are applying outside the UK, you’ll need to complete the “Global Business Mobility visa” form.

For those, who apply in the UK, the form is called Global Business Mobility”.


The Fee and IHS

You’ll need to pay the £259 application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge. The IHS is usually £624 per year.


Your Sponsor’s Fees

Your sponsor will need to pay £199 for the Certificate of Sponsorship and £536 for the sponsor license. The Sponsor for this type of application does not need to pay Immigration Skills Charge.



As with all other visa applications, you’ll need to submit your biometrics.


Passport and Supporting Documents

You’ll have to submit your passport to prove your identity and nationality. Please note that the UKVI no longer accepts IDs, even if you are from a country which is part of the EU.


What Documents do You Need to Provide with Your Application?

Although the documents you need to provide will always depend on your particular case, there are certain documents all applicants are expected to provide:

  • your certificate of sponsorship reference number – your employer will give you this. You will need to ask your employer to provide you with a copy of your certificate of sponsorship. If you’re the authorising officer for your organisation, your certificate will be in the sponsor management system
  • a valid passport or other documents that shows your identity and nationality
  • your job title and annual salary
  • your job’s occupation code
  • the name of your employer and their sponsor licence number – this will be on your certificate of sponsorship
  • evidence that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, for example, bank statements
  • proof of your relationship with your partner or children if they’re applying with you
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a listed country
  • evidence you’ve worked for your employer outside the UK (see exceptions below)
  • a valid ATAS certificate (if applies)
  • a blank page in your passport for your visa

If your documents are not in English or Welsh, you’ll also need to provide a certified translation.


Evidence of Your Employment Outside the UK

After you apply, the Home Office may ask you to provide evidence confirming that you’ve worked for your employer for 12 months.

However, you do not need to prove this if you’re either:

  • earning over £73,900
  • a Japanese national doing work for a Japanese company that is expanding to the UK

If the decision-maker asks you to show evidence of your employment, you may do so by providing:

  • printed payslips
  • online payslips supported by a letter from your sponsor signed by a senior staff member
  • bank or building society statements
  • a building society pass book


A Certificate of Sponsorship

As part of the application, the Home Office will expect you to provide them with your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number. Your sponsor must have issued the certificate no more than 3 months before the date of the application.



Only those who are over 18 can apply.



The UK Expansion Worker Visa: Part 1
The UK Expansion Worker Visa: Part 1

Switching is a legal process which allows you to switch from one immigration category to another. For example, if you came to the UK as a student, on a student’s visa and then married a British citizen – you’ll need to switch. This is because of a change in your circumstances. You’ll need to change your student’s visa to a UK spouse visa.

If you are already in the UK and would like to apply for the UK Expansion Worker visa, you need to be aware of the switching rules. There are certain immigration categories from which you cannot switch to the UK Expansion Worker Visa.

If you are in the UK:

(a) as a Visitor; or

(b) as a Short-term Student; or

(c) as a Parent of a Child Student; or

(d) as a Seasonal Worker; or

(e) as a Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or

(f) outside the Immigration Rules.

You’ll need to leave the UK and make your UK Expansion Worker Visa from outside.


TB Test Certificate

If you are making an application outside the UK and your country is on the Appendix T list, you’ll also need to submit a tuberculosis test certificate with the application.

If you do not meet any of the above validity requirements, the Home Office will reject your application. However, if you complied with the procedural part, the Home will proceed to check if you meet the suitability requirements.


Continue reading: The UK Expansion Worker Visa: Part 2

The UK Expansion Worker Visa: Part 1