The UK Service Supplier Visa: The Eligibility Requirements
This article is part of the ‘Global Business Mobility’ series, which provides a detailed summary of the UK Service Supplier Visa route.
There are 2 parts, which cover the following topics:
What is the Purpose of the UK Secondment Worker Visa?
When Can You Apply?
3 Requirements to Satisfy
The Validity Requirements
The Suitability Requirements
The Eligibility Requirements
How Long Will it Take to Get a Decision?
This is part 2. You can jump to part 1 HERE.
The Eligibility Requirements
The UK Service Supplier Visa application is a points-based system application. You’ll need to meet point-based and non-point-based eligibility requirements.
There are 40 points to score:
|Job at an appropriate skill level (option A) or
Job at an appropriate skill level (option B)
20 Points for Sponsorship for a Service Supplier
The Sponsorship requirement consists of 3 elements:
- a certificate of sponsorship
- the sponsor
A Certificate of Sponsorship
A certificate of sponsorship can only be used once. It needs to be valid, not withdrawn by the Sponsor and not cancelled by the Home Office and confirm:
- your name
- that you are being sponsored as a Service Supplier
- the details of your job
- salary (and that it complies with the National Minimum Wage requirement)
- the start date (cannot be more than 3 months after the date of application)
- that you have worked as or for an overseas service provider outside the UK for a cumulative period of 12 months.
- whether Appendix ATAS applies, and if it does – you’ll need to submit the ATAS certificate to confirm this.
- that the Sponsor’s contract is registered with the Home Office
Your Sponsor needs to be A-rated, registered, licensed and authorised by the Home Office to sponsor a Service Supplier. The Sponsor should have a contract with an overseas service provider where that contact:
- has been registered with the Home Office; and
- is for a service covered by one of the UK’s international trade agreements; and
- is the contract on which you will work as a Service Supplier.
The decision maker will be undertaking checks to ensure that the job you are being sponsored to exists, is not a sham position, and has not been created to obtain a visa.
Additionally, you’ll need to meet the 3rd party rules. You’ll need to prove that you are not being sponsors to:
- the hire of your services to a third party to fill a position with that party, whether temporary or permanent; or
- contract work to undertake an ongoing routine role or to provide an ongoing routine service for a third party, regardless of the nature or length of any arrangement between the sponsor and the 3rd
20 Points for Job at Appropriate Skill Level for a Service Supplier – Option A
The job you intend to do in the UK will need to have a unique code, listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations. It should be eligible for the Global Business Mobility routes.
It’s important to note here that the decision maker will be undertaking checks to ensure that your Sponsor chose an appropriate occupation code for the application.
The decision maker will refuse the application if they believe that the Sponsor has chosen a less appropriate occupation code because the most suitable occupation code was not eligible under the Global Business Mobility routes.
They can decide on the code appropriateness based on the following factors:
(a) whether the sponsor has shown a genuine need for the job as described; and
(b) whether you have the appropriate skills, qualifications and experience to do the job as described; and
(c) the sponsor’s history of compliance with the immigration system including, but not limited to, paying its sponsored workers appropriately; and
(d) any additional information from the sponsor.
20 Points for Job at Appropriate Skill Level for a Service Supplier – Option B
If you would like to apply under option B, you’ll need a university degree or equivalent level technical qualification. This is unless you are employed by an overseas service provider supplying one of the services below, in which case the qualification requirements in the following table apply:
|Fashion and modelling
|Chef de cuisine
|An advanced technical qualification
|Entertainment services (excluding audio-visual services under the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement)
|Management consulting services and services related to management consulting (managers and senior consultants)
|University degree (an equivalent level technical qualification not permitted)
|Advertising or translation
|Technical testing and analysis
|University degree or a relevant technical qualification
You need to hold any professional qualifications or registrations required to provide the services under UK law or sectoral requirements.
You must have professional experience in the sector in which you will supply services as follows:
- 3 years’ experience; or
- if you are supplying chef de cuisine services under the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement, 6 years’ experience; or
- if you are a self-employed overseas service provider, 6 years’ experience.
There are 4 non-points-based eligibility requirements to meet:
- Nationality requirement
- Overseas work requirement
- Financial requirement
- Maximum length of assignments requirement
Nationality Requirement for a Service Supplier
You should be:
(a) a national of the country or territory in which the overseas service provider is based; or
(b) where the service that you will provide is covered by a commitment in the General Agreement on Trade in Services and your employer is established in a country or territory that has made a notification under Article XXVIII(k)(ii)(2) of that agreement, a permanent resident of that country or territory; or
(c) where the service that you will provide is covered by a commitment in the Temporary Agreement between the Swiss Confederation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on Services Mobility, a permanent resident of Switzerland; or
(d) where the service that the applicant will provide is covered by a commitment in the United Kingdom-European Union Trade and Cooperation Agreement, a national of any Member State of the European Union or any other person included in the definition of “natural person of a Party” for the European Union in Article 512(k) of that agreement; or
(e) where the service that the applicant will provide is covered by a contractual service supplier commitment in the CARIFORUM-United Kingdom Economic Partnership Agreement, a national of any CARIFORUM State that has provisionally applied or brought into force that agreement.
Overseas Work Requirement for a Service Supplier
First of all, you need to prove that you are still working as or for an overseas service provider that will provide services to the Sponsor. Secondly, you should provide documents confirming that you have worked continuously in this capacity for at least 12 months.
The continuity of your work will not be interrupted by:
- statutory maternity, paternity, parental, or shared parental leave; or statutory adoption leave; or
- sick leave; or
- assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis, with the agreement of the overseas service provider; or
- taking part in legally organised industrial action.
Financial Requirement for a Service Supplier
You’ll satisfy this requirement automatically and do not need to show that you have funds if you are applying from the UK and had your permission to remain here for more than 12 months.
Also, you do not need to meet this requirement, if you’re a-rated Sponsor agreed to sponsor you financially. In this case, the Sponsor will need to confirm in the Certificate of Sponsorship.
If you are applying outside the UK or had permission to remain for less than 12 months, then you’ll need to prove that you had at least £1,270 in your bank account for at least 28-days before the date of the application.
Maximum Length of Assignments Requirement for a Service Supplier
As this route does not lead to settlement, the decision maker will keep an eye on the maximum period you spent in the UK.
The UKVI will ensure that the grant of permission does not lead to you being granted cumulative periods of permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and Intra-Company routes totalling more than 5 years in any 6-year period.
How to Calculate the Cumulative Period of Permission
When calculating the cumulative periods of permission, the decision maker will include the following:
- all previous periods of permission on the Global Business Mobility routes; and
- all previous periods of permission on the Intra-Company routes; and
- if you do not currently hold permission in the Global Business Mobility routes, any permission you could be granted under this application, beginning on the start date of the job stated on the Certificate of Sponsorship; and
- if you are applying for permission to stay and have, or last had permission on the Global Business Mobility routes, any permission you could be granted under this application, beginning on the date of decision; and
- any period of permission on the Global Business Mobility routes and the Intra-Company routes extended under section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971. Section 3 automatically extends the period a person can remain in the UK pending a decision on a new visa application, or appeal, or Administrative Review.
If you meet the Validity and the Eligibility requirements. Additionally, if you score 40 points and meet all non-points-based eligibility requirements, the decision maker will grant your service supplier visa.
If the decision is unfavourable, you’ll have no right of appeal, but you can apply for Administrative Review.
How Long Will it Take to Get a Decision?
In straightforward cases, it usually takes 3 weeks, if you apply from outside the UK and 8 weeks when applying in the UK.
On Service Supplier Visa, you can stay for whichever is the shorter of:
- 6 months or 12 months – this depends on the trade agreement you’re providing services under
- the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
The maximum you can stay on a Service Supplier visa is 6 or 12 months, depending on the type of trade agreement you’re providing services under.
What You Can Do:
- work only for the Sponsor named in our Certificate of Sponsorship
- invite your spouse and children (under 18) to join you in the UK
- travel abroad and return to the UK
What You Cannot Do:
- claim benefits
- change jobs (unless you update your visa)
- settle (apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK)
You can read part 1 HERE.