The UK Service Supplier Visa

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:


Part 1:

What is the Purpose of the UK Secondment Worker Visa?

When Can You Apply?

3 Requirements to Satisfy

The Validity Requirements

The Suitability Requirements


Part 2:

The Eligibility Requirements

Points-Based Requirements

Non-Points-Based Requirements

The Decision

How Long Will it Take to Get a Decision?


This is part 1. You can jump to part 2 HERE.


What is the Purpose of the UK Service Supplier Worker Visa?

The UK Service Supplier Visa
The UK Service Supplier Visa

The Global Business Mobility – Service Supplier route is for overseas workers undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK. The worker should be a contractual service supplier employed by an overseas service provider. Alternatively, this can be a self-employed independent professional based overseas, and they need to undertake an assignment in the UK to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade agreements.

When Can You Apply?

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.


3 Requirements to Satisfy

As with all points-based system visa applications, you’ll need to meet 3 requirements to succeed:

  1. The Validity Requirements
  2. The Suitability Requirement
  3. The Eligibility Requirements


The Validity Requirements

The Validity requirements consist of the rules on

  1. Procedure
  2. Switching



The procedural rules are simple and straightforward. They consist of 4 steps:


  1. The Online Form

There are two application forms to choose from: the “Global Business Mobility Visa” (when applying outside the UK) and the “Global Business Mobility” forms (if applying from the UK).

  1. The Fee

You’ll need to pay £259 for the application and £624 per year for the Immigration Health Surcharge.

  1. Your Passport and Supporting Documents

This route is open only for those who are over 18. You’ll need to provide your passport as proof of your identity, nationality and age.

The Sponsor will also need to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship. It should not be older than 3 months at the date of the application.

If your country is on Appendix T list, you’ll also need to submit a tuberculosis test certificate.

  1. Biometrics

Then, at one of the Visa Applications Centres, you’ll need to submit your biometrics and upload your supporting documents online.



You should check the switching rules if you are applying from the UK.

Switching is a process of changing immigration categories. For example, if you came here to the UK as a spouse of a British Citizen but now would like to ‘switch’ to the UK Service Suppilier Visa (when still in the UK), switching rules will apply.

You cannot switch if you are in the UK in one of the following categories:

(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


In these circumstances, you’ll need to go back to your country of origin and reapply to re-enter the country as the UK Service Supplier Visa route.


The Suitability Requirements

Once you followed the correct procedure (met the Validity requirement), the next step will be to prove that you meet the Suitability requirements.

The decision maker will be checking if you:

  • had any exclusions or deportation orders
  • or criminal convictions
  • were excluded from asylum or humanitarian protection grounds
  • were involved in a sham marriage
  • made any false representations
  • previously breached immigration laws
  • failed to provide the requested information
  • have any debts to NHS or unpaid litigations costs


You’ll find a full list of grounds for refusal on the basis of suitability at part 9 of the Immigration Rules.

If you are applying from the UK, in addition to meeting the requirements listed at Part 9 of the Immigration Rules, you’ll need to prove that your meet paragraph 39E and are not on immigration bail.


Continue reading: PART 2

The UK Service Supplier Visa