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Global Business Mobility visa promises a new solution for companies moving staff to the UK


26 February 2022

UK immigration practitioners are eagerly awaiting to see how the UK Government’s latest immigration reform to reflect the global nature of business pans out. The Global Business Mobility visa is set to commence in Spring 2022 and will provide more new solutions for companies moving staff to the UK – whether or not they have a presence there.

“Immigration routes that may once have worked for business, no longer do; they have not evolved in tandem with businesses,” a recent Government briefing admitted. It promised the new Global Mobility visa route would “enable an overseas business to temporarily send an employee to the UK for a specific corporate purpose that could not be done by a resident worker.”

Global Mobility visas should prove helpful for firms establishing a UK footprint or transferring trainees, senior and specialist staff to the UK as well as secondments to UK firms on big contracts.

What problems does the Global Mobility visa solve?

Examples of the kind of immigration solutions the Global Mobility visa is set to advance include setting up a subsidiary in the UK and being able to send a whole specialist team of “expansion workers” – not just the sole representative currently allowed. There will now be a route for businesses with no UK presence to send workers to establish a branch or subsidiary which is much more handy than existing routes. An easy transition to sponsor these workers in more permanent roles once a UK branch is operational is promised too.

The new route also promises immigration provisions for secondments to a UK firm that companies may be doing business with to oversee production and get hands-on experience in a way that would be tricky under a visitor visa. The new visa will enable secondments in high value import and export deals and to oversee substantial investment. The existing visitor visa route is very restrictive as people can only come for six months which sometimes isn’t enough. The current arrangements only cover employees of clients of UK export companies, not import related secondments.

Who should apply for a Global Mobility visa?

The UK Home Office has announced five categories who will benefit from the new immigration route:

• Senior or specialist workers meeting specific business needs

• Graduate trainees as part of a training programme

• Secondment workers to UK firms in high value contracts or investments

• Service suppliers to the UK in line with UK trade agreements

• UK expansion workers establishing a UK presence

The first three will be for firms with a UK presence, the last three at firms with no UK presence. (Secondments are a route for both.)

Read the full article in the latest Immigration Lawyers Toolbox Magazine

Find out more about the changes for businesses in the new Global Business Mobility Visa which commences on 11 April 2022.

(Thames Sunset photograph CC David Iliff)