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UK Expansion Worker Visa

Global Business Mobility
UK Expansion Worker visa – key features

The UK Expansion Worker visa is a good visa route if you are planning to open a UK entity of your existing overseas business. It can be used to bring in up to 5 senior executives to help establish the UK arm of the business, and for the expansion to be carried out by trusted executives from the overseas business.

The first step in securing this visa will be to secure a UK Expansion Worker licence. This can be completed before the business is trading in the UK. Unlike the Skilled Worker route, the UK entity will not need a UK employee to act as an authorising officer. Once the business holds a licence, it will be able to issue certificates of sponsorship to its overseas team of senior executives, who will then sponsored by the business enable them to secure visa clearance to live and work in the UK.

The overseas company must provide evidence of its proposal to expand into the UK market which must include detailed company information, evidence of the company’s ability to fund the UK expansion proposal, and careful market research and competitor analysis. At Freeths, we have specialist teams who can provide you with all the support you need to set up your business in the UK, including corporate support, pensions, HR specialists, commercial and contract lawyers, risk management specialists and tax advisors.

At the time the visa is issued, the UK business should not yet have started trading. If you have started trading in the UK, and need to bring your senior team in then we would recommend the Global Business Mobility – Senior and Specialist Worker route, or the Skilled Worker licence route

Under the UK Expansion Worker route, there is no need to satisfy an English language requirement.

Length and conditions of grant

The UK Expansion Worker visa is granted for an initial period of 1 year with a maximum duration of 2 years. The maximum cumulative period allowed, in combination with other Global Business Mobility routes, is 5 years out of 6. This route does not lead to settlement but can be added to other visas as a route to settlement.

UK Expansion Worker visa holders can work for the UK entity, as described in their certificate of sponsorship. They can also continue working for the overseas entity during the set-up period. They can easily travel abroad and return to the UK within the validity period of their visa. They can engage all business activities, including signing contracts on the business’ behalf.

The spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, and children of the main applicant can secure visa clearance to move to the UK, as the main applicant’s dependants.

How can Freeths help?

It is often said that at Freeths we have an entrepreneurial approach and that we are business people first and lawyers second.

We will be on hand help you to get your business off the ground in the UK. We will discuss your plans and advise whether a UK Expansion visa is the best solution for the business. When you are ready to proceed, we will secure the business’ licence, and we will prepare all required visa applications and will support your executives and their family members throughout the process.

If required, we use a priority service for the licence and visa applications, to ensure a speedy outcome.  We provide end to end visa support, and will liaise with the Home Office on your behalf, to ensure the visa process is successful, and stress free.

Our fees are transparent. We offer a fair pricing structure which will be agreed with you at the outset.

We offer integration with broader legal services such as our commercial and corporate teams who will help you to set up your business, our real estate team who will meet your property requirements, our specialist IP and tech teams can assist in protecting your intellectual property and our specialist employment and pensions teams who will assist with all your HR requirements.

If you would like to know more about the UK Expansion Worker visa route, or need help with an application, please contact our immigration team, who are on hand to help.

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