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Graduate Trainees

International Graduate Trainees

For many of our multinational business clients, a well-structured graduate trainee programme can be a valuable tool in training future senior managers and developing employees to fill roles requiring specialist skills. When a business operates internationally, having home grown talent who understand first-hand the different jurisdictions in which the business has a footing, can give you a competitive lead. At Freeths, we know that the last thing you want to worry about when setting up and running an international graduate trainee scheme, is whether your trainees will face problems in securing visa clearance to move to the UK to undertake temporary work assignments as part of their training.

The Global Business Mobility- Graduate Trainee route is designed for overseas workers who are undertaking a graduate training course leading to a senior management or specialist position and who are required to complete a work placement in the UK as part of their training. We can help you to set up the training programme with the visa process in mind. Once your graduate training programme is established, we can help your trainees to secure visa clearance, giving you and them one less thing to worry about.

The following requirements need to be met to secure UK visa clearance as a Graduate Trainee route:

  • The trainee must be working overseas for a business or organisation that is linked to the UK entity by common ownership or control, or by a joint venture, and must have worked outside the UK for this business or organisation for at least 3 months immediately before the visa application is submitted.
  • The UK entity must hold a licence for this route, and must assign a certificate of sponsorship to the trainee.
  • The job must be at the required skill level, which is at least RQF Level 6 (graduate equivalent).
  • The trainee must be offered the required salary. Freeths can provide you with the exact salary requirement for a specific role.
  • The trainee must have sufficient funds to maintain themselves, although most UK sponsors certify maintenance for their sponsored workers.
  • Have a TB certificate, if required.

Graduate Trainee route – additional benefits

Under the Graduate Trainee route, there is no requirement to for the trainee to prove their English language ability.

This route is exempt from the Immigration Skills Charge.

This route allows dependants to accompany or join the main visa holder in the UK.

Graduate Trainee route – visa length and conditions

The Graduate Trainee visa is granted for 1 year. It cannot be extended in the UK, however a trainee can apply for a further Graduate Trainee visa from outside the UK, or they can switch into a different route.

The maximum cumulative period allowed, in combination with other Global Business Mobility routes, is 5 years in any 6-year period. This route does not lead to settlement but can be added to other visas as a route to settlement.

Visa holders can work for the UK entity, as described in their certificate of sponsorship. Graduate trainees and their dependants can access NHS services in the UK. They are not however permitted to access public funds.

How can Freeths help?

Our team of immigration solicitors can deal with all aspects of the Graduate Trainee visa process for your business and your candidates. This includes:

  • Securing your immigration licence for your business or adding a tier to your existing licence
  • Managing your licence by being appointed as Level 1 users
  • Assessing the recruitment proposal and advising on all aspects of the role, including skill and salary level
  • Advising on licence compliance and providing training and support for key members of your team
  • Securing the required certificate of sponsorship from the Home Office and assigning this to your proposed Graduate Trainee
  • Assessing the trainee’s documentation and preparing and submitting the visa application for the trainee and their dependants
  • Liaising with the Home Office throughout the application process, to ensure a successful outcome.

Contact our business immigration team:


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