Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

A Senior or Specialist Worker visa allows senior managers and skilled specialists to enter the UK in order to undertake a temporary work assignment. Our team can help you navigate this process, and offer all the information you need for a successful application.

Our Success Stories

Google Reviews Feefo Reviews The Law Society

Senior or Specialist Worker Visa for The UK

Recent changes have seen the manner in which businesses and employees from overseas are permitted to work and operate in the UK change, and this includes the introduction of the Global Business Mobility visa. The Senior or Specialist Worker route is a key element of this, allowing managers and specialists from overseas to obtain temporary employment within the UK.

This is a visa that will allow those specialist employees, or senior managers attached to a company, to enter the UK in order to complete a specialist work assignment. To qualify, the company must be allocated to a company based in the UK, which is linked to an overseas employer.

Navigating your application for this type of visa can be tricky, and it is important that you have all your questions answered by a qualified, experienced legal expert - and this is where our team can help. Get in touch today, and let us tackle the challenge of your visa application, ensuring that you are supported at every step of your journey.

Recent Sole Representative Visa Success Stories

How can we help you obtain a Senior or Specialist Worker visa?

Our experienced team has over 25 years of experience in navigating immigration, visas and working with businesses.

As the UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa is still a new visa category, it is imperative that you have access to skilled, qualified, and experienced legal professionals - and this is exactly what we can offer.

Our team will be on hand to help you ascertain and meet eligibility requirements, walk you through the required paperwork, and answer any questions that you may have. We take pride in project managing each case we take on - and this means that you can rely on consistent, top-quality advice and representation, helping to make your visa application as smooth as possible.

What is a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

As the name suggests, a Senior or Specialist Worker visa may be awarded to a senior manager, or a skilled employee who is looking to undertake a temporary assignment in the UK, and was previously referred to as the “Intra-company Transfer route”.

What are the requirements for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa?

In order to be eligible for a UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you must have an approved “Certificate of Sponsorship” from your employer, which details the work you will be undertaking during your time in the UK.

You must also be an existing employee of a business which has been approved as a sponsor by the Home Office, and you must have worked for this company outside the UK for a minimum of 12 cumulative months.

In addition, you will need to be undertaking a job which is above minimum skill level, and which is included on the list of eligible occupations, and be earning a minimum of £42,400 per year.

What is an eligible job under this visa route?

The Home Office has published a list of occupations and jobs that are eligible for this visa, and one of the requirements that must be satisfied is that your sponsorship is to undertake a “genuine job”.

If there is a suspicion that the job you are receiving sponsorship for has been falsified or does not exist, then you will find your application refused. Your application is also likely to be refused if it is suspected, or can be proven, that your job has been created for the sole purpose of allowing you to obtain this visa.

In addition, the Home Office will check to ensure that applicants are not entering a temporary or permanent role, or taking on a contractual position which sees them fill a role for, or provide a service to, a third party who is not their sponsor. If either of these are found to be the case for you, your visa application will be denied, and you will usually be barred from applying again.

To qualify for your Senior or Specialist Worker visa, the job must also be on the list of eligible jobs, as determined and laid out by the Home Office, and must be at or above the minimum skill level. In most cases, as long as the job you are seeking sponsorship for is on the list, you will be meeting the “eligible job” requirement.

It will be the duty of your employer to select an appropriate occupation code for your job role - these are once again on the list, and the Home Office will assess whether or not the most appropriate occupation code has been selected. Factors in this decision include:

  • Whether there is a genuine need for the job as described
  • Whether you have the appropriate skills for the job described
  • Whether you have the appropriate experience and qualifications for the job described
  • Whether your sponsor has shown a history of compliance with the immigration system in the past

If the Home Office has any reason to suspect that your sponsor has failed to select an appropriate occupation code, then your visa application is likely to be refused.

As an added note, it should be understood that your sponsor is only permitted to assign a maximum of 20 Certificates of Sponsorship in each financial year.

Why Customers Love Us ?

What is the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?

The Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is an integral element of the application process for a Senior or Specialist Workers visa, and your Certificate must be valid and applicable to the job that you are planning to do in the UK. There are a number of requirements which must be met by your Certificate of Sponsorship; firstly, the Certificate of Sponsorship must include all necessary details, including details of your name, proposed job and expected salary, and confirmation that you have been employed by your employer for a minimum of 12 months, and that this employment has occurred outside of the UK.

The Certificate of Sponsorship should also confirm your start date, and this must be no longer than three months following the date of your visa application, as well as confirmation that this Certificate has not been used in any previous application which has been refused, withdrawn or cancelled by the Home Office or the sponsor. If any details are missing or unclear, you will need to contact your sponsor.

The Certificate of Sponsorship must prove that your intended sponsor holds a valid, reputable licence for the particular route that they are looking to sponsor an applicant for - in this case, a Senior or Skilled Worker. In addition, your sponsor must hold an “A” rating, unless certain exceptions apply. These exceptions include:

  • The applicant is applying for an extension to an existing visa, with the aim of continuing to work in the UK for a sponsor they were already working for.
  • The applicant in question is the Authorising Officer of the sponsor, and sponsored as a UK Expansion Worker, using a sponsor with a provisional rating.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship should include the current status of your sponsor’s licence, and it is worth noting that this can be checked. You can check the status on the Certificate of Sponsorship Checking System, or by contacting the Sponsor Licensing Unit (SLU) – this avenue will allow you to learn the information you need about the current status of a sponsor licence.

In some circumstances, a sponsor may lose their licence during the period of time that the visa application is being considered. If this occurs, the sponsor has a legal duty to inform the applicant as quickly as possible – this will only be excused if the licence was revoked as a result of a problem that is directly linked to this particular significant application, and these reasons are directly relevant to the reason for refusal of the visa application.

One example may arise if a visa application is refused because the vacancy is not thought to be genuine. This means that the sponsor will no longer hold their licence, as the job in question no longer exists.

When an application for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa is made, it is also the responsibility of the sponsor to have ensured that any relevant immigration skills charges that relate to this application have been met, and ensured that the ISC payment is correct - if this payment is not made, or an underpayment is made, the Certificate of Sponsorship will no longer be valid, and the application refused.

All of these elements are necessary to ensure you are able to access your Certificate of Sponsorship, and this is an integral element of the visa application process.

Who can sponsor me for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa?

Anybody who holds a valid sponsor licence for the relevant route will be entitled to sponsor a visa application. This means that prior to sponsoring an applicant, a potential sponsor will need to follow the guidance to apply for the relevant licence, and be granted this licence before the visa application can proceed.

To apply for a licence, you will need to complete an online application form, and submit the relevant supporting documents as detailed in the sponsor guidance. There will also be a fee to pay when you apply - the cost of this depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The type of licence you are applying for
  • The size of your organisation or business
  • Whether or not you hold charitable status

Prior to your application, there are a number of elements you will need to consider, and these include:

  • Deciding which route you wish to apply for a licence for
  • Appointing a suitable Authorising Officer to manage your application, as well as nominating a Level 1 user
  • If you are in a position where your business operates over multiple sites or branches, you will need to decide which branches will be used to employ and sponsor workers
  • Deciding whether you would like individual branches to hold their own licence
  • Deciding how many workers you are looking to sponsor in your first year - you are limited to 20 Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) per financial year
  • Checking that you have all relevant documents, and will be able to send these within five working days of submitting your application

Once you have submitted your application for a licence, there are a few things that will need to be established, and these include:

  • Whether you are a genuine, lawful business operating legally in the UK
  • Whether you are dependable, honest and reliable
  • Whether you are engaging, or have ever engaged, in any behaviour or actions deemed not to be in the public good; this is determined by a background check, as well as those around you on a daily basis
  • Whether you are capable of carrying out the duties allocated to you as a sponsor
  • Whether you are able to evidence your compliance in the relevant timeframe and manner
  • Whether you meet the requirements specific to certain routes, including proving that the vacancy is genuine, and meets the necessary minimum skill level and salary requirements.

Once your application has been processed, it will either be refused, rejected as invalid, or granted with an A rating (or a Provisional rating for the UK Expansion visa). It is important to note that failing to pay the necessary fee, or failing to submit relevant paperwork will see your application automatically rejected as invalid. In this case, you will not be permitted to apply for another sponsor licence for a period of six months.

In the event that your application is approved, the name of your business will be officially added to the Register of Sponsors, available on GOV.UK, and you will be eligible to sponsor workers, and issue them with a Certificate of Sponsorship.

Once granted, your licence will remain valid for four years (barring revocation or surrender), and this starts from the day the licence is granted. You will be responsible for renewing the licence if you wish to continue acting as a sponsor.

Why Choose Us For Your Senior or Specialist Worker Visa?

We Are Dedicated

We Are Committed

We Are Professional

We Are Result Driven

We Are Strategic Thinkers

We Are Commercially Aware

Contact our Immigration Solicitors In London on 0208 215 0053 or
via to make your enquiry.

What if I am not a high earner?

If you are not considered to be a “high earner”– that is, you will not be earning £73,900 per year or more, then you will need to provide proof that you have been working for your employer outside the UK for a minimum of 12 months prior to your visa application.

Do I need to pass an English language test?

There is no need to pass an English Language test in order to be eligible for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa for the UK – this requirement has now been removed, in a departure from previous routes and models.

What documents are required for the Senior or Specialist visa?

In order to obtain a UK Specialist or Senior Worker visa, there are several pieces of paperwork that you will need to present. It is a good idea to have these ready as soon as you can. The relevant documents include:

  • Your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number – this can be obtained from your employer
  • A valid passport, or other identity document clearly depicting your nationality and identity
  • Your new annual job title and salary
  • Your job’s occupation code, selected from the list published by the Home Office
  • The name of your employer
  • The sponsor licence number of your employer – this will be on your Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Proof that you have sufficient personal savings to support yourself for the duration of your stay in the UK - this may be bank statements, or evidence on your Certificate of Sponsorship that your employer will be supporting you
  • Proof of any relationships with your children or partner, if they are applying alongside you
  • Tuberculosis test results – this is necessary if you are travelling from a listed country where this is necessary
  • A copy of your Certificate of Sponsorship - this will be available from your employer

In some cases, your Certificate of Sponsorship may have been issued between 11th February 2022 and 11th April 2022 when the new rules came into force. If this is the case, you will be permitted to use an Intra-country Transfer Certificate of Sponsorship as part of your application for your new Senior or Specialist Worker visa - this is not applicable if your certificate states that you earn under £42,400 per year. If your pay is listed as being below this, your employer will be responsible for increasing your salary, and updating the relevant “sponsor notes” section in the new management system with the details of your new salary arrangements.

Depending on your circumstances, some other documents that you may need in order for the Home Office to process your application may include:

  • Evidence that you were working for your employer outside the UK prior to your application if your salary is under £73,900 per year. You may also need to prove that you have been paid using printed payslips, online payslips supported by an authorised letter from your sponsor, which has been signed by a senior member of staff at your place of employment, statements from your bank or building society, or a pass book from a building society. This minimum time requirement will not apply if you earn over £73,900 per year
  • If relevant, a valid ATS certificate - this is applicable if your employer informs you that your job involves researching sensitive material at PhD level or higher
  • A blank page in your passport for your visa - this is applicable if you are required to provide biometric information such as a photograph and fingerprints at a visa application centre. This will be clarified during the course of your application
  • Translations of your documents if they are not in English or Welsh

What length of visa will I receive?

A Senior or Specialist Worker visa for the UK will allow you to stay for the time listed on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, or five years – whichever is shorter. Visas can be extended, or a new visa can be applied for on multiple occasions, up to the length of the maximum stay.

In the event that you are already working in the UK with an Intra-company visa, or an old-style Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa, you will be able to apply to extend your stay by applying for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa.

If you receive under £73,900 a year, your maximum total stay under this visa will be five years in any six-year period, while this is raised to nine years out of every 10-year period if you earn over this amount. It should be noted that any previous visas will count as part of your maximum stay time, including:

  • Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa
  • Intra-company Transfer visa
  • Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Secondment Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)

What Our Customers Say About Us

What happens after I receive the Senior or Specialist Worker visa?

Once you have received your Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you will be permitted to begin working in the UK, on the job that is listed on your Certificate of Sponsorship, for the period of time that you have been allotted.

What happens if my application is refused?

There are a number of reasons why your application will be refused, and the reason will determine the next steps available to you. Some common reasons for refusal include:

  • You have not met the salary requirements - make sure you read the rules and check that the correct “going rate” has been included as part of your application
  • Your information is missing or incorrect -make sure that you answer all questions, provide all evidence, and that your information is correct. You may be able to rectify the details and be accepted, but if the Home Office believes that you have deliberately provided false information, your application will be refused
  • You are not believed to be a genuine applicant -if there is reason to believe that you are not a genuine applicant, for example, you have a history of non-compliance with immigration, then you may be refused a visa
  • You do not meet the skill requirement - you must prove you have the skills required to carry out the role, or your application could be refused
  • There are concerns over your suitability; this may be a history of being deported or excluded or proof that your previous conduct in the UK was not conducive to the public good. If you have received a custodial prison sentence of 12 months or more, are a persistent offender, or have committed an offence causing serious harm, or have been excluded from humanitarian protection grounds or asylum, your application may be refused
  • You lack the funds to support yourself in the UK - you must have a minimum of £1270 in your bank for a minimum of 28 days prior to your application, and you need evidence to prove this
  • Your documents are in the wrong format - this includes documents that have not been translated

Senior or Specialist Worker Visa FAQ'S

1. Senior or Specialist Worker Visa Frequently Asked Questions

The Senior or Specialist Worker visa was introduced to replace the previous Intra-company Transfer visa, and is designed to allow overseas workers working at senior management level, or in a specialist position, to undertake a temporary work assignment within the UK.

This visa was introduced in order to speed up the overall process, making it faster and easier for organisations to arrange the worker visas that they need for their business to thrive and expand.

While many aspects of the visa remain the same, the minimum salary requirement has increased.

In order to qualify for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, there is an overseas work requirement that will need to be met by the applicant – this means that they are required to have been employed by the business they are applying for a visa with for a cumulative period of at least 12 months, and this must have taken place outside of the UK.

This 12-month period must have occurred for at least 12 months prior to the date of the candidate’s application, and can have been accumulated over a historic period. Breaks for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, or shared parental leave will be considered valid.

Another requirement for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa is that there must be a “genuine job requirement”. This means that the job you are applying for and planning to do must be a genuine position, and must not have been created or invented by your employer or business in order to allow you or another employee to obtain a visa, to obtain entry clearance, or to obtain permission to stay in the UK.

It will also be necessary for an application for this category of visa to meet the job skill level requirement. This means that the sponsorship and visa must be at or above the minimum skill level – this is designed to ensure only specialist and skilled workers are granted permission to enter the UK and work.

In addition, the job that you are applying for a visa for needs to be included on the list of occupation codes on the Home Office approved Appendix Skilled Occupations – this is unless you have a specific exemption, or you are being sponsored to continue in the same role, bearing the same occupation code.

In order to be granted a Senior or Specialist worker visa, you will need to ensure you meet certain financial requirements. The salary you are to be paid will need to be not less than the general salary requirement – usually £42,000 per year – or the going rate for the chosen occupation; this is usually 100% of the prorated going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher.

You may be required to provide proof of your earnings prior to your visa application being successfully processed and ultimately accepted.

With a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you will be permitted to remain in the UK for whichever is shorter of five years, or the time given on your Certificate of Sponsorship. This type of visa can be extended, or a new application made, for as many times as you desire within the maximum total stay period.

If you are paid less than £73,900 a year, you will be entitled to remain for five years in any six-year period, or nine years in any 10-year period if you are paid £73,900 or more. Time spent in the UK on any of the following visas will also count:

  • Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa
  • Intra-company Transfer visa
  • Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Secondment Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)

How Can We Help You?

I would like to speak to Cranbrook Legal on the telephone.

0208 215 0053

I do not know what my immigration needs are and need to discuss my requirements.

Book A Free Consultation

I know what my immigration needs are, so I would to discuss my case.

Book An Appointment