Specialist Worker route

What you can and cannot do with a Senior or Specialist Worker visa

The Statement of Changes to the UK’s Immigration Rules, recently released by the Home Office, contains information on many new business immigration routes, notably the Global Business Mobility visa and its five unique subcategories.

When establishing the route last year, the Home Office made note of the fact that immigration routes that had previously served companies no longer do so because they have not kept up with businesses. The Senior or Specialist Worker route is one of the five new visa categories which replaced the Intra-Company Transfer route.

What is the Senior or Specialist Worker route?

For senior managers and experts who have been allocated to a UK company connected to their foreign employer and who wish to work in the UK for a certain period of time, there is a Senior or Specialist Worker route.

For this path, the candidate must acquire 60 points in order to be sponsored. The division is as follows:

  • A legitimate sponsorship proposal that awards 20 points.
  • If the employment offer is at the required skill level for sponsorship, which is frequently graduate-level or higher, it will receive 20 points.
  • 20 points are awarded for an annual salary that is at or above the appropriate level (£42,400 or the going rate, whichever is higher). To be considered a “high earner,” one must get at least £73,900 annually.

Things you can and cannot do under the Senior or Specialist Worker visa

You can do the following:

  • Work for your sponsor in the position stated in your sponsorship study certificate.
  • Bring them as’ dependents if your partner and children are qualified.’
  • Do volunteer work
  • Return to the UK after travelling abroad

You cannot:

  • Use most government benefits, public funds, and the State Pension
  • Unless you are eligible and your visa has been updated, you should change occupations.
  • You must have second employment unless you previously held an Intra-company Transfer visa or a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa.
  • Apply to stay in the UK indefinitely (also known as “indefinite leave to remain”).
  • If your application is accepted, you will receive a detailed list of everything you may and cannot do with a Senior Advisor.

Standards for Senior or Specialist Worker Visa Eligibility

You need to fulfil the following criteria in order to be qualified for a senior or specialist worker visa:

  • The applicant must be a present worker for a sponsoring company that has received Home Office approval.
  • A “certificate of sponsorship” (CoS) from the UK-based employer outlining the tasks the candidate will perform for the organisation is required.
  • The person must work in one of the occupations on the Home Office list that is permitted.
  • He or she must have a yearly income of at least £42,400. The employee must be a “High Earner,” making at least £73,900 annually if they have been with the organisation for less than a year.
  • To get 20 points for sponsorship through this approach, employees must work for the “sponsor group,” which is an overseas firm associated with the UK entity by shared ownership or control.
  • Unlike before, this category has no English language requirements.

Timeframe and Sponsorship of Dependents

You can stay in the UK with a Senior or Specialist Worker visa for at least five years, or for the length of your sponsorship certificate plus an additional 14 days. As many times as you’d like, up to the maximum permitted total stay, you can apply for a visa extension or a new one.

High earners can extend their visas, although they cannot be given more than 9 years of stay during any 10-year period. No other senior or specialist employees are qualified for a leave of absence that would allow them to stay for more than five years during a six-year period. When computing the cumulative periods, time spent on the ICT category will be added to the overall period.

The maximum duration of stay permitted under a senior and specialist worker visa is

If your annual salary is less than £73,900 for any five of the preceding six years,

You can work for nine years in any ten years if your annual income is £73,900 or more.

You may stay in the UK for a maximum of 90 days on any of the following visas.

  • Graduate Trainee Visa for Internal Employees
  • Visa for transfers inside a firm
  • Graduate trainee visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Secondment worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Senior or specialist worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Service Provider Visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Worker visa for the UK’s growth (Global Business Mobility)

Subject to the restrictions on cumulative leave lengths, a Senior or Specialist employee may submit one application for up to five years at a time. Dependents (spouses and minor children) may be sponsored under this option to travel to the UK with the primary applicant.

How to Use?

Senior or specialist worker visa applications are often submitted online.

The forms and processes, however, vary according to whether you are:

Visiting the UK from outside the UK

You currently work in the UK as a Senior or Specialist Worker and want to extend your stay.

Switching between several visas when in the UK

You may include your spouse and children in your application to remain in the UK if they are qualified.

Application Procedure

Before beginning to work in the UK, you have up to three months to apply for a visa. Your sponsorship certificate includes a printout of this date. As part of your application, you will have to provide documentation to establish your identity.

You might need to allow more time if you need an appointment. Can find out if you need one when you launch your application.

Will typically hear back between 3 to 8 weeks after submitting your papers, proving your identity, and submitting your online application.

  • If you’re not in the UK, three weeks.
  • If you reside in the UK, 8 weeks.


You must pay the application fee, provide proof that you have enough personal savings to support yourself and your dependents in the UK. And pay the healthcare fee for each year of your stay if you are moving to the UK on a Senior or Specialist Worker visa with your partner or children.

We’re ready to assist you!

Contact A Y J Solicitors for help if you are a current sponsor and would like to learn more about the new pathways or if you are a business interested in applying for a sponsor licence. We can help you by advising and guiding you through the process so that you can accomplish your goals for global mobility.

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