The Home Office has recently introduced new work and business visa routes to modernise the UK Immigration system with the aim of attracting more skilled workers and global talents to the UK; the Global Business Mobility visa routes, the High Potential Individual visa, and the Scale-up route. We briefly outline the details for each visa route in this summary.
The Global Business Mobility (GBM) routes were fully implemented in April 2022 and are a new category of sponsored routes for overseas businesses seeking to establish a presence in the UK or transfer staff to the UK for certain business purposes. There are five new individual visas under GBM route:
To sponsor a worker under this visa category, a business must first hold a Sponsor Licence. Businesses should therefore take steps to either apply for a Sponsor Licence or review their current licence to check this meets the needs and objectives of future recruitment plans.
For those looking to sponsor workers under any of the new categories, we can now process Sponsor Licence applications/upgrades/renewals, so contact our immigration team if you have any questions.
Launched on 30 May 2022, the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa is aimed at attracting exceptional graduates from certain universities to come and work in the UK without having to be sponsored.
Applicants must have been awarded an overseas degree-level academic qualification which is equivalent to a recognised UK bachelor’s or UK postgraduate degree. This needs to have been awarded in the past five years immediately before the date of application from an institution which appears on the Global Universities List at the date of award.
They must pass a security and criminality check and be proficient in English to at least the B1 intermediate level. They must also meet financial requirements, which are far from onerous, by showing savings of £1,270 only for the main applicant.
Successful applicants will be granted leave in the UK for two years, while PhD graduates will be granted three years. Applicants will be able to bring dependent partners and children under the age of 18.
Applicants applying on this route will not be restricted to taking up employment with a UK business that holds a Sponsor Licence and will have flexibility to work, study or be self-employed in the UK.
It is also expected that many candidates who qualify for an HPI visa are likely to have other UK visa options (for example, under the Global Talent, Skilled Worker or Innovator visa routes) so they can switch into longer-term immigration routes, which can lead to settlement.
Our immigration lawyers can check your eligibility for this visa route at an initial consultation for free of charge.
The Scale-up route will open on 22 August 2022 to allow “talented individuals” with “a job offer at the required skills level from a recognised UK scale-up company to qualify for a fast-track visa”.
To register for this route, the UK company will have to have a Sponsor Licence and be able to demonstrate it has an annualised growth of at least 20% for the previous three-year period, either in terms of turnover or staffing. Companies seeking to use this route will also need to have had a minimum of 10 employees at the start of this three-year period.
To be eligible for a Scale-Up visa, applicants are expected to meet the below requirements:
On the sponsored Scale-up visa, applicants must be employed by their sponsor for at least six months. Thereafter, the applicant does not have to have a sponsor.
Successful applicants will be able to bring eligible family members with them on dependant visas, and this visa route can lead to settlement.
Detailed guidance on the Scale-Up visa will be released in due course and we will provide more updates when the requirements are confirmed.
If your organisation requires legal assistance, you would like to discuss your situation, or to know more about our services please do not hesitate to contact our Immigration Team at firstname.lastname@example.org we will be happy to answer your questions and guide you through the process; our confidential initial discussions will be free of charge.