Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

The Senior or Specialist Worker route is for overseas workers who are undertaking temporary work assignments in the UK, where the worker is a senior manager, or specialist employee, and is being assigned to a UK business linked to their employer overseas. This visa has replaced the Intra-company Transfer visa, previously the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa.

How do I qualify?

To qualify for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you must:

  • be an existing employee of an organisation that’s been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor
  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the work you will do in the UK
  • be paid at least £42,400 per year
  • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations

How long can I stay?

You can stay in the UK with a Senior or Specialist Worker visa for whichever is shorter of:

  • the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
  • 5 years

You can apply to extend your visa or apply for another one as many times as you like up to the maximum total stay.

If you’re already in the UK with an Intra-company visa or a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa you can apply to extend your stay as a Senior or Specialist Worker.

The maximum total stay allowed for a Senior and Specialist Worker visa is:

  • 5 years in any 6 year period if you’re paid less than £73,900 a year
  • 9 years in any 10 year period if you’re paid £73,900 a year or more

Any time you spend in the UK on one of the following visas will be included in your maximum total stay:

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

Please note that migrants in the UK on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa cannot apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, otherwise known as settlement, and must leave the UK once they have exhausted the visa. If the applicant and their dependants wish to settle in the UK, then they need to apply under a different visa category altogether.

How much does it cost?

If you’re applying from outside the UK, the fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:

  • up to 3 years – £625 per person
  • more than 3 years – £1,235 per person

If you’re applying from inside the UK to extend, switch or update your visa, the fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:

  • up to 3 years – £719 per person
  • more than 3 years – £1,423 per person

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge for each year of your stay, at a rate of £624 per annum.

You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK. You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 consecutive days. The end date of the 28 day period must be within 31 days of the date you apply, unless your sponsor has certified your maintenance on your certificate of sponsorship.

How do I apply?

Applicants must apply online on the www.gov.uk website.

Things you can and cannot do:

With a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa visa you can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • study
  • bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible
  • do voluntary work
  • travel abroad and return to the UK

You cannot:

  • apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
  • have a second job
  • change jobs unless you update your visa
  • apply to settle permanently in the UK

If you require assistance with applying for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, please contact us for a quote.