Global Business Mobility Routes to UK

Senior or Specialist Worker

This route replaces the Intra-Company Transfer Long-term Staff provision, which multinationals relied on to transfer existing workers to the UK for a temporary period of time. It is defined as follows:

Graduate Trainee

This replaces the Graduate Trainee provision of the former Intra-Company Transfer category of the Immigration Rules. It is defined as follows:

UK Expansion Worker

A shiny new category? Well, kind of. This route replaces the Representative of an Overseas Business route. The new Appendix Global Business Mobility Routes provides the following definition:

Service Supplier

The Service Supplier is a rebrand for those previously sponsored as Contractual Service Suppliers or Self-employed Independent Professionals under the Temporary Work — International Agreement category. It is defined as follows:

Secondment Worker

I must admit, this is the one category I was intrigued about — having read the Statement of Changes and commentary on proposed Rule changes, I had no idea why this category was being introduced. Today, I understand a little bit more, but I’m not confident it’ll be used frequently and I feel that the UK government really should have considered the needs of UK employers before creating a route that, in my opinion, will be used very little (happy to be proven wrong!).

Do Sponsors need to do anything?

Organisations that held a sponsor licence under the former provisions should have received correspondence from UKVI which confirms that, for the routes that are replacing former categories, the new route will be added to their existing licence from 11 April 2022. The Register of Worker and Temporary Worker licensed sponsors has already been updated; ICT licence holders now hold a Global Business Mobility: Senior or Specialist Worker / Graduate Trainee licence. However, at the time of writing this article, not all of the updates have been undertaken (not all International Agreement licence holders hold a Global Business Mobility: Service Supplier licence, for example). Presumably, UKVI hasn’t undertaken all necessary updates yet.

My thoughts about the changes

Overall, the changes aren’t significant, although we’ll all need to get to grips with the new terminology! We still have the issue that not all ‘specialist’ occupations can be sponsored under the GBM categories. For example, unless a Welder — a role that many of my clients struggle to recruit for in the UK and rely on specialist workforces from within the EU — qualifies as a Service Supplier or meets the strict definition of a Secondment Worker, there is no change to the pre-11 April hurdles we faced. In my opinion, the new provisions don’t create any useful categories that can actually assist businesses in the UK who rely on temporary workers, and who cannot turn to UK companies who offer the same service. Labour issues that arose following Brexit shall, unfortunately, continue for now.

Learn more about skilled worker visa sponsorship or get general assistance on your current immigration situation in the United Kingdom

The immigration lawyers at Latitude Law have been providing invaluable specialist advice and legal representation to clients since 2007.

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