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Promising Changes to Business Immigration

Picture of Kate Boguslawska
Kate Boguslawska 17, December 2021

The Home Office has announced a launch of a new route which will completely change business immigration. The new, more consolidated immigration route will enable overseas businesses to send their workers to the UK with a view to establish and expand their businesses.  The new Global Business Mobility (‘GBM’) route will launch in Spring 2022.

Whilst the Skilled Worker route will remain available to UK businesses that wish to hire migrant workers to fill a vacancy in the UK, the new Global Business Mobility visa route will be available to five different categories of workers:

  1. Senior or Specialist Workers required to work at a UK office of an overseas business (current Intra-Company Transfer visa)
  2. Graduate Trainees undertaking a UK placement as part of a structured training programme (current Intra-Company Graduate Trainee visa)
  3. Service Suppliers travelling to the UK to deliver a service in line with a UK trade commitment (e.g. General Agreement on Trade Services which is currently covered by the Temporary Work – International Agreement visa)
  4. Secondment Workers on secondment to a UK business for a specific purpose (e.g. to transfer knowledge related to a high value import or export)
  5. UK Expansion Workers who will be specialist or senior employees who are on assignment as part of the UK expansion of the overseas business (current Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa)

Overseas businesses without an existing UK presence will be able to apply for a Global Business Mobility visa for (1) service suppliers travelling to the UK to deliver a service in line with a UK trade commitment; (2) workers on secondment to a UK business for a specific purpose; and (3) specialists or senior employees who are on assignment as part of the UK expansion of their business.

The most exciting change however will allow overseas firms to send a team of workers to establish a subsidiary – they will be able to apply for a new sponsored Team Subsidiary visa. The number of team members will be limited to five and at least one member of the team will need to meet the criteria of the current Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa route, whilst the other team members will, at a minimum, need to meet the criteria of the Skilled Worker route.

The new Immigration Rules are to be published early next year.

In order to reduce the huge gap in the workforce caused by Brexit, Robert Sookias and Jarmila Entezari of the Immigration Department at Carter Lemon Camerons are of the view that the Home Office will make the immigration rules easier to enable both current and future vacancies to be filled.

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