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Expansion Worker Sponsor Licence

The Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker Visa is a sponsored route for overseas businesses that wish to establish a branch or subsidiary in the UK.  The route allows eligible businesses to sponsor senior managers or specialist workers who are being assigned to the UK for a temporary period to undertake work related to the business’s expansion to the UK.

Turkey

In order to successfully apply for a UK Expansion Worker sponsor licence, you will need to satisfy various general and route-specific requirements.

In terms of general requirements, you will need to satisfy the Home Office that:

  • You are a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK;
  • You are honest, dependable, reliable and are not engaging and have not engaged in behaviour or actions that are not conducive to the public good;
  • You are capable of carrying out your sponsor duties and evidencing your compliance in a timeframe and manner set out in sponsor guidance.

Route-specific Requirements for a UK Expansion Worker Sponsor Licence

In terms of requirements that are specific to the UK Expansion Worker route, you will need to satisfy the Home Office that:

  • You can offer employment which meets the skill level required for the UK Expansion Worker route;
  • You can offer employment which meets the salary level requirement for the UK Expansion Worker route;
  • The job(s) you are looking to sponsor is (are) genuine;
  • You are not looking to sponsor a role which will involve working for a third party;
  • There is a qualifying link between you (the sponsor) and the overseas business that will send workers to you;
  • You are not already actively trading in the UK, but you have a UK ‘footprint’;
  • The overseas business that is expanding to the UK is active and trading overseas and, unless an exception applies, has been active and trading for at least 3 years;
  • You genuinely intend, and are able, to expand to the UK and establish a UK trading presence within two years;
  • The planned expansion is in the same type of business that you conduct overseas;
  • The business you are establishing in the UK is either wholly owned by the overseas business or is part of the same legal entity (such as a branch);
  • You have appointed an Authorising Officer, Key Contact and at least one Level 1 User.

UK ‘Footprint’ Requirement

In order to qualify for a sponsor licence on the UK Expansion Worker route, you must not already be actively trading in the UK.  If the business is already trading in the UK, you should apply for a licence on a different route (for example, the Senior or Specialist Worker or Skilled Worker route) instead.

However, when applying for a UK Expansion Worker sponsor licence you will need to satisfy the Home Office that you have a UK ‘footprint’.  You can show this through either:

  • proof of UK business premises; or
  • proof that the UK business is registered with Companies House as either an overseas company branch or a new company that is a subsidiary of the overseas linked business.

If you do not have a UK footprint then your application for a UK Expansion Worker sponsor licence will be refused.

Overseas Trading Presence Requirement

The overseas business that is expanding to the UK must normally have been active and trading overseas for a minimum of 3 years before the date of application (although there are some exceptions to this requirement).

You will need to provide evidence that the overseas business has been trading throughout the 12-month period immediately preceding your sponsor licence application.  You will also need to provide evidence that the overseas business was trading at the start of the 3-year period before the date of application and was actively trading throughout that 3-year period.

The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the documents that must be provided in order to satisfy the overseas trading presence requirement.

Credible Expansion Plan Requirement

In order to qualify for a UK Expansion Worker Sponsor Licence you will need to satisfy the Home Office that you genuinely intend, and are able, to expand to the UK and establish a UK trading presence within two years.

  • To determine this, the Home Office will consider evidence of your business planning and finances.
  • The Home Office will expect to see evidence of your expansion plans, such as a detailed business plan.
  • The Home Office will also expect to see evidence of your capability to fund your planned expansion, which must show that you have funds available to cover the initial costs for the first 12 months, as projected in your expansion plan.
  • The Home Office may also consider the size of your business, its previous activity and its potential.
  • The planned expansion must be in the same type of business that you conduct overseas, and cannot be a new business venture by the company.
  • The business you are establishing in the UK must be either wholly owned by the overseas business or part of the same legal entity (such as a branch).

Duration of a UK Expansion Worker Sponsor Licence

If your sponsor licence application is successful, your licence will be valid for 4 years.  It is not possible to renew a UK Expansion Worker sponsor licence because you will normally be expected to have established a UK trading presence within 2 years from the date when the licence was granted.

However, once you have established a UK trading presence, you will be able to apply to add other routes to your licence (for example, Skilled Worker or Senior or Specialist Worker). Your sponsored workers can then apply to switch to these routes if they meet the relevant requirements

How Our Immigration Advisers Can Help Expansion Worker Sponsor Licence Applications

Our immigration advisers have experience in obtaining sponsor licence and employers with sponsor licences, certificates of sponsorship, and expansion worker visa applications.  Our advisers are experts in immigration options and will guide you through the complex Home Office rules and policies.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our client’s needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to clients as part of a professional and friendly service.

Contact us today

Nexus Visas assists international clients in obtaining UK visas, residence and citizenship under the respective programs. Contact us to arrange an initial private consultation.

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Nexus Visas is the trading name of Nexus Immigration Limited company registered in England and Wales with company number: 12633225. 

This firm is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.

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