A UK Expansion Worker visa allows you to come to the UK to set up a branch of an overseas business that has not started trading in the UK yet.

You must already work for the overseas business as either a senior manager or specialist employee.

If your business is already trading in the UK, you should apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa instead.

Need legal assistance with  UK Expansion Worker visa application or extension? Contact our immigration lawyers for legal advice and eligibility assessment.

Requirements for UK Expansion Worker visa

To be eligible for a UK Expansion Worker visa you need to:

  • have a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer
  • have worked for your employer outside the UK
  • do a job that's on the list of eligible occupations
  • be paid the minimum eligible salary required for your job

Getting a certificate of sponsorship

Your employer - also known as your sponsor - will give you a 'certificate of sponsorship' with information about the role you will do in the UK. It's an electronic record, not a paper document.

You'll need the reference number from the certificate of sponsorship for your visa application. You must apply for your visa within 3 months of getting your certificate of sponsorship.

If your employer is not currently approved to sponsor people to work in the UK, they can apply for a sponsor licence if they're eligible.

How long do you need to have worked for your employer outside the UK?

You must have worked for your employer outside of the UK for at least 12 months unless you're either:

  • earning over £73,900
  • a Japanese national doing work for a Japanese company that is expanding to the UK

Salary requirements

You must be paid at least £42,400 per year or the 'going rate' for your job - whichever is higher. Each occupation code has its own annual going rate.

Required documents for UK Expansion Worker visa

When you apply you'll need to provide:

  • your certificate of sponsorship reference number - your employer will give you this
  • a valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality
  • your job title and annual salary
  • your job's occupation code
  • the name of your employer and their sponsor licence number - this will be on your certificate of sponsorship
  • evidence that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, for example bank statements
  • proof of your relationship with your partner or children if they're applying with you
  • your tuberculosis test results if you're from a listed country

Evidence you've worked for your employer outside the UK

After you apply you might be asked to show you've worked for your employer for 12 months.

You will not have to show this if you're either:

  • earning over £73,900
  • a Japanese national doing work for a Japanese company that is expanding to the UK

If you're asked, you'll need to show you've been paid by your employer over this time period. You can provide:

  • printed payslips
  • online payslips supported by a letter from your sponsor signed by a senior staff member
  • bank or building society statements
  • a building society pass book

UK Expansion Worker visa extension

You can apply to extend your UK Expansion Worker visa if all the following are true:

  • you have the same job as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
  • your job is in the same occupation code as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
  • you're still working for the employer who gave you your current certificate of sponsorship
  • you have not reached the maximum total stay

Your partner or children will need to apply separately to extend their visa. They can either apply at the same time as you, or at any time before their current visa expires.

Need legal advice?

UK immigration law is extremely complex and constantly changes. The UKVI has strict criteria relating to different types of visa. Therefore, it is essential you get the right legal advice from an expert UK immigration lawyer to make sure your application is successful, first time. We will guide you through every step of the process, putting you in the best place possible to get a good result.

Why choose Blackstone Law Associates?

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You will have direct access to our qualified lawyers, with in-depth knowledge of UK Immigration law. Upon instructing us you will be allocated an experienced lawyer who will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case.

Expert Advice

Immigration laws in the UK change frequently. Our team of lawyers are trained and are kept up to date on all the latest developments. We have a combined wealth of knowledge and experience. Our expert immigration lawyers can provide advice and the best possible option available for you.

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We are proud to claim that through our wealth of knowledge and experience we are able achieve the results that are needed. Our expert Lawyers put their full efforts in your case as we strongly believe in getting for you what you want.

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