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    Expansion Worker Visa

    The UK is constantly improving its immigration laws. Today, outdated types of visa have been suspended. They have been replaced by more convenient options. The same happened with the Sole Representative visa. Previously, top managers of foreign companies could move to England at no cost to head a newly opened branch. The main disadvantage of this visa was the limitation on the number of employees. It was assumed that all tasks in the UK would only be carried out by the Sole Representative, i.e. one professional. The government has recently introduced a new Global Business Mobility immigration route which includes several visa types, including the UK Expansion Worker visa.

    What is the UK Expansion Worker visa?

    This category is intended for managers and employees of foreign organizations who plan to develop their business in the UK. In other words, it is a visa for those who are opening a representative office in the British Isles and actively developing a newly opened branch of the main company. If you want to join an existing firm in the UK, you should consider another type, mainly a Senior or a Specialist Worker visa, or apply for a Skilled Worker visa.

    Requirements for the UK Expansion Worker visa

    UK Expansion Worker is a specific document for which the applicant must meet certain requirements. There are general requirements for obtaining any work visa. The British immigration authorities will refuse the application if the applicant is under the age of maturity, has a dangerous infection, has a history of offenses or does not have the necessary amount of personal savings to live in the country for the first time without poverty. There are also special conditions that the government imposes on applicants:

    • This is an offer of employment. To obtain this category of visa, you need the support of an employer who must open a branch in the UK and obtain permission to employ foreign staff. In other words, your employer must obtain a sponsorship license from the Immigration Department and issue a certificate of sponsorship based on this license.
    • Qualifications that require RQF3 level or above. The list of in-demand occupations for the Global Business Mobility route is available on the official government website. Each occupation in this list has a unique numerical code. To find out the occupation code, you can contact your employer or find it on the sponsorship certificate yourself.
    • The employer guarantees visiting directors and specialists a decent salary. This requires an income of at least £45,800 per annum or the appropriate rate set by the authorities for the profession. Choose one of the two options whichever is higher. Details of the UK salaries for different professions can be found in the officially approved wage table, subject to your occupation code. To successfully validate your application, you must have at least one year of experience in the firm head office, and in the same position you plan to take up in England. There are two exceptions to this rule: if the specialist will earn an annual income in the UK of at least £73,900, and for Japanese nationals.
    • Knowledge of English is an essential requirement for candidates. The ability to speak, understand, read and write English fluently at the required level is a prerequisite. This requirement may be demonstrated by successful completion of one of the recognized tests or by possession of a relevant qualification obtained in English.
    • In addition, nationals of some countries on the defined list may also be required to take a valid tuberculin diagnostic test (TB test) and provide a certificate of result.

    Understanding the scoring system

    Under the points-based immigration system in the UK, individuals applying for this type of visa must achieve a total of 60 points. Points are awarded based on certain criteria that ensure that applicants have the necessary skills, qualifications and characteristics to work in the UK.

    • The most important 20 points are awarded for having a formal invitation to work from a licensed sponsor.
    • An additional 20 points are awarded if the job meets the required skill level, ensuring that it meets or exceeds the minimum skill level.
    • If the salary offered exceeds 42,400 per annum or the market rate for the job, an additional 20 points are awarded to the applicant.
    • A further 10 points are given for English language skills that meet the requirements.

    How do I apply for an Expansion Worker visa in the UK?

    Most often, UK Expansion Worker visa applications are submitted remotely via a special form on the UK Immigration website. The method of submission depends on the capacity in which you are applying and where you are applying from, whether you are overseas and want permission to enter and work in the country, or if you are already in the UK and want to extend your current immigration status or change to an Expansion Worker visa from another visa category.

    The most common way to apply for a UK Expansion Worker visa is by a professional who is overseas:

    • You can make an application on the UK government website.
    • You will need to pay a fee for the UK visa application process. The fee is non-refundable if you withdraw your application after it has been accepted for processing. The fee is also non-refundable if the application is denied.
    • Copies of additional documents must be submitted with the completed application form.
    • You will need to confirm your personal details and provide your biometry data in person.

    Depending on the country and circumstances, this can be done at your nearest visa application center or through the UK Immigration: ID Check online application.

    A decision on your application will be sent to the email address provided. The letter will also provide detailed instructions for further action. In most cases, the applicant will be granted a short-term visa to travel to the British Isles and will also be provided with a biometric card – a residence permit.

    Documents and information required for the Expansion Worker visa

    Filing is a process that requires care, detail and the right approach. When applying, the following information and documents must be provided:

    • Reference number of your certificate of sponsorship to be provided by your employer.
    • A valid passport or other document proving your identity and citizenship.
    • Information about your position and annual salary.
    • The occupation code of your position.
    • Your employer’s name and its sponsorship license number, which appear on your sponsorship certificate.
    • Evidence of sufficient personal funds, such as bank statements.
    • Evidence of your relationship with your partner or children if they are applying with you.
    • TB test results if you are from a listed country.
    • If you do not have a sponsorship certificate, ask your employer for a copy. If you are an authorized person in the organization, your certificate will be in the sponsor management system.
    • Depending on your circumstances, you may be asked to provide evidence of working for your employer outside the UK.
    • A blank page in your passport for the visa if you are required to provide biometric data (fingerprints and photograph) at the visa application center. You will be informed of the need for this when you submit your application.
    • If your documents are not in English or Welsh, you will also need to provide a certified translation.
      Certificate of absence of a criminal record.

    How long can I stay using the Expansion Worker visa?

    The length of stay is determined by the period of time specified in the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) that contains the job offer. You can stay in the UK for the period specified in the job offer, but not more than 5 years and 14 days or until that time expires. If you qualify, after the maximum period of stay for this type of visa has expired, you may be able to change to another visa category or apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain).

    Conditions on which you are permitted to stay in the UK under the Expansion Worker visa

    You must meet certain conditions while on an Expansion Worker visa:

    • Working in the same job – The Expansion Worker visa holder must only work for the employer who is the sponsor of their visa. The worker is not allowed to work at another location or change employer while in the UK.
    • Compliance with the terms of the contract of employment – The visa holder must comply with all terms and conditions set out in their contract of employment, including working hours, wages and other agreements set out in it.
    • Comply with all local UK laws and regulations, including labor, migration and tax laws. He/she must be prepared to provide all necessary documents and information to meet the requirements of the state. Notify the migration authorities of any change of circumstances including residential address, change of marital status etc. Return to the country of origin at the end of the visa.
    • The visa holder must leave the UK at the end of the Expansion Worker visa and cannot remain in the country beyond the expiration date. If the worker wishes to extend their stay, they must obtain another visa or leave to remain in the country.

    Compliance with these conditions guarantees the legality of his stay in the country and facilitates cooperation with the employer and the UK government.

    How much does an Expansion Worker visa cost?

    The cost can vary depending on several factors. These include the duration of the visa and where you apply, whether from inside or outside the UK. When applying for an Expansion Worker visa from inside the UK, you will need sufficient funds to cover the following costs:

    • An application fee of £298.
    • Mandatory health insurance, which is normally £624 per annum.
    • Financial security on arrival in the UK, which requires a minimum of £1,270 (unless you are exempt from this requirement).

    The exact amount will be stated during the application process. We recommend checking the official UK government website or consulting a qualified immigration lawyer to get the most accurate and up-to-date information on visa fees.

    How can we help?

    Seeking legal advice can make it much easier and more likely to succeed in obtaining a UK Expansion Worker visa. One reliable option is Sterling Law, a leading UK law firm specializing in, among other things, UK immigration matters. By choosing Sterling Law for legal support, you can benefit from their experience and practice in dealing with a variety of immigration matters. Our team of specialized immigration lawyers can guide you through the entire visa application process, ensuring that you meet all requirements and submit the necessary documents accurately and on time.

    The benefits of contacting Sterling Law for legal advice:

    • Expert advice – the immigration specialists at Sterling Law have extensive knowledge of the UK immigration system and can provide you with expert advice tailored to your individual circumstances.
    • Application assistance – lawyers provide services to complete the application form, prepare the necessary documents and ensure that your application is complete and presented to a high standard.
    • Sterling Law is available to carry out a review of your documents to ensure they meet the requirements and to reduce possible errors or omissions that could lead to a visa refusal.
    • Communicating with the authorities: they are able to communicate with the Home Office on your behalf, resolving any queries or problems that arise during the application process.

    If required, the Sterling Law team will provide you with legal support in any appeal procedures or disputes relating to your visa case, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome. If you choose Sterling Law for your legal representation, you will be able to brave the challenges of the UK immigration system. You will know that you have a specialized team of professionals to support you every step of the way.

    In conclusion, the UK Expansion Worker visa gives skilled workers from outside the EEA and Switzerland the opportunity to be temporarily employed in the UK. By understanding the requirements, preparing the necessary documents and seeking legal support from reputable firms such as Sterling Law, you can improve your chances of obtaining a UK Expansion Worker visa and achieve your career goals in the United Kingdom.

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