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UK Secondment Worker Visa

The Secondment Worker Visa is aimed at overseas workers that will work in the UK on a temporary basis in cases where the person is coming to the UK as part of a high value contract or investment by an overseas employer.

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    What is a Secondment Worker Visa?

    The UK Secondment Worker visa forms part of the Global Business Mobility routes designed by the UK government to help boost the the country’s economy and encourage international trade.

    The additional Global Business Mobility visa routes are:

    It is a relatively new visa route and it helps overseas businesses establish a presence or expand their business in the UK, or to transfer staff. The Secondment Worker Visa is a temporary visa and does not lead directly to British citizenship. 

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    Are you eligible for a Secondment Worker Visa?

    Before making a Secondment worker visa application you should ensure you meet the criteria for this temporary worker visa. The secondment worker visa is a points-based system visa and you will also need to be awarded a total of 40 points – equally split between two categories – sponsorship and the job requiring an appropriate skill level.

    Points are awarded based on the following criteria and you must fulfil the requirements in order to gain enough to have your application approved:

    • You are currently employed by an overseas company that has a valid high-value contract with a UK sponsor
    • You must have worked for this employer for at least 12 months before applying for the visa
    • Your will have to hold a job that is on the official list of eligible occupations produced by the Home Office.
    • You will need to have a certificate of sponsorship from your UK sponsor- the certificate must have the eligible job detailed on the document and explain the job role fully – the most appropriate occupation code must be given. If the relevant occupation code mentioned is not included – then your application will be refused
    • Have evidence that the job you are undertaking is completely genuine – your UK sponsor must demonstrate there is a real need for you to come to the UK to work
    • The job you undertake is at RQF Level 6 or higher (ie it must be graduate level or be suitable for very skilled workers)
    • Being financially independent while in the UK without having to rely on UK public funds.
    • Being able to provide a negative TB test if requested – this depends on which country you are traveling from
    • Have a strong command of the English Language (in reading, writing, speaking and listening)
    • Be aged at least 18 years of age when submitting your UK visa application

    Secondment Worker Visa UK Sponsor Requirements

    A key part of being given a UK Secondment Worker visa is that you will need to be sponsored by a Home Office approved employer who is authorised to sponsor workers.

    This means the business be already on the register of licensed sponsors to be able to to add Secondment Workers to their existing licence. Alternatively, they must be willing to apply for the right sponsor licence. Once the Home Office has given permission of sponsor duties, then the UK based employer can assign a valid Certificate of Sponsorship to any prospective overseas workers.

    The sponsor licence under the global business mobility routes, must show there is a link with an employer overseas that will send workers to the UK.

    For the UK Secondment Worker route, the immigration system requires the sponsor to have an investment or high value contract for goods or services with an overseas business worth at least £10 million per annum and for not less than £50 million if the contract lasts for 5 years. If there is no end date for the contract, then the contract still needs to be worth £50 million over the first five years – this is referred to as the ‘eligible contract requirement’.

    Is there a minimum salary requirement for the Secondment Worker Visa?

    Unlike other UK visas, such as the skilled workers visa there is no minimum secondment worker salary requirement for UK employers to fulfil. However, it is expected that the secondment worker will receive a wage that is comparable to the industry standard or a existing employee in the same role.

    The income provided by your UK sponsor can be used to prove that your financially independent while staying in the country.


    What Documents are Required for a Secondment Worker Visa?

    The Secondment worker visa application requires supporting documents to be submitted – failure to include the right evidence could result in delays or possible refusal. In many cases it be may worth seeking the advice of immigration lawyers and having your paperwork checked to ensure your application is processed without any problems.

    You will need to submit the following documents when applying for your Secondment Worker Visa:

    • Certificate of Sponsorship reference number – this will be provided by your UK employer
    • A valid passport or other official document which proves your identity and nationality
    • Job title and job occupation code – this will be on your certificate of sponsorship
    • The name of the sponsor and their sponsor licence number – this will be provided on your certificate of sponsorship
    • Evidence of adequate personal savings or funds to support yourself when you arrive in the UK to work
    • Tuberculosis test results if you are migrating from a listed country

    You will also have to provide evidence that you have worked for your overseas employer for at least 12 months before applying for the UK visa. The Home Office may wish to see the following documents:

    • Printed payslips
    • Online payslips and a letter from your sponsor that has been signed by a senior staff member of the overseas business.
    • Bank or building society statements or passbook
    • Evidence you have worked for your employer overseas

    If you are coming to the UK under a Global Business Mobility Visa route and will be working in a research sensitive subject that is at PhD level or higher then you will need to provide a copy of a valid ATAS certificate as well.

    How Much Does it Cost to Apply for a Secondment Worker Visa?

    Depending on your circumstances you may not have to pay the application fee associated with a Secondment Worker Visa as in many cases your UK sponsor may be willing to cover the fees themselves.

    However, if UK based employers are not willing to cover the cost then you will need to pay an application fee of £259.

    In addition you will be required to pay the costs of access the National Health Service during your time working in the UK. This currently costs £624 per year and your Secondment Worker Visa application will not be processed until this fee is paid.

    Remember, the Immigration Health Surcharge only covers a limited range of medical treatment and you will still be required to pay for some services, including prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests.

    How to Apply for a Secondment Worker Visa

    You must apply online for a Secondment Worker Visa and you will need to ensure you have the correct documents to hand. You can use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to scan documents.

    One of the key parts of the application for the UK Secondment Worker Visa is being able to prove your identity and it is possible you will be asked to attend a visa application centre in order to be given a biometric residence permit and have a face-to-face interview.

    Depending on which country you currently live in, you may be asked to travel to another country to attend the appointment and they may request to keep your identity documents while your application is processed.

    Can I bring Dependents on a UK Secondment Worker Visa?

    It is possible to bring your partner and dependent children to the UK if you are a secondment worker visa holder. However, your dependent partner and offspring need to meet the following criteria:

    • your spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner – you must have been in a “genuine” relationship for at least two years
    • your child under 18 – including if they were born in the UK during your stay
    • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as your dependant

    You’ll need to provide evidence of your relationships when you make your application.

    Any dependents applying to come to the UK with a Secondment Worker must be in the country on the date of application and must not have or have last been granted leave as a Visitor, Short-term Student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker or a Domestic Worker in a Private Household.

    In addition, dependants will have to provide ID documents and prove they have access to sufficient funds during their time in the UK. They will also have to pay an application fee and the health surcharge.

    What is the Timescale for the Secondment Worker Visa?

    The timescale for processing your Secondment Worker route visa can vary significantly depending on which country you apply from and if you have failed to include the correct documents. Remember you need to ensure that any evidence submitted as part of your application need to be in English or Welsh – otherwise you must provide a certified translated copy.

    If you are applying from within the UK then it could up to 8 weeks for a decision to be made. If you making an application from overseas then the average processing timescale is around 3 weeks.

    It is possible to pay for priority fast track services but you will be required to pay an additional fee – although this does speed up the process significantly.

    How Long is the Secondment Worker Visa Issued For?

    The length of a Secondment Worker Route can vary depending on your role and how long you will need to be assisting employers in the UK. The Secondment Worker Visa is issued under a temporary worker sponsor licence so does not cover a permanent job opportunity.

    The most common durations for a Secondment Worker Visa are usually for 12 months after the start date of your job or for a specific length of time as included on your Certificate of Sponsorship

    It is possible to apply to extend the visa if you require more time to complete the task given by your UK sponsor. However, the longest time you can stay in the UK on a Secondment Worker Visa is two years.

    How Can We Help?

    Our immigration lawyers in London offer professional and confidential help for all your UK immigration needs including applying for a Secondment Worker Visa. 

    As a part of our services, we offer:

    • UK visa application guidance and eligibility check;
    • Comprehensive advice on filling your application forms;
    • Liaison with the Home Office until your case is solved;
    • Immediate help for those who are facing problems with coming to or staying in the UK;
    • Support with any application for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain, or residence permits;
    • Dedicated immigration advice services for those who wish to apply for British citizenship.

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              Frequently Asked Questions

              A Secondment Worker Visa usually lasts for a maximum of 2 years. It is a temporary visa and you will need to switch to another visa route that leads to ILR status if you wish to stay permanently in the UK.

              Once you’ve applied for the Secondment Worker Visa, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within three weeks if you apply from outside the UK and within eight weeks if you are living in the UK already.

              You must have been sponsored by a UK business and the job you will be doing must be on the eligible occupation list produced by the Home Office. If you change jobs during your time in the UK then you must reapply for the visa.