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Service Supplier Visa

The Service Supplier visa is part of the government’s Global Business Mobility visa scheme designed to boost the UK’s economy.

The Service Supplier Visa is for overseas workers who are employed by an overseas service provider or are a self employed service provider and need to travel to the UK to complete temporary work assignments as part of the UK’s international trade agreements.

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    What is the Service Supplier visa?

    The UK Service Supplier visa was introduced in 2022 and is one of the five visas offered via the Global Business Mobility immigration routes.

    The Service Supplier route replaces provision provided under the International Agreement Route and is aimed at allowing overseas companies conduct business in the UK.

    Under this new Service Supplier route, a contractual service supplier employed by an overseas service provider or an independent professional who is self-employed and based abroad can come to the UK on a temporarily to provide services – as long as there is a valid international trade agreement in place.

    The UK Service Supplier visa is a temporary work visa and does not provide a direct route to British citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain.

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    Am I eligible for the UK Service Supplier visa?

    In order to qualify for a Service Supplier visa, you will need to meet a range of criteria including:

    • Be aged 18 or over
    • Currently working as or for an overseas service provider that will provide services to your UK business sponsor
    • Have worked as or for the overseas service provider outside the UK for a cumulative period of at least 12 months;
    • Your UK sponsor has a contract with an overseas service provider, where that contract has been approved by the Home Office, and on which you as a Service Supplier will work
    • Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued by your UK sponsor for the job you are planning to do while in the UK
    • The job you are planning to do is genuine and you have evidence to prove this
    • The job you are planning to do is skilled to at least RQF Level 6 (graduate equivalent) or you have a degree and at least three years experience if employed by an overseas service provider or 6 years if you are a self employed service provider
    • You have enough money to support yourself without accessing public funds during your stay in the UK
    • You can provide a valid TB certificate – this requirement depends on which country you are coming from

    Documents required for a UK Service Supplier visa application

    As part of your application for a Service supplier visa you will need to provide a range of documents to the UK immigration services so they can assess your suitability.

    All documents submitted must be in English or Welsh otherwise you are required to provide a certified translated copy.

    Alongside your application you must provide the following supporting paperwork:

    • A passport or another travel document that proves your identity and nationality
    • A valid Certificate of Sponsorship reference number – this will be provided by your UK sponsor
    • Details of the job being performed by the service supplier along with the eligible job’s occupation code
    • Documents that name the UK sponsor and their sponsor license number
    • Evidence that you have required degree or relevant qualifications appropriate for the job role
    • Evidence you have worked for your overseas employer for at least 12 months outside the UK – this can include payslips, bank statements, business accounts, invoices or a letter from your sponsor
    • A valid ATAS certificate – this requirement depends on the nature of the job and if you are employed in research during your time in the UK
    • You must provide evidence, such as a recent bank statement showing personal savings, that demonstrate you have the required financial funds available to support yourself while in the country
    • Tuberculosis test results (if you are applying from a country where this is required)

    What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?

    Having a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (Cos) is a vital part of applying for the UK Service Supplier Visa and your application will not be approved without it.

    The Certificate of Sponsorship has to be issued by an Home Office approved sponsor with a current sponsor licence in place and it must not have been issued more than three months before you make your UK Service Supplier visa application.

    You must ensure your Certificate of Sponsor displays the following information:

    • Details of your name, job and salary
    • Confirmation you have worked as or for your overseas service provider outside of the the UK for at least 12 months
    • Have a start date which is not more than 3 months after your UK service supplier visa application
    • Confirmation that the Certificate of Sponsorship has not been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused and the CoS has not been withdrawn by the approved sponsor or cancelled by the Home Office at any point

    Service Supplier Visa Financial Requirement

    To apply for the UK Service Supplier visa you will need to have cash funds of at least £1,270 available.

    You will need to have held the money for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of making your Service Supplier Visa application. You must be able to demonstrate this via bank statements etc.

    There are some exemptions to the financial requirement of the visa if your sponsor is willing to meet your maintenance costs up to the end of the first month of your employment, to an amount of at least £1,270, if necessary.  You must ensure that your Global Business Mobility sponsor has confirmed this on your Certificate of Sponsorship otherwise you could risk being refused.

    If you are applying for permission to stay and have been in the UK with permission for at least a year at the time of application, you will automatically meet the financial requirement and will not need to show evidence of income or personal savings.

    Get in touch with our immigration lawyers in London to find out more about Service Supplier visa applications Contact us now

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      Can I change to a Service Supplier Visa?

      If you are already in the UK under an alternative visa then you may be able to switch to a UK Service Supplier visa depending on your current circumstances.

      However, note if you are staying in the UK on any of the following visas you are not able to change to a Service Supplier visa without returning to your home country first:

      • A UK Visitor Visa
      • A short-term student visa
      • Parent of a Child Student Visa
      • Temporary Seasonal Worker Visa
      • A domestic worker is a private household visa

      How to make a UK Service Supplier visa application

      You will need to make a Service Supplier visa application online via the Gov.uk website – the process is slightly different depending if you are applying from within the UK or from overseas.

      You must not make your application more than three months before your service supplier worker start date in the UK – the exact date will be given on your Certificate of Sponsorship.

      Make sure you have all the supporting documents to hand, prepared to pay the associated visa fees and be aware you may need to attend a visa application centre to submit biometric information including a photograph and fingerprints.

      You may also need to verify your identity by using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app. This app will ask you to create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account and then scan your ID for verification.

      Costs and timescales for Service Supplier visa application

      Once you have submitted your application for a UK Service Supplier visa then you should get a decision within three weeks if you applied from outside the UK and in around eight weeks if you applied in the UK.

      It may be possible to speed up the process by paying an additional fee for priority and super priority services but this depends on individual cases.

      When making your application for the UK visa you will need to pay an application fee of £259. You will also be required to pay the immigration health surcharge for each year of stay in the UK – this is currently £624 per year and allows access to various National Health Service treatments during your time in the UK.

      How long does a UK Service Supplier visa last?

      The Service Supplier immigration route allows service supplier visa holders to come to the UK for six or 12 month periods – depending on the relevant UK trade commitment assignment. It is possible to future for future assignments – but you must not stay for more than five years in an six year period via the Global Business Mobility routes.

      Under immigration rules, a UK Service Supplier Visa will not provide a direct right to British citizenship and you would need to switch to an alterative immigration route to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the country.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                When applying for your Service Supplier Visa, you must pay an application fee of £259.

                Based on your circumstances, you may be asked to pay the healthcare surcharge.

                It is possible to bring dependants to the UK on a Service Supplier visa route. Your family members will need to meet the following criteria:

                • A spouse, civil partner, or unmarried ‘de facto’ partner
                • Unmarried children under the age of 18
                • Unmarried children over the age of 18 who are dependent on the visa holder

                You will have to provide evidence of a relationship with any dependents ie a marriage certificate or birth certificate.

                As well as paying a separate application fee and the yearly immigration health surcharge, your dependents will need to meet UK immigration financial requirements which are proof of personal savings up to £285 for a spouse/partner, £315 for the first child and £200 for each additional dependent child.

                Once you have submitted your application for a UK Service Supplier visa then you should get a decision within three weeks if you applied from outside the UK and in around eight weeks if you applied in the UK.

                It may be possible to speed up the process by paying an additional fee for priority and super priority services but this depends on individual cases.

                Our team are highly experienced in the area of corporate immigration law. We offer a full range of work and business immigration services to assist both employers and employees with their immigration needs.

                • We offer full sponsorship licence support to UK-based employers that wish to hire migrant workers or interns.
                • Our corporate services extend to international investors and entrepreneurs pursuing business opportunities in the UK, we can discuss your investment and check if you meet the eligibility criteria for either the Investor Visa or the Innovator Visa.
                • Our immigration solicitors also offer assistance with all UK Work Visa applications, including the Skilled Worker Visa and Temporary worker visa. Your lawyer can assess your eligibility for the various UK work visas and help you with your application.