The Senior or Specialist Worker Visa allows you to go to the UK and work as a senior manager or specialist who is making a temporary transfer to a branch or branch of their UK employer based abroad.
Who is eligible for a senior or skilled worker visa?
You are eligible to apply for a senior or skilled worker visa if you meet the following requirements:
- Are you older than 18.
- You are an employee of an organization that has been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor.
- You are currently working for a company or organization linked to your sponsor in the UK.
- You have worked outside the UK for the company or related organization for at least one year, unless you earn more than £73,900.
- You have a certificate of sponsorship from your UK employer.
- You have a job that is on the list of eligible occupations.
- You will receive the minimum eligible income for your job.
- Your sponsor in the UK has paid any required immigration skills fee.
- You have sufficient funds and do not have to depend on public funds.
Obtaining the sponsorship certificate
Your employer will provide you with a certificate of sponsorship, which is an electronic document. This document contains information about the work you will undertake in the UK. You will need your certificate of sponsorship reference number when applying. You must apply for the visa within three months of obtaining the CoS.
If your Certificate of Sponsorship was issued between 11 February 2022 and 11 April 2022, you can use your Intra-Company Transfer CoS to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa if you will be paid more than £42,400 per year. There is no need to get a new CoS or upgrade your current one.
Documents required for senior or skilled worker visa
To apply for the Senior or Skilled Worker visa you need to prepare the documents listed:
- A sponsorship certificate reference number provided by your sponsor.
- A valid passport or other identification document.
- Your job title and annual salary.
- The occupational code of your job.
- Your employer’s sponsor name and license number listed on your CoS.
- Proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself unless your employer supports you.
- Proof of your relationship with your dependents, if you bring them.
- A tuberculosis certificate if you are from one of the countries listed.
- Depending on the situation, you may be asked to gather the following documents:
- Evidence that you worked for your employer outside the UK.
- A valid ATAS certificate if your employer says you need one due to the nature of your work.
- Evidence that you work for your employer outside the UK
If you have an income under £73,900, you may be required to demonstrate that you have worked for your employer outside the UK for at least one year. If you earn more than £73,900, there is no minimum time. You can prove that you have received a salary from your employer by submitting:
- Pay slips.
- Online payslips and letter from your employer written by a senior member of staff.
- Bank statements.
- A building society booklet.
What Are the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa Fees?
To apply for the Senior or Specialist worker visa, you must pay the following fees:
- Applying from outside the UK £625 if you stay up to three years
- Applying from outside the UK £1,235 if you stay more than three years
- Healthcare surcharge £624 each year
- Money to support yourself £1,270
- Applying from inside the UK to switch or update your visa £719 for staying up to three years
- Applying from inside the UK to switch or update your visa £1,423 for staying more than three years
How to apply for a senior or skilled worker visa?
To apply for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you must follow the following requirements:
- Fill out the online application form. To complete your application you will need the CoS reference number provided by your employer. Answers provided when applying must be in English.
- Upload the required documents. Documents downloaded on the online application must be scanned or photographed. For file types, documents must be PDF, PNG, JPG, or JPEG.
- Pay the required fees. You need to pay the application fee and health surcharge when you apply online.
- Book and attend your appointment at an application center. You can find a VAC by checking the ‘Find a Visa Application Centre’ section on GOV.UK. When you apply online you must book an appointment to provide your biometric data (photo and fingerprints) at an application center.
- Submit the additional documents requested. When completing the online application you may be asked to submit supporting documents. You can upload them online or when you show up for your appointment at the visa application center.
Conditions of the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
The conditions of the Senior or Specialist Worker visa are:
- You can You cannot
- Study Apply for public funds or the state pension
- Work for your sponsor in the job as stated in the CoS Change your job unless you are eligible and you update your funds
- Be a volunteer Have a second job unless you had an Intra-company Transfer or a Tier 2 Long-term Staff visa
- Bring dependents Apply for indefinite leave to remain.
- Travel abroad and return to the UK
How to extend senior or skilled worker visa?
Your senior or skilled worker visa can be extended if you meet these conditions:
- You are in the same job as when you were previously given permission to enter or stay in the UK.
- Your job has the same occupation code as when you were given previous authorization to enter or stay in the UK.
- You have the same employer who gave you your current CoS.
- You have not reached the maximum total stay.
- You are already in the UK on an intra-company visa or a Tier 2 (intra-company transfer) visa or a long-term staff visa.
- To extend your Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you must apply online on the Ministry of the Interior website. To request a visa extension you will need the CoS reference number to extend your Senior or Specialist Worker visa.
Next, you need to make an appointment at a UKVCAS service point to provide your fingerprints and photo to obtain a biometric residence permit. If you are asked to submit additional documents you can present them at the appointment or online. You must bring to the appointment:
- A printed copy of your appointment confirmation document with a QR code
- Your passport or travel document
- Additional documents if you have not already uploaded them online
How to upgrade to a senior or skilled worker visa?
You can switch to a Senior or Specialist visa if you are in the UK on a different visa. Similar to the initial application, to upgrade to the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you will need to apply online on the UK Government website. To complete your application you will need your employer’s CoS reference number.
Duration of visa for senior or specialized workers
The Senior or Skilled Worker Visa is valid for the period specified in your CoS plus 14 days or five years (whichever is shorter).
In total, you can stay in the UK on a senior or skilled worker visa:
- Five years in a six-year period if you receive a salary of less than £73,900 per year; OR
- Nine years in a ten-year period if you receive an income above £73,900.
Time you spend in the UK on one of the following visas will be included in your total maximum stay:
- Visa for an intra-company graduate internship
- Intracompany transfer visa
- Any of the five global business mobility visas
Take a second job
While you are in the UK on a senior or skilled worker visa, you can have another job as long as you work for the employer who sponsored you. You can work up to 20 hours per week in a job that is:
- In the same occupational code and at the same level as your primary job, or
- In the list of occupations in shortage of skilled workers
Update your visa if you change jobs
If your job changes to a different occupation code, you must apply to update your senior or skilled worker visa. You must have the same employer. Your dependents can apply, but must do so separately. You can request a visa update three months before starting your new job.
Can I bring my family members to the UK on a senior or skilled worker visa?
If you have a senior or skilled worker visa, you can bring the following family members with you to the UK:
- Your spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner.
- Your child is under 18, even if he was born in the UK during your stay.
- Your child is over 18 if they are currently in the UK as your dependent child.