Expansion Worker Visa

The Expansion Worker visa is a Global Mobility visa that allows you to establish a branch of a business that will start to do business for the first time in the UK. You must be a senior manager or specialist employee of the overseas business.

Who is eligible for the Expansion Worker visa?

To qualify for an Expansion Worker visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a valid sponsorship certificate issued by your employer. The Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is an electronic document that your employer will provide to you. The CoS contains information relating to the work you will undertake in the UK. You need your CoS reference number to apply for the Expansion Worker visa. Once you have the CoS, you have three months to apply for the visa.
  • You must have worked for your employer outside the UK for at least one year. However, if you earn more than £73,900 or are Japanese and work for a Japanese company that is expanding into the UK, the requirement does not apply to you.
  • Your job must be listed among the occupations eligible for Global Business Mobility visas.
  • You must be paid a minimum salary of £42,400 (€48,339) per year or the going rate for your job, whichever is higher.

Documents required for the Expansion Worker visa

To apply for an Expansion Worker visa you must have the documents listed:

  • The reference number of the certificate of sponsorship.
  • A valid passport with a blank page.
  • Contract or job offer, which indicates the professional title and annual salary.
  • The occupational code of your job.
  • A document indicating the name of your employer and the sponsor’s license number.
  • Bank statements as proof that you have sufficient savings to support yourself in the UK.
  • Evidence of your relationship with your dependents (if applicable).
  • Your tuberculosis test results if you are from one of the countries listed.

Evidence of previous work with your employer outside the UK, such as:

  • Printed pay slips.
  • Bank or building society statements.
  • A building society booklet.
  • Online payslips accompanied by a letter from your employer signed by a senior staff number.
  • A valid ATAS certificate, if your work includes research on a sensitive topic.

Note: You must submit a certified translation if your documents are not in Welsh or English.

How to apply for the Expansion Worker visa?

To apply for the Expansion Worker visa you need to follow the steps below:

  • Submit an online application on the UK Visas and Immigration website. The personal data provided must be in English.
  • Upload documents. You must upload the documents you prepared during your online application. You can send documents as photos or scanned; in any case, they must be JPG, PNG, PDF or JPEG.
  • Pay the required fees. You need to pay the application fee and health surcharge online.
  • Book an appointment at the visa application center. You can find your nearest VAC by checking the Find Visa Application center on GOV.UK. When you apply online, you need to make an appointment to provide your biometric information to obtain a biometric residence permit.

Making a decision on your visa application

If you receive a positive response to your application, you will be given a vignette (sticker) if you provide your biometric information at a visa application center. If you use the app to prove your identity, you will have online access to information about your immigration status.

Biometric residence permit

If you have received a vignette and will be staying in the UK for more than six months, you must collect a biometric residence permit. You must collect it within ten days of arriving in the UK or before the sticker expires.

Expansion Worker Visa Duration

The Expansion Worker visa allows you to stay for:

  • One year after the start of the employment relationship, as indicated in the CoS, or
  • The time shown on your CoS plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

If you wish to stay longer in the UK on the Expansion Worker visa, you can extend your stay for another year. The Expansion Worker visa only allows you to stay for two years in total.

What is the processing time for the Expansion Worker Visa?

It usually takes around three weeks to receive a response on your visa application. However, processing your application may take longer if you are required to attend an interview, if you have a criminal record, or if your documents need further verification.

Can I extend my Expansion Worker visa?

You can extend your Expansion Worker visa if you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • You have the same job as when you first came to the UK.
  • Your job has the same occupation code as when you first entered the UK.
  • You are still working for the sponsor who issued your current UK Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • You have not reached the maximum total stay.
  • To extend your Expansion Worker visa, you must apply online before your current visa expires.

Can I switch to the Expansion Worker visa?

You can switch to the Expansion Worker visa if you are already in the UK on another visa. You cannot switch to this visa if you are in the UK on the following visas:

  • Travel visa
  • Short-term student visa
  • Student visa for parent of a child
  • Seasonal worker visa
  • Domestic worker visa
  • Immigration bond
  • Because you were given permission to stay out of the immigration rules.

Expanding worker visa update once I change jobs

If your job changes to another occupation code, you must apply to update your Expansion Worker visa. Your new job must meet eligibility requirements and you need a new CoS.

You can request an update to your visa three months before starting your new job. You should not start your new job until you have received confirmation of your new permit.

Expanding Worker Mobility Visa Conditions

With an Expansion Worker visa you can:

  • Work for your employer in the job listed in your CoS
  • Study
  • Bring dependents
  • Be a volunteer
  • I travel abroad and return to the UK

You can not:

  • Apply for public funds and state pension
  • Apply for an indefinite residence permit
  • Change jobs unless you update your visa
  • Have a second job

Fees for the Expansion Worker Visa

When you apply for the Expansion Worker visa, you must pay the following fees:

Application fee£259
Healthcare surcharge £624 each year
Personal savings At least £1,270
Your partner £285
One child £315
Each additional child £200

Can I bring my family members to the UK on an Expansion Worker Visa?

The Expansion Worker visa allows you to bring the following dependents with you to the UK:

• Your spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner.

• Your child under the age of 18.

• Your child over the age of 18 if they are already in the UK as your dependent child.

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