Work and Business Visas

New UK Work and Business Visas for Spring 2022

If you are planning to travel to the UK for business or work, this spring could be the best time to make the move as the government is set to launch new immigration routes that are much easier and faster to process than most existing visas. 

In July 2021, the UK government reaffirmed its goal to become a global leader in science, research, and innovation. In that view, the administration is set to issue new business, and work visas come Spring 2022. In a matter of weeks, the following routes will be accessible to eligible candidates from different parts of the world.

  • Global Business Mobility Route – Work and Business Visas

This route is likely to fall under the sponsor license system. The government wants to make it easier for foreign companies to send workers to the UK, mainly temporarily.

The new route consists of these existing visa routes: 

  • Intra-Company Transfer 
  • Intra-Company Graduate Trainee 
  • Sole Representative of an International Business
  • Temporary Worker 

In addition, there will be five sub-routes, including: 

  • Senior or expert worker, to satisfy specific company needs
  • UK expansion worker to create a UK presence
  • Graduate trainee in a training program 
  • Service supplier 
  • Secondment employee 

Applicants must meet various criteria to be eligible for the route, including: 

  • Sponsorship by the UK company receiving the worker 
  • Minimum salary threshold 
  • Minimum qualification or skill level for the role
  • Minimum employment duration 
  • Must be on a temporary basis 

Since it’s a temporary visa route, it’s uncertain if there’ll be a need for English Language proficiency or if the route can lead to permanent residency. However, the Intra-Company Transfer visa currently has no route to settlement, and the Global Business Mobility visa could be similar. 

  • Scale-Up Route 

The Scale-Up route allows eligible scale-up businesses to hire talented individuals to fill a high skilled job position.

Eligible scale-up businesses must show a three-year average revenue or employment growth rate of at least 20% with a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the three years. 

The route allows eligible persons to work and change employment or employers. They can also extend their visa and ultimately become a UK permanent resident. 

Individuals must have a ‘high skill’ employment offer, a minimum salary of £33,000, and must be fluent in English. For eligible applicants and UK businesses, this route promises to be more advantageous and less rigorous than the Skilled Worker path since sponsorship isn’t necessary. 

Applicants who match the aforementioned criteria will receive a fast-track visa. They can apply for permanent residency in the UK after five years if they meet the requirements. Not much is known about dependents and if they can travel with the main beneficiary, although similar visas allow it.

  • High Potential Individual Route

The High Potential Individual Route will allow eligible persons to enter the UK without a work offer and sponsorship. As a result, companies can circumvent the sponsor license procedures.

The application process for this route is expected to be quick and easy, and very flexible. Thus, it’s likely to become a preferred alternative over the existing Skilled Worker and Global Talent pathways.

Qualified individuals via this route may be allowed to work and change jobs or employers without notifying the Home Office. They can also be self-employed, and this route may potentially lead to permanent residency in the UK. 

For eligibility, the only information available is that applicants must have graduated from a ‘top global university’. It’s unclear what this entails, but it’s thought the government will utilize global university rankings to determine who qualifies. 

  • Revised Innovator Route 

The Innovator route isn’t new. However, the UK government plans on making some major changes to the route come spring, so it’s more accessible. This is also in line with the government’s plan of spurring economic growth and providing new jobs for UK workers. 

An approved UK endorsing body, £50,000 in investment capital, a minimum amount of maintenance funds, and a unique business idea are all current requirements for the Innovator route.

Come spring, applicants may no longer need to show they have £50,000 in investment capital if the endorsing authority is satisfied there is enough money for the business to grow. However, they must show that their business has a high chance of success and that it’s innovative.

Another key change is prioritizing applications from those with highly innovative business ideas. As a result, those who have been accepted into the Global Entrepreneur Program of the Department of International Trade gain automatic eligibility.

Finally, the UK government plans to lift the prohibition on working outside of the initial business plan. This new development will allow successful applicants to work while growing their businesses.