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UK Expansion Visas

The UK Expansion Visa allows an overseas worker to undertake a work assignment in the UK either as a senior manager or a specialist employee. The visa route is the replacement of the sole overseas representative visa, where an overseas business intends to establish its presence in the UK.

There are a number of key changes in how the UK Expansion Visa operates and the requirements are far different to the sole overseas representative visa. 

Setting up a UK business

ICS Legal can advise and help enterprises to set-up a UK branch in the UK. 

Through our partnership, we would be able to collaborate with international organisations, to help and streamline the set-up in the UK. 

We would be able to also advise and assist in acquiring a sponsor licence, which is required as part of this visa application. A sponsor licence is required to issue a certificate of sponsorship and is required at the date of application. 

Requirements of the UK Expansion Visa

To meet the eligibility requirements of the UK Expansion Visa, an applicant must satisfy the following and score 60 points as required by the immigration rules: 

  1. The business must be able to provide a valid certificate of sponsorship, which would set out the requirements for the employment in the UK. 

  2. The sponsored migrant must have worked for the employer outside of the UK for more than 12 months and at the appropriate salary. 

  3. Whilst being in the UK, the sponsored migrant must be paid in accordance to the occupations code as set in the immigration rules.

  4. Meet the financial requirements and does not fall under general grounds of refusal. 

The points scoring are broken into 3 main parts, which include sponsorship, that the employment is at an appropriate skill level and that the correct salary threshold is being paid. Evidences are required to support the visa application at the time of making the application. 

Apply for a UK Expansion Visa

If you intend to apply for the UK Expansion Visa, the visa application needs to be applied online through the Home Office digital platform. The visa application can be applied 3 months prior to the date of application. 

Through the online application, you will be able to submit your information, documentation and schedule an appointment to submit your biometric data. 

Where you are in the UK, switching to the UK Expansion Visa is possible and in some categories, you will need to ask for discretion to be applied. It is important that you check on whether your visa permits you to switch to the UK Expansion Visa.

Refusal of a UK Expansion Visa

Where an application for a UK Expansion Visa is refused, there will be a right to challenge the decision legally. Appealing against the decision would be determined on the grounds raised at the date of application.  

ICS Legal can assist you in challenging a decision after we have reviewed your application and discuss the grounds of the challenge we may be able to raise. 

Frequently asked questions related to the UK Expansion Visa

We have put together a series of questions related to the UK Expansion Visa and we hope you would find the following information useful.

  1. What is a certificate of sponsorship? This is an electronic work permit document issued by an employer for sponsored work. 

  2. How long is the UK Expansion Visa valid? The initial visa can be granted with a maximum period of residency in the UK for 12 months. 

  3. What are some of the conditions of the UK Expansion Visa? Holding the UK Expansion Visa would permit you to work in the UK and bring your family members to the UK. It is possible to do supplementary employment nor can you claim benefits or change your visa in the UK unless permitted. 

  4. Can the UK Expansion Visa be extended? Yes, this can be extended and to the maximum period of residency permitted.

  5. Can you apply for indefinite leave to remain under the UK Expansion Visa? The current visa does not lead to settlement status. However, you can use the periods of residency towards other eligible immigration categories. 

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