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UNITED KINGDOM: New UK Visa Routes for Spring

As 2021 comes to an end, Newland Chase revisits new UK visa routes announced earlier this year that are due to open in Spring 2022. These include:

  • “Scale-Up” visa
  • “High Potential Individual” visa
  • “Global Business Mobility” visa

While further details of the specific eligibility requirements are expected to be revealed at the start of 2022, this is what we know of the new routes so far.

Scale – Up

This “Scale-Up” route will be open to talented individuals who pass the English language proficiency requirement and have received a “high-skilled” job offer from an eligible, scale-up business. The minimum salary requirement will be £33,000.

Scale-up businesses will be able to apply to use this route through a fast-track verification process if they can demonstrate:

  • An annual average revenue or employment growth rate over a 3-year period greater than 20%; and
  • A minimum of 10 employees at the start of this three-year period.

The Scale Up visa route is expected to allow individuals to extend their visa, switch jobs/employers, and will potentially be a route leading to settlement in the UK (provided the required eligibility requirements are met). It is also set to be a more preferable route to the Skilled Worker category given that employers should not require a sponsor license.

High Potential Individual

This route will be open to individuals who have graduated from a top global university, are highly skilled and academically elite, with the purpose of contributing positively to the UK economy.

Those applying will not need to require a job offer in the UK and the route is expected to provide a pathway to settlement.

Global Business Mobility

The Global Business Mobility route will allow a more streamlined process for overseas entities to transfer their employees to the UK. The notion is that the Intra Company Transfer (ICT) visa and other business mobility routes (such as the Sole Representative visa) will be amalgamated into one route.

We understand that this route will be available to both overseas businesses with a branch or subsidiary in the UK and to overseas businesses without a presence in the UK.

Overseas businesses with a branch or subsidiary in the UK will be able to sponsor:

  • individuals with specialist skillsets benefit the UK entity;
  • senior executives who need to be transferred to their UK entity; and
  • graduate trainees

Businesses without a presence in the UK will be able to sponsor:

  • senior/specialist employees assigned in connection with expanding the business to the UK;
  • individuals seconded to the UK; and
  • service suppliers (as part of a UK trade agreement)

The exact requirements are yet to be announced, however, the main requirements are expected to be comparable to the principles of the current global mobility routes, in that:

  • those with a UK entity will need to sponsor overseas employees;
  • jobs would need to meet the appropriate skill and salary thresholds; and
  • applicants must already be employed by the business

The main benefits of this route compared to the existing ICT and Sole Representative category, will be:

  • the ability of overseas businesses with no UK entity to send more than one employee to the UK, which is currently capped at only one individual under the Sole Representative route; and
  • a lower salary threshold of £20,480 for those coming to the UK for graduate trainees, this currently being £23,000 or 70% of the “going rate” of the job

Newland Chase Insights

These new routes indicate a pro-active and economy-focused approach to immigration policy being spearheaded by government departments other than just the Home Office. Following Brexit and an ongoing global pandemic, many employers continue to face skill shortages.

The overarching aim of these new routes is understood to be the provision of more opportunities for UK businesses to recruit leading people in their fields, and to encourage brilliant innovators and entrepreneurs to open enterprises in the UK. In turn, this will support the resident labor market, contribute positively to the economy, and improve the UK’s standing on the world stage.

Earlier this month, Newland Chase UK immigration experts hosted a webinar, Post-Brexit Strategies: Get the Maximum Mileage Out of the UK Business Visitor Route, revisiting business visitor provisions and exploring the opportunities they offer. To view this webinar on-demand, click here.

Further updates on the above routes shall be provided once details on these are published. If you have any questions about the above, please do reach out to your dedicated Newland Chase consultant or contact our offices for further assistance.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to the United Kingdom, please contact us.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.