[Updated]: UK New Business Immigration Routes

April 27, 2022 Jessie Butchley

This article was originally published on 21 March 2022 and was updated on 27 April 2022 to reflect new information.  

27 April 2022 Update: On 11 April 2022, the government of the UK updated its Immigration Rules and launched the business mobility routes. Under the Global Business Mobility (GBM) routes, overseas businesses can send workers to the United Kingdom (UK) for a temporary work assignment with a linked UK business that cannot be done by a settled worker. 

  • Subcategory 1: The Global Mobility Route for Senior or Specialist WorkersThis route will replace the intra-company transfer route and is intended for foreign nationals performing temporary work in the UK for an international group of businesses. 
  • Subcategory 2: The Global Mobility Route for Graduate Trainees: This route will replace the intra-company graduate trainee route and is intended for foreign nationals who are part of a graduate training course, and who must complete a work placement in the UK in preparation for a senior manager or specialist position based outside of the UK.  
  • Subcategory 3: Global Mobility Business Route for UK Expansion Workers: This route is intended for senior managers or specialist employees of an overseas business who are being assigned to the UK as a means of establishing a UK branch or subsidiary.  
  • Subcategory 4: Global Business Mobility Route for Service SuppliersThis route is intended for overseas workers assigned to the UK to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade agreements. The individual must be a contractual service supplier employed by an overseas business or self-employed independent professional based overseas.  
  • Subcategory 5: Global Business Mobility Route for Secondment WorkersThis route is intended for employees of an overseas business who have been seconded to the UK as part of a high-value contract or investment. 

Key Points  

  • Introduction of the Global Business Mobility route on 11 April 2022 
  • Introduction of the High Potential Individual route on 30 May 2022 
  • Introduction of the Scale-Up Visa on 22 August 2022  

Overview  

On 15 March 2022, the government of the United Kingdom (UK) published changes to its Immigration Rules and added several new immigration routes. Under these updates, the government will launch the Global Business Mobility route that will be open to overseas businesses interested in sponsoring foreign national employees. This will allow these businesses to establish a presence in the UK or transfer employees to the UK.  

Employees sponsored on this route will only be permitted to temporarily relocate to the UK. The Business Mobility route does not permit long-term settlement in the UK. This route will open on 11 April 2022. There will be five sub-categories established under the route and family members will be permitted to apply as dependents. The details of the five subcategories are in the process of being finalized by the government, but will include the following: 

  • Subcategory 1: The Global Mobility Route for Senior or Specialist Workers 
  • Subcategory 2: The Global Mobility Route for Graduate Trainees 
  • Subcategory 3: Global Mobility Business Route for UK Expansion Workers  
  • Subcategory 4: Global Business Mobility Route for Service Suppliers 
  • Subcategory 5: Global Business Mobility Route for Secondment Workers 

In addition to the above-mentioned route, the government of the UK will also launch the High Potential Individual (HPI) route on 30 May 2022. To qualify, applicants must be a recent graduate of top global university who have successfully completed an eligible course of study equivalent to the UK’s bachelor’s degree-level or above. Individuals granted status under this route will not require company sponsorship. This route is also a temporary immigration route and will not lead to permanent settlement in the UK. Instead, permissions under this route will apply for a period of two years for applicants with a master’s degree or bachelor’s degree and for three years for applicants with a Ph.D. or equivalent degree.  

The government will open another route on 22 August 2022, known as the Scale-Up Visa. This visa type will be available to foreign nationals who have been recruited by a UK Scale-up Sponsor. Sponsoring businesses will need to provide proof of revenue over the past three years and proof of employment growth by 20 percent. These individuals must hold a high-skilled job offer and meet salary level requirements. This route will grant scale-up company employees a fast-track immigration route. In addition, applicants of this route will only require sponsorship for the initial six months. Under this route, eligible individuals will be permitted to apply for long-term settlement in the UK after the initial six-month period.  

What are the Changes?  

On 15 March 2022, the government of the UK announced the launch of additional immigration routes for highly skilled applicants. These new routes are intended to contribute to the government’s New Plan for Immigration that was announced in May 2021 as a means of overhauling the UK immigration system.  

Looking Ahead  

Continue to check the UK’s government website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.  


For more news and insights from around the world, please sign up for Envoy’s Global Blog Digest, emailed to you every Wednesday morning. 

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.

OISC registration number F202000157  

About the Author

Jessie is Envoy's Global Immigration Writer.

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