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NEW Global Immigration Route

The UK government has outlined new and exciting UK visa routes, see below.

The route will fall under the sponsor licence system. It will enable overseas businesses to send workers to the UK to establish and expand the businesses.

It has been indicated that the new route will have five sub-categories:

1. Senior or specialist worker to meet specific business needs;

2. Graduate trainee as part of a training programme;

3. UK expansion worker to establish a UK presence (this may allow up to five workers to be transferred to the UK if the MAC’s recommendations are followed);

4. Secondment employee (although if the MAC’s recommendation of a £50 million threshold are followed, this may mean that no more than a ‘handful’ of applicants can use it); and

5. Service supplier (in line with UK trade agreements). The Home Office has indicated that applicants will require sponsorship in all cases, although final confirmation of this is still needed.

To qualify for the route, applicants will need the following requirements:

• in certain cases (likely to be the first two sub-categories above) sponsorship by the UK entity receiving the applicant

• a minimum skill level for the role

• a salary threshold

• a minimum period of employment overseas

• be on a temporary assignment to the UK

Please note: It is not yet clear if there will be an English Language requirement or whether this route will lead to settlement.

High Potential Individual Route:

The High Potential Individual route is aimed at attracting the highest international talent to the UK. The route will allow eligible individuals to come to the UK without needing a job offer and it is not expected that this route will require sponsorship. It is also expected that individuals approved under this route will be able to be employed or self-employed and will be able to switch jobs or employers without having to inform the Home Office. It is also anticipated that this route will lead to settlement in the UK.

Please note: There is little detail so far on the eligibility criteria, other than the applicant will need to have graduated from a ‘top global university’. It is assumed that the government will use specific league tables for global universities to determine which graduates qualify.

Scale-Up Route:

The Scale-Up route is intended to support the growth of UK businesses by allowing talented individuals with a high skilled job offer from a ‘qualifying scale-up’ to come to the UK.

The route will allow eligible individuals to work, switch jobs or employers, extend their visa and settle in the UK, subject to meeting the specific requirements.

Business that are regarded as ‘qualifying scale-ups’ will need to demonstrate:

• an annual average revenue or employment growth rate over a three-year period greater than 20%; and

• a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the three-year period.

Individuals will require a ‘high skill’ job offer and will need to be paid a minimum salary of £33,000 and meet the English language requirement. 

Applicants will be entitled to a fast-track visa if they can meet the above requirements.

They will also benefit from greater flexibility to work in the UK because they will be able to move between different employers, and will also be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK after five years (subject to meeting specific requirements).

Please note : It has not yet been confirmed whether dependents can join the main applicant on this route. However, similar visas do permit this.

Revised Innovator Route:

The government announced plans to revitalise this route with the aim of creating jobs for UK workers and boosting growth.

Under the revised route, applicants will no longer need to demonstrate they have at least £50,000 investment funds providing the endorsing body is content that there are enough finances to build the business. Applicants will however, need to demonstrate that their business venture has a high potential to grow and add value to the UK.

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