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Five global business mobility (GBM) routes designed to create sponsored routes for businesses or staff to transfer to the UK for business purposes.

On 11 April 2022, the Home Office “new” Global Business Mobility (GBM) immigration routes came into effect. GBM is a combined new category of sponsored routes for overseas businesses seeking to establish a presence in the UK, or to transfer staff to the UK for specific business purposes. GBM will cover five separate sub-categories, only one of which (Secondment Worker) is brand new.

What are the new GBM routes?

The five GBM routes re-package and reform some existing routes. Common features of these new routes are:

  • They require sponsorship via a UK-licenced employer
  • They do not accrue the right to indefinite leave to remain (ILR)
  • Migrants may only be granted immigration permission for up to five years in any six-year period (although high-earning senior or specialist workers may be granted a maximum of nine years in any 10-year period)
  • Migrants will not be allowed to carry out supplementary employment
  • Applicants can bring their partner and dependants, provided they satisfy eligibility requirements.

Below are some details for each sub-category.  

Senior or Specialist Workers

This replaces the previous Intra-Company Transfer visa. The main eligibility criteria are unchanged, although the new route increases the minimum salary to £42,400 per year (from £41,500) or the going rate for the relevant occupation code.

Graduate Trainee

Replacing the current Intra-Company Transfer Graduate Trainee route, again this is the same as previously except for a slightly increased minimum gross annual threshold from £23,000 to £23,100.

UK Expansion Worker

This route replaces and extends the Representative of an Overseas Business route for sole representatives. Some features of the previous route remain and there are some changes. The main features are:

  • This new GBM route requires a sponsor
  • Time spent under this route does not lead to settlement
  • There are no prohibitions on applicants having a controlling interest in the overseas business
  • The English language requirement will no longer apply
  • There is a minimum gross annual salary threshold of £42,400 (or the going rate) or £73,900 for those without 12 months tenure overseas
  • Immigration permission may be granted for an initial period of up to one year and extended up to a maximum of two years

Secondment Worker

This is a newly created route for overseas workers undertaking temporary work assignments for their overseas employer as part of “high value contract or investment projects” in the UK with a registered UK entity.

  • There is no requirement for common ownership and control between the overseas and UK entities
  • The worker must have worked for the overseas employer for a cumulative period of 12 months before coming to the UK
  • There is a minimum skills threshold, but no minimum salary threshold and there is no English language requirement.

Service Supplier

Reforming the ‘Temporary Workers – International agreements’ provisions, this broadly aligns with the previous rules. ‘Service suppliers’ are contractual service suppliers employed by an overseas business, or self-employed independent professionals based overseas. The contractual services must be registered with the Home Office and covered by an existing International Trade Agreement between the UK and the relevant countries.

For further advice on the Global Business Mobility immigration routes, contact our immigration solicitors.