The Home Office has in recent times been re-naming, creating and abolishing visa routes with some enthusiasm.
Earlier this month the Tier 1 (Investor) route was closed to new entrants: pure investment visas have evidently gone out of fashion. And the Home Office has announced two new routes, the High Potential Individual visa (coming in May 2022) and the Scale-up visa (coming in August 2022).
And, coming sooner, the Global Business Mobility visa routes – five of them – come into effect on 11 April 2022. As part of this, the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) scheme (previously the Tier 2 ICT route) and the Representative of an Overseas Business scheme are being abolished. These have been around for a few years now, and we mourn their passing.
If you think that this may be a lot of information to take in at once you are right and, as always with the Home Office, the new routes have some complexity in their associated rules.
So, amidst the welter of emerging new concepts and principles, let us try to cling on to a few basic facts. The ICT visa scheme is being replaced by the new “Senior or Specialist Worker” visa scheme. Correspondingly, the ICT Graduate Trainee visa is being replaced by the “Graduate Trainee” visa scheme. These types of visa enable a skilled worker or a graduate trainee from an overseas company to transfer to work for an entity in the UK.
And the Representative of an Overseas Business visa is being replaced by the new “UK Expansion Worker” visa: and – note well – this is no longer route to settlement. These visas enable a senior employee of an overseas company to come to the UK, set up an entity in the UK, and run it.
Other new routes coming in are the “Secondment Worker” visa and the “Service Supplier” visa; these are both for temporary workers.
None of the Global Business Mobility schemes offers the route to settlement, they all require sponsorship, and none of them has any English language requirement. So it seems fair to say that the Representative of an Overseas Business route is most particularly experiencing some significant changes.
But the Skilled Worker scheme (previously Tier 2 Skilled Worker scheme) is remaining unscathed – for the moment at any rate.
If you want advice about any of these issues we at GSN Immigration will be able to advise and assist you.
OISC Level 3 Immigration Adviser