UK Expansion Worker visa
The UK Expansion Worker visa (formerly known as the Sole Representative visa) provides a visa route which can assist an overseas company to set up a commercial entity in the UK. A senior employee of the overseas company may apply for the visa and if the application is successful they can come to the UK to set up the business in the UK and run it in its initial stages and hopefully make it a success.
In most cases the applicant must have been working for the overseas company for at least 12 months unless they will be earning a salary in the UK of at least £73,900, but there are some exceptions if the application is based on a company based in Australia or Japan.
Unlike the Sole Representative visa, the UK Expansion visa is not a long-term visa and does not lead to settlement: leave can be held for a maximum of two years. So it does not offer a route to a migrant and their family to set up their life in the UK, although it might be possible for them to ultimately “switch” to a different kind of leave which does provide a route to settlement. It is of course very important for the potential migrant to understand this from the outset. But on the other hand, also unlike the Sole Representative visa, there is no English language requirement for the visa application.
The UK Expansion visa route is a sponsored route, and the UK entity therefore needs to acquire a Sponsor Licence. As with other sponsored routes, the migrant needs to have been issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) before they can apply for the visa.
What we can to help you with a UK Expansion visa application
We can advise about applying for a Sponsor Licence if the company has not already applied for one. This application is relatively complex because, unlike with other types of Sponsor Licence, the company does not yet have a fully-fledged presence in the UK and so the rules are different.
We can also provide detailed advice about the requirements for the visa application and the conditions of leave. We can also provide advice about a long-term plan for the applicant and family if any.
When we have all the information and supporting documents we need we can prepare the online visa application and submit it to UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI).