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Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

Our Immigration lawyers are equipped with both the experience and knowledge to provide legal advice and guidance throughout the Senior or Specialist worker visa process.

If you require any assistance with your Senior or Specialist worker visa, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our qualified immigration lawyers  to guide you through the process.

Call us on 03334149244 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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    The Senior or Specialist worker visa has replaced the Intra-company Transfer visa, and allows an individual to apply to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job at an employer’s UK branch.

    If you are a Graduate Trainee or Skilled Worker, you can apply instead for the relevant visa instead of the Senior or Specialist worker visa.

    You can stay in the UK with a Senior or Specialist Worker visa for whichever is shorter of:

    • 5 years
    • The time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days

    You can apply to extend your visa or apply for another one as many times as you like up to the maximum total stay.


    To be eligible to apply, you need to be:

    • An employee of an organisation that has been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor
    • Obtain a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the work you will do in the UK
    • Do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations and have worked for your employer (sponsor) outside of the UK
    • Be on a salary of at least £45,800 per year (as of January 2024)

    How long you need to have worked for your employer outside the UK

    The maximum total stay allowed for a Senior and Specialist Worker visa is:

    • 5 years in any 6 year period if you’re paid less than £73,900 a year
    • 9 years in any 10 year period if you’re paid £73,900 a year or more

    If you’re earning less than £73,900 a year you must have worked for your employer outside the UK for at least 12 months.

    If you’re earning £73,900 a year or more, there is no minimum time requirement.


    As with any visa, you will require a certificate of sponsorship through your employers.

    The certificate contains a unique reference number, which is integral to your application.

    The certificate is digital, not a paper record.

    You must apply for your visa within 3 months of getting your sponsorship.


    Documents you will need

    You will need:

    • A certificate of sponsorship and reference number
    • A valid passport or recognised identity document
    • Your job title and occupation code
    • Your sponsor and their sponsorship license number
    • Financial evidence such as a bank statement to prove you are able to support yourself
    • Proof of your relationship (if your spouse or children are coming with you)
    • Proof you have worked for your employer overseas (outside of the UK) such as payslips or bank statements
    • A blank page in your passport for your visa
    • Your Tuberculosis test results if you are coming from a country on this list.

    If your documents are not already translated into English, you must provide a certified translation.

    If you have an Intra-company Transfer visa, you are able to use your Intra-company Transfer certificate of sponsorship to apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, unless it says that you will be paid less than £45,800 per year.

    You do not need to get a new certificate of sponsorship or update your existing one.


    To apply for the Senior or Specialist worker visa, you will need to:

    • Pay the application fee (the fee ranges from £719 to £1,500)
    • Pay the healthcare surcharge (£624 per year)
    • Sufficient funding for when you arrive in the UK (at least £1,270 available to prove you are able to support yourself)

    If you’re applying from outside the UK, the fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:

    • up to 3 years – £719 per person
    • more than 3 years – £1,420 per person

    If you’re applying from inside the UK to extend, switch or update your visa, the fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:

    • up to 3 years – £827 per person
    • more than 3 years – £1,500 per person

    You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 consecutive days. The end date of the 28 day period must be within 31 days of the date you apply.

    Your employer (sponsor) may offer to cover the costs of your first month in the UK.

    If this is the case, your employer must fill in the ‘sponsor certifies maintenance’ section on your sponsorship certificate.

    Any dependants must also have:

    • £285 for your partner
    • £315 for one child
    • £200 for each additional child

    As with your own visa, you, your partner or child will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row.

    Day 28 must be within 31 days of you or them applying for this visa.


    Senior or Specialist workers are eligible to bring their spouse, unmarried partner, or any children they may want to include in their visa with them on their UK secondment.

    Family are listed as ‘dependants.’ Any dependants will also have to prove their financial status is sufficient to meet the eligibility criteria, and will need to undergo proof of relationship.

    A dependant is someone who:

    • Is a child under 18
    • Your married spouse

    You must be able to prove that your relationships are legitimate, by providing evidence of your marital records such as a marriage certificate, or birth certificate for children.

    If your partner or child is applying at a different time to you, they’ll only need to prove they have enough money to support themselves if they have been in the UK for less than 1 year.

    Your partner or child must apply online using the relevant application page.

    Your partner or child can apply to extend or switch their visa either:

    This includes children who have turned 18 during your stay.

    Your partner or children cannot apply to switch to your visa as your dependants if they are currently in the UK on:

    • A visit visa
    • A short-term student visa
    • A Parent of a Child Student visa
    • A seasonal worker visa
    • A domestic worker in a private household visa
    • Immigration bail
    • Compassionate grounds

    Additionally, if your partner or dependents plan to switch to this visa from a Student visa, one of the following must apply to them:

    • They’ve completed the course you were sponsored to study on your Student visa
    • The start date of your job is after the completion date of their course
    • They’ve been studying for a PhD for at least 24 months

    Dependants must stay within their immigration rules.


    With a Senior or Specialist visa, you cannot:

    • Change your job unless you have updated your visa and are eligible to do so
    • Apply for a second job (unless you’ve previously had an Intra-company Transfer visa)
    • Receive public funding or a state pension
    • Apply for ILR

    However, you are allowed to:

    • Bring dependants to the UK as long as they have the relevant visa
    • Do voluntary work
    • Travel abroad
    • Study in the UK

    Processing time

    Processing applications will result in a waiting time of:

    • 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK
    • 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK

    If you would like to speed up this process, there is a fast track option for a fee.

    Application processing time for your own visa or dependants usually takes up to 3 weeks to reach a verdict. You will be contacted with your result.

    In some circumstances, applications may be delayed and take longer due to issues with the personal information you provided, employers information, or errors within the application.

    You will be notified if this applies to you.

    If you wish to cancel your application, or amend any details after you have sent it off to be processed, you are able to contact UK Visa and Immigration to resolve your issue.

    You will not be refunded for your amendment if UKVI has already begun processing your application.

    Extending your visa

    You and your dependants are eligible to extend your visas, providing your current visa is still valid. You will also need to be:

    • Still employed with the sponsor you applied with
    • Still under the same work contract that you were when you applied for your visa
    • Within the time limit of the maximum stay length

    innovator visa man on phone and laptop

    Your visa if your job changes

    The following occupations have been removed from the list of eligible occupations for the Senior or Specialist worker visa:

    • 3411: Artists
    • 3412: Authors, writers and translators
    • 3413: Actors, entertainers and presenters
    • 3414: Dancers and choreographers
    • 3422: Product, clothing and related designers

    If you are in one of these occupations but have the Intra-company visa, you may continue until your current visa runs out.

    If you do not want to continue working in one of the occupations above, you can switch your job if it is an eligible occupation.

    If your job changes you must update your visa.

    How our Immigration lawyers can help you

    Our Immigration Lawyers have extensive experience helping businesses to bring students from overseas into the United Kingdom via the Senior or Specialist worker visa route, as well as years of experience with other immigration related cases.

    Our professional solicitors can provide support in getting an appropriate sponsorship license and sponsors, as well as guidance with supporting application documents in a timely and efficient manner.

    Our Immigration lawyers can offer you assistance in:

    • Applying for a Senior or Specialist worker visa as an applicant
    • Determining if the new Senior or Specialist worker visa will be suitable for you
    • A walk through of other immigration routes or visa options
    • Checking whether your business matches the criteria for the Senior or Specialist worker visa
    • Applying for a Senior or Specialist worker visa extension
    • Assistance if you have a refusal decision on the Senior or Specialist worker visa applications

    Call us today on 03334149244 or get in contact online.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Under the Tier 2 route, applicants needed to have a job offer for a job at RQF Level 6, equivalent to a degree level.

    Under the Skilled Worker route, the skill threshold is lowered to RQF Level 3, equivalent to A-Levels.

    • Charity Worker visa.
    • Creative Worker visa.
    • Government Authorised Exchange visa.
    • International Agreement visa.
    • Religious Worker visa.
    • Seasonal Worker visa.
    • Youth Mobility Scheme visa.
    • Graduate visa

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance on your Senior or Specialist Worker visa case. Contact Us

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