Discover the key steps to securing a Secondment Worker Visa with our detailed application guide, tailored for international assignments.

Secondment Worker Visa

The Secondment Worker Visa is a specialized category under the UK’s Global Business Mobility route, tailored for individuals who are temporarily transferred to the UK by their overseas employers to work on specific contracts with UK-based organizations. Here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding and applying for this visa:

Introduction to the Secondment Worker Visa

This visa is part of the broader Global Business Mobility visa category and is intended for employees of international businesses coming to the UK to fulfill contractual obligations with UK companies.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Secondment Worker Visa, you must:

  • Be employed by an overseas organization that has a high-value contract with a UK sponsor approved by the Home Office.
  • Have at least 12 months of employment with your overseas employer before applying.
  • Possess a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) issued by your UK sponsor detailing your role and contract in the UK.
  • Work in an eligible occupation as defined by the visa guidelines.

What Can You Do With a Secondment Worker Visa? 

Holding a Secondment Worker Visa offers you several opportunities while in the UK, but it comes with specific restrictions as well. Here’s a detailed look at what you can and cannot do with this visa:

Activities Allowed:

  • Work for Your Sponsor: You are authorized to work specifically for the sponsor listed on your Certificate of Sponsorship, performing the job described therein.
  • Study: The visa allows you to pursue educational opportunities, whether part-time or full-time, during your stay in the UK.
  • Bring Dependents: You can bring your partner and children (who meet the eligibility criteria) to live with you in the UK during your visa period.
  • Voluntary Work: You are allowed to engage in voluntary work, providing a great way to give back to the community or gain additional experience in your field or interests.
  • Travel: The visa permits you to travel outside the UK and return while it is valid, which can be beneficial for personal or professional reasons.

Duration of Stay 

The duration of your stay in the UK under a Secondment Worker Visa depends on your Certificate of Sponsorship. You can stay for either:

  • Twelve months after the job’s start date mentioned in your COS.
  • The period specified on your COS, plus an additional 14 days.
  • You have the option to extend your visa for another 12 months, but the maximum duration you can stay in the UK on this visa is two years. Note that if you’ve spent time in the UK on specific other visas, you can stay in the UK for a maximum of five years within any six years.

How to Apply for a Secondment Worker Visa

Applying for a Secondment Worker Visa is a structured process:

  • Visit the official Gov. uk website.
  • Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, including having a valid Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • Complete the online application form and upload the necessary supporting documents.
  • Verify your identity either at a visa application center or through the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check app.
  • It’s essential to apply earlier than three months before your intended UK work start date, as indicated on your Certificate of Sponsorship. Additional processing time may be necessary for visa application center appointments.

Required Supporting Documents 

When applying for the Secondment Worker Visa in the UK, you’ll need to gather the following documents:

  • Certificate of Sponsorship reference number: This number is provided by your employer.
  • Valid passport or other identity document: To prove your identity and nationality.
  • Job title and occupation code: These details are usually listed on your Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • Sponsor’s name and sponsor license number: Also found on your Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • Evidence of sufficient personal savings: You need to show you have enough money in your bank account to support yourself in the UK.
  • Proof of your relationship with dependents: If you are bringing family members with you, you’ll need to provide documents proving your relationship, like marriage or birth certificates.
  • Tuberculosis test results: Required if you’re from a country where this test is mandatory.

Suppose your Certificate of Sponsorship was issued between 11 February 2022 and 11 April 2022, and it was for an Intra-company Transfer Visa. In that case, you can use the same certificate for your Secondment Worker Visa application without needing a new one.

Visa Costs

Obtaining a Secondment Worker Visa involves certain costs:

  • Visa Application Fee: £259.
  • Immigration Healthcare Surcharge: £624 per year for every year you intend to stay in the UK.
  • Financial Requirements: Maintain a bank balance of at least £1,270 for 28 consecutive days before your application, with the 28th day falling within 31 days of your application date.
  • Your employer may cover up to £1,270 in costs, as indicated on your Certificate of Sponsorship. It’s crucial to note that your dependents must also prove their financial capacity during their stay in the UK.

Processing Times 

After submitting your application for the Secondment Worker Visa, including all required documents and identity verification, you can expect the processing time to be:

  • Three weeks if applying from outside the UK.
  • Eight weeks if applying from inside the UK.

You should apply no more than three months before the start date of your work in the UK, as noted on your Certificate of Sponsorship. If you need a quicker decision, you might consider using priority services, which can reduce the waiting time to five days or even the next working day, though this option depends on the country from which you are applying.

Switching to a Secondment Worker Visa

For people who according to the specificities of their visa are acceptable for change from another visa to Secondment Worker, this is possible. Nevertheless, there are other visa classes, for example, some visit visas or short-term student visas that don’t allow a change. If you did not belong to any of these types you would be required to make a move and apply for the Secondment Worker Visa from abroad.

Additional Requirements for Switching

If switching from a Student visa, you must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Completed the course sponsored by your Student visa.
  • Your job’s start date is after the completion date of your course.
  • You’ve been pursuing a PhD for a minimum of 24 months.
  • Expect a decision on your application within eight weeks.

Updating Your Visa Due to Job Changes 

If your job changes occupation code, you must apply to update your Secondment Worker Visa. Ensure the following:

  • You are still employed by the same sponsor.
  • Your new job aligns with the eligibility criteria.
  • You obtain a new Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • You may continue working in your current role while your application is processed, but do not start your new job until receiving confirmation of your updated permission. Processing typically takes up to eight weeks.

Requirements for Dependents 

Overview of Dependents 

You can bring your partner and children to the UK as dependents on your Secondment Worker Visa. If approved, their visas will expire on the same date as yours.

Requirements for Children 16 or Over 

For children who are 16 years old or older:

  • Living Arrangement: They must live with you unless they are studying full-time at a boarding school, college, or university.
  • Marital Status: They should not be married or in a civil partnership, and they must not have any children.
  • Financial Support: You need to be financially supporting them.
  • Additionally, if your child is living with you, you’ll need to prove their address with documents like bank statements, credit card bills, or official letters from their school or university.

Financial Requirements for Dependents 

Your dependents must also have enough money to support themselves while they’re in the UK with you:

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

Your dependents will have had to have the money available for at least 28 consecutive days, with the 28th day falling within 31 days of your date of application. Exceptions apply if they have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months.

Applying for Dependents 

Applying From Outside the UK 

Each dependent must complete their visa application online via the website. Each application will also require a separate visa application fee. During the application process, your dependents will need to provide your visa application number.

Applying From Inside the UK

If your dependents are already in the UK and need to extend or switch their visa to join you, they must apply separately on the website. They can do this when you apply for your visa or before your visa runs out. They will need your application number to complete their applications. After submitting their applications with all required documents and completing identity verification, they should get a decision in about eight weeks.

The Secondment Worker Visa is a great choice for those looking for temporary work in the UK. Make sure you meet all the requirements and follow the application steps carefully. Keep up with the latest immigration rules and consider getting professional advice to help with your visa application.

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