UK Expansion Worker Visa

UK Expansion Worker visas give a representative of a non-UK business permission to enter the UK in order to establish the first UK branch or office of that company. This visa is most appropriate for senior managers or specialists already employed by the company looking to set up its UK branch.

For representatives of a business which is already operating in the UK, you should instead consider applying for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa.

Applicants for a UK Expansion Worker visa must:

  • have a sponsorship certificate from their employer
  • have already worked for their employer outside the UK for at least 12 months, unless
    • they earn more than £73,900 per year
    • they are a Japanese national working for a Japanese company which is expanding to the UK
    • they are an Australian national or permant resident working for an Australian company which is expanding to the UK
  • do a job which is classed as an ‘eligible occupation’ (these are subject to change by the UK Government)
  • receive a salary of at least £45,800 per year or the ‘going rate’ for their job, whichever amount is higher
  • prove they have enough money in their bank account to support them when they arrive (usually £1270 for one person, plus around £300 per dependant)

UK Expansion Worker visas are usually valid for an initial period of 12 months, unless the certificate of sponsorship is valid for less than one year. This visa can be extended once, for an additional 12 months.

Managers and HR: Be careful when considering visa options for an employee who has previously worked in the UK on other types of intra-company or Global Business Mobility category visas. Individuals who have spent time in the UK on many of these visas are usually limited to a maximum stay of five years in any six year period.

UK Expansion Worker Visa process and costs

Once the Home Office has your application and any supporting documents, you can usually expect to receive a decision within three weeks if you are applying from outside the UK. If you are already in the UK when you apply, getting a decision can take up to 8 weeks.  You may be able to receive a decision within in a few working days depending on your specific circumstances by paying for UK Visas and Immigration’s priority or super priority service.

Applications for a UK Expansion Worker Visa cost £298. You will also have to pay the UK’s healthcare surcharge as part of your application for each year that the visa will be valid.

NB: This visa does not permit you to take a second job, change jobs without updating your visa, or apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement).

Demetris Demetriou

Demetris is a dual-qualified lawyer in the UK (Solicitor) and Cyprus (Advocate) with 10+ years of experience in UK immigration. He completed his legal studies at University College London and City University London. Over the course of his career, he held key roles as Head of Immigration at Legal 500 firms and within the Big4, overseeing teams of 15+ fee earners handling 2000+ applications annually.

Demetris went on to co-establish his firm in London and continues to offer innovative solutions and strategic immigration planning to multinationals, SMEs, and private clients.

He personally represented 1500+ clients in 30+ visa routes including investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, sole representatives, students, family visas, global talent, UK ancestry, administrative reviews and appeals. Demetris has managed corporate relocations, conducted immigration law training and implemented post-Brexit immigration policies for corporate clients.

Demetris has been featured in various events and publications focusing on UK immigration, notably at the Cambridge Network, the Westminster Policy Forum and most recently at DGEMS, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.

Tatiani Preifelt

Tatiani has a wealth of expertise in global mobility and corporate immigration. Her ample skills were acquired within leading immigration practices including three out of the Big4 firms in both the UK and Sweden. Tatiani went on to co-establish her firm in London where she continues to advise clients predominantly in corporate, business and skilled work migration.

Having personally relocated to 10 different countries, Tatiani understands the importance of an expedient and successful immigration process and takes pride in delivering a seamless experience to her clients as well.

Over the course of her career, she has assisted over 500 individuals and businesses to obtain the appropriate visa permits in the UK.

Her awarded academic work at The University of Oxford, The London School of Economics, and at The Geneva University is in the fields of Political Science, International Human Rights Law, and Global Migration Governance.

She regularly provides immigration training and has recently participated as a speaker and panellist at DGEMS 2023, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.