Can Global Business Mobility Visa Be Extended?

The new Global Business Mobility Visa is an umbrella visa for 5 different routes that allow overseas workers the opportunity to work in a UK branch or connected branch of their current employer. However, it can be tricky to navigate the visa rules, particularly when it comes to extending your visa, as there are different criteria to meet with each 5 route.

We are Synergy Immigration Solutions are experts in the field of immigration and we’re here to give professional advice on how to extend your Global Business Mobility visa, and we’re here to give you information on how you can apply for indefinite leave to remain once in the UK by switching to a more suitable visa to achieve your goal of settlement.

What is the Global Business Mobility visa?

The Global Business Mobility visa is made up of five sponsored work routes for overseas businesses looking to establish, develop or support UK-based operations. The organisations must want to set up a UK branch or already have that connection with their own or another business, within the UK.

The Global Business Mobility (otherwise known as GBM visas) reform and expand on previous UK work and business visas and, since April 2022, has replaced the ICT visas. You may still see ICT being used, but this type of Visa is no longer valid, and the correct visa to refer to is the Global Business Mobility.

What are the 5 Global Business Mobility routes?

There are 5 categories that make up the Global Business Mobility Visa routes, and these are:

  • Senior or specialist worker. The Senior or Specialist worker route is for senior managers and specialist employees being assigned to a UK business that’s linked to their employer overseas and who wish to undertake a temporary assignment in the UK.
  • Graduate trainees. The Graduate Trainee route is for overseas workers on a graduate training course leading to either a senior management or specialist position and required by their employer to do a UK work placement.
  • UK expansion worker. The UK Expansion Worker route is for overseas workers looking to undertake temporary assignments in the UK, where the worker is either a senior manager or specialist employee tasked with supporting the opening of a UK branch or UK connection.
  • Service supplier. The Service Supplier route is for contractual service suppliers employed by overseas service providers or self-employed independent professionals based overseas looking to undertake temporary assignments in the UK.
  • Secondment worker. The Secondment worker route is for overseas workers looking to undertake temporary assignments in the UK, where the worker is being seconded to the UK as part of a contract or investment by their overseas employer.

To be accepted onto one of these routes, you must be eligible and meet the minimum salary requirements. To find out if you meet the criteria for these visas, see our blog post on Who is eligible for ICT? And speak to one of our immigration agents at Synergy Immigration Solutions to get expert advice.

Global Business Mobility validity period

Global Business Mobility validity period

So, how long is the GBM valid? This question is difficult to answer directly as with each of the 5 routes, there is a different validity time, meaning that each of the 5 subcategories of the Global Business Mobility visa allows you to stay in the UK for different times. In the section, we look at each visa type separately and how long they’re valid for.

Senior or Specialist Worker route

For this route, permission will be given for either 5 years after the start date of the job set out in the Certificate of Sponsorship, 14 days after the end date of this job, or totalling 5 years in any 6-year period, or 9 years in any 10-year period if applying as a high earner.

Graduate Trainee Worker route

For the Graduate Trainee Worker route, permission will be given for either 1 year after the start date of the job set out in the Certificate of Sponsorship, 14 days after the end date of this job, or totalling 5 years in any 6-year period.

UK Expansion Worker route

If accepted for the UK Expansion Worker route, you’ll be able to stay for 1 year after the start date of the job set out in the Certificate of Sponsorship or 14 days after the end date of this job; the date at which the applicant will have had permission as a UK Expansion Worker totalling 2 years; or the date the applicant will have had cumulative permission on the Global Business Mobility routes totalling 5 years in any 6-year period.

Service Supplier route

Visa this route, permission will be given for either 14 days after the end date of the job set out in the Certificate of Sponsorship; the date at which the applicant will have had permission on the Global Business Mobility totalling 5 years in any 6-year period; or the maximum single assignment period for the applicant is either 6 or 12 months.

Secondment Worker route

Finally, if the applicant is successful in gaining entry to the UK via the Secondment Worker route, permission will be given for either 1 year after the start date of the job set out in the Certificate of Sponsorship, 14 days after the end date of this job; the date at which the applicant will have had continuous permission totalling 2 years; totalling 5 years in any 6-year period.

Extending your Global Business Mobility Visa

Extending your Global Business Mobility Visa

One of the most common questions we get asked is how Global Mobility visas affect obtaining indefinite leave to remain, otherwise known as ILR, within the UK or about extending a visa.  With any Tier 2 visa, you may be eligible to apply for ILR as long as you have worked in the UK for more than five years, meet the salary requirements and if your official sponsor needs you to remain in the UK. You cannot gain settlement status in the UK from a Global Business Mobility visa alone.

To be clear,GBM doesn’t lead to ILR; however, those who came to the UK on a GBM may be able to switch to a different visa that does provide a direct route to ILR, to do this, you will need support from immigration professionals to give you the best chance of extending your visa or to switch to one that directly leads to settlement in the UK.

As a standard Global Business Mobility visa lasts for around two years on average, you will need to have an extension granted promptly to be eligible. This is something that our team at Synergy Immigration can advise you on. Contact us for help, support and advice.

How to get indefinite leave to remain (ILR)

Indefinite leave to remain means you can settle in the UK. It gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you’re eligible. You can then use your ILR to apply for British Citizenship.  

There are many different routes to applying for ILR. If you’re in the UK for one of the followings reasons or visas, you may be able to apply:

  • If you’ve lived and worked in the UK for 5 years on a skilled worker visa or a family visa such as a Spouse visa
  • If you have a tier 1 visa, you can apply after 2 or 3 years
  • If you have an Innovator Founder or Global Talent visa, you can apply after 3 years

So, if you live and work in the UK via one of the Global Business Mobility routes, this will not lead you down a direct path to indefinite leave to remain; however, once in the UK, you may be able to switch visas to one that will by following one of the pathways above.

For expert help and advice, Synergy Immigration Solutions are here to help you to navigate the tricky UK visa system and give you the best chance of achieving your goal. For more information about the Global Business Mobility Visa, see our blog post on Skilled Worker Visa vs Global Business Mobility, to understand the difference.

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