The Graduate Trainee route allows you to sponsor overseas workers to undertake temporary work assignments with you in the UK, where the worker is on a structured graduate training programme leading to senior management or specialist position with a linked overseas business and is required to do a work placement in the UK as part of that programme.
The Graduate Trainee route has replaced the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route from 11 April 2022. The requirements of the new route are essentially the same as its predecessor route. The key differences are:
- the general salary threshold has increased from £23,000 to £23,100 per year
- Graduate Trainees are no longer permitted to take supplementary employment (employment additional to their sponsored work)
- there is no longer a limit on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship you can assign on this route (under the previous rules, you were limited to assigning no more than 20 each financial year)
Requirements for Graduate Trainee Visa
In order to qualify for a UK Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You are aged 18 or over;
- You are currently working for a business or organisation that is linked to your UK sponsor by common ownership or control, or by a joint venture on which you are sponsored to work, and have worked outside the UK for this business or organisation for at least 3 months immediately before the date of your visa application;
- You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued by your UK sponsor for the job you are planning to do;
- The job you are planning to do is genuine;
- The job you are planning to do is an eligible job at an appropriate skill level;
- You will be paid a salary that equals or exceeds £23,100 per year and 70% of the pro-rated going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher;
- You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
- You have provided a valid TB certificate if required.
Graduate Trainee Visa Overseas Work Requirement
If you are applying for a UK Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa, you must be currently working for a business or organisation that is linked to your UK sponsor by common ownership or control, or by a joint venture on which you are sponsored to work, and have worked outside the UK for this business or organisation for at least 3 months immediately before the date of your visa application.
This 3 month period of work must have been continuous with no breaks and cannot include time spent working in the UK.
Graduate Trainee Salary Requirements
Graduate Trainees must be paid at least £23,100 per year or the applicable going rate for the occupation code (whichever is higher). For most occupations, the applicable going rate is 70% of the full going rate but for some health and education occupations, workers must be paid the full going rate.
The assessment of salary is based on guaranteed basic gross pay (up to 48 hours per week) plus allowances which are guaranteed to be paid for the duration of the employment in the UK (such as London weighting) or are paid as a mobility premium or to cover the additional cost of living in the UK. Your full weekly hours will be included when checking your salary against the going rate, even if you work more than 48 hours per week.
The Home Office has published a list of going rates for eligible Global Business Mobility occupation codes. The annual salaries stated are based on a 39-hour working week and must be pro-rated for other working patterns.
Graduate Trainee Visa Duration
Graduate Trainees can come to the UK for up to one year at a time, up to the maximum cumulative period permitted on the GBM routes. If your application for a UK Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa is successful you will be able to extend your stay in the UK up to a maximum period of 5 years in any 6 year period.
When calculating the period of time spent on the route the Home Office will consider all previous periods of permission granted on the Global Business Mobility routes and all previous periods of permission granted on the Intra-Company routes.
Graduate Trainee Visa Job Skill Level Requirement
A person you are sponsoring on the Graduate Trainee route can work in different job roles for you during their period of permission without needing to make a new application for permission, provided you notify us of any changes, each job is related to their graduate training programme, and they continue to meet the requirements of the route
The Home Office has published a list of jobs that are eligible for a Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa. The list includes the relevant occupation code, job type and related job titles.
You will usually meet the job skill level requirement if the job you are being sponsored for is on the list.
However, your sponsor must choose an appropriate occupation code. If the Home Office has reasonable grounds to believe that your sponsor has not chosen the most appropriate occupation code then your application for a UK Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa will be refused
In assessing whether your sponsor has chosen the most appropriate occupation code, the Home Office will consider factors such as whether they have shown a genuine need for the job as described, whether you have the appropriate skills, qualifications and experience needed to do the job as described and the sponsor’s history of compliance with the immigration system.
In order to qualify for a UK Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa, the job you are being sponsored to do must be part of a structured graduate training programme, with clearly defined progression towards a managerial or specialist role within your sponsor organisation.
Graduate Trainee Visa Financial Requirement
Subject to the exemptions below, you will need to have cash funds of at least £1,270 available.
You will need to have held the money for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa application.
You will be exempt from the financial requirement if your sponsor is willing to meet your maintenance costs up to the end of the first month of your employment, to an amount of at least £1,270, if necessary. Your sponsor will need to confirm this on your Certificate of Sponsorship.
If you are applying for permission to stay and have been in the UK with permission for 12 months or more at the date of application, you will meet the financial requirement and will not need to show funds.
Dependants of Graduate Trainee Visa Applicants
UK Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee Visa holders can be joined or accompanied by a dependent partner over the age of 18 and dependent children under the age of 18.
Graduate Trainee Visa English Language Requirement
Graduate Trainee Visa applicants do not need to satisfy an English language requirement.
Call Our Immigration Advisers
Our team of business immigration advisers has experience in assisting employers and skilled workers across a variety of industries in companies of all sizes. Our solicitors can help UK and overseas businesses to ensure that overseas workers can be temporarily seconded to the UK as part of a high-value contract or investment. Our business immigration advisers can also assist UK employers to obtain the right sponsor licence, maintaining their licence at the highest rating and comply with their sponsor duties.
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