New UK Immigration Rules and Work Visa Routes: Supporting Global Talent and Business Expansion
New UK Immigration Rules and Work Visa Routes: Supporting Global Talent and Business Expansion
New UK Immigration Rules and Work Visa Routes: Supporting Global Talent and Business Expansion
Updates and Opportunities for Highly Skilled Workers and Overseas Professionals
13 June, 2023
4 min read


Recently, the UK government announced several notable updates to the immigration rules for workers and overseas professionals, aiming to support highly skilled workers and global talents to work, invest and start businesses in the UK. This article will discuss the changes to the immigration rules and highlight the popular visa routes for talented individuals.

The Updated Immigration Rules

Under the new immigration rules, the Start-up visa route would be closed to new applicants on 13 April 2023. Initial applications must be supported by endorsements issued before 13 April 2023 and submitted by 12 July 2023. Yet, overseas students who wish to set up an innovative business in the UK may still apply for the Graduate visa, as well as the new Innovator Founder visa.

From 13 April 2023, the Innovator Founder visa replaced both the Innovator visa and the Start-up visa. The visa has no minimum investment requirement and offers a flexible pathway for foreign entrepreneurs to establish a business in the UK. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a business idea which has been approved by an endorsing body, and satisfy the English language and personal savings requirements.

In addition to the Innovator Founder visa, overseas professionals may also work in the UK via the following visa routes:

Global Business Mobility Visa Routes

Starting from April 2022, the Global Business Mobility visa routes, which encompasses a group of work visas, provides new pathways for overseas businesses to develop its UK-based operations. It includes (i) the Senior and Specialist Worker visa, (ii) the UK Expansion Worker visa, (iii) the Secondment Worker visa, (iv) the Service Supplier visa and (v) the Graduate Trainee visa (previously known as the Intra-Company Transfer Graduate visa). The Senior and Specialist Worker visa and the UK Expansion Worker visa would replace the Intra-Company Transfer visa (ICT) and the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business visa respectively. Applicants under the Global Business Mobility visa route must have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned by the employer.

Scale-up Visa

Introduced in August 2022, the Scale-up visa allows talented individuals to work for scale-up businesses. The applicant must have a job offer from a UK-based scale-up business that meets specific eligibility criteria, satisfy the English language requirements, and possess a valid passport. The visa is valid for 2 years and can be extended for further periods by 3 years. After 5 years, the applicant may be able to apply for settlement in the UK.

Overseas Domestic Worker Visa

Another popular visa route is the Overseas Domestic Worker visa. Applicants must be aged 19 or older and employed as a domestic worker in a private household outside the UK for at least 1 year. Applicants must also be able to support themselves without the need for public funds. In the UK, overseas domestic workers are entitled to the same employment rights as domestic workers, such as the national minimum wage, working hours, and holiday entitlements. The initial visa is granted for no longer than 6 months and can be extended to a maximum stay of 5 years.

Skilled Worker Visa

Lastly, non-UK residents can come to the UK to work in a sponsored job under the Skilled Worker visa scheme, which replaced the Tier 2 General visa. Using a points-based system (PBS) to access the applications, applicants must be employed by UK employers with a sponsor license.

We are working with our UK associates to assist clients in processing visa applications and other immigration matters. If you wish to work and reside in the UK through the business visa routes, please feel free to contact us to arrange for consultation.

With content provided by 3CS Corporate Solictors.