The new expansion worker visa is a part of the UK’s GBM (Global Business Mobility) program. The visa is primarily for specialist candidates such as highly skilled personnel or senior managers that are looking to move to the UK temporarily with the aim to start business in UK or undertake tasks vital for setting up a corporation in the UK. The GBM programs allows up to 5 specialist workers to be sponsored by an authentic and validated sponsor.

Understanding the Expansion Visa in a Nut Shell

However, it is important to keep in mind that you can apply for or sponsor an expansion worker visa only if your overseas business hasn’t yet commenced any trading activity in the UK. But if your organization is already trading, you will have to apply for or sponsor a Global Business Mobility visa, which is designated for senior managers and specialized workers. 

To successfully acquire a expansion worker visa to work or conduct business in the UK, it is mandatory to have a verified sponsor who will vouch for you to undertake a specified job. That job will be required to be in line with requirements such as salary and skill, with an employer that the Home Office authenticates and provides a license to. 

It is also important to understand that the UK expansion visa for overseas companies looking to expand in the UK will not lead to permanent residency or long-term settlement in the country. However, you will have the opportunity to apply for UK immigration separately.

What You Need to Apply for a Global Business Mobility Visa to Expand Your Business

To be eligible for a GBM specialist/worker visa, here are some mandatory requirements, such as:

  • You must be 18 years of age or above.
  • You are, at present, under employment by a company that corresponds with your UK sponsor
  • You have been employed outside of the United Kingdom for at least 1 year, unless you earn up to £73,900 per annum, or more.
  • You have a legitimate CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship) applied for by a verified and licensed UK sponsor for the job or type of business you wish to expand.
  • The business you want to expand or the job you wish to do must be valid and lawful.
  • Your job must have a RQF Level 6 skill (this is equivalent to a graduate).
  • The salary you earn must be £42,400 or above, per year.
  • You must have adequate funds to conduct business activities without being dependent on government support.

Looking at Some Primary Distinctions Between the GBM Expansion Visa and the Sole Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

It is important to understand some major differences between the Global Mobility UK visa and the SROB visa, such as:


Applying for a Global Mobility visa doesn’t come with the English language requirement. You won’t have to prove that you can read and/or write in English.

However, in the Sole Representative visa, you will need to prove that you speak English fluently.


With a Sole Representative visa, applicants are legally allowed to control or own a specific percentage of shares in a cross border business organization. However, they are not permitted to own a majority stake in the business. This rule is applicable for all business arrangements such as partnerships, sole proprietorship, etc.

Taking the GBM visa route, applicants are given an incredible leverage. As a Global Mobility Business visa holder, you are given the freedom to own as many shares in the company as you want. There are no restrictions on shareholding. You may also own the business.


One of the major drawbacks of the business expansion visa is that it will not lead to permanent residency or settlement. You will only be allowed to reside in the country for 2 years, which may be extended to 5 years from the day of you get the visa.

In the Sole Representative visa, you are legally allowed to settle in the UK after 5 years.

Bottom Line

So there you have it. A comprehensive understanding of what the GBM business visa is and how you can use it to expand operations globally.

With the One World expertise and extensive network, We helps entrepreneurs navigate the complex process of setting up a business in the UK, giving them the best chance for success. Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, One World is there to help you bring your business vision to life.

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