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Service Supplier visa UK: requirements and application process  

The Service Supplier visa is one of the Global Business Mobility immigration strategies available for overseas workers who are contracted to provide a service for a UK company.

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The Service Supplier Visa for Global Business Mobility allows workers to move to the UK to work for a UK licensed employer for a temporary period.  

Before starting the visa application, it is important to assess the candidate’s eligibility and understand the application requirements, to avoid issues with the application.  

Service Supplier visa requirements

Who is eligible for Global Mobility visa in the UK?

To qualify for a Service Supplier visa, the candidate must:  

  • Be an employee of an overseas company or an overseas self-employed service provider and have worked for at least 12 months for the overseas employer or, if self-employed, have worked for at least 12 months in the same sector as the service that will be provided in the UK.
  • Be travelling to the UK to provide a service regulated by a contract that is covered by an international trade agreement.
  • Be invited to provide a service to a UK licensed sponsor (i.e. holding the necessary sponsorship license) who has obtained a “Certificate of Sponsorship” (CoS) for them.
  • Do an eligible job or show to have the relevant qualifications and experience for the job that they will be doing.

If the requirements are not met, candidates can check if they are eligible for other UK visa types.  

What counts as an eligible job for Service Supplier visa UK?

To check if the job is eligible, it is possible to have a look at the list of eligible occupations published by the Home Office.  

If the role is not part of the eligible occupation codes, candidates will have to prove that they possess the relevant qualifications and professional experience for the job.   

What are the qualifications for UK Service Supplier visa? 

To prove their eligibility, candidates will need to have either a bachelor’s degree (or higher) or a technical qualification equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.  

They will also need to prove their professional experience, that is:  

  • 3 years of experience relevant to the job in case of overseas employees;
  • 6 years of experience if they are self-employed.

However, some jobs may require a different experience and qualification requirements.  

How to apply for Service Supplier Visa UK

Once you have assessed that you meet all the requirements specific to your case, you can start your visa application.

If you are resident overseas, you will have to apply online by registering on the relevant Home Office website and complete the application. Alternatively, you can decide to avail of the support of an immigration advisor who will usually complete the application for you and guide you on the next steps.  

To complete your application, you will also need to prove your identity either by using the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app or by providing your biometrics attending a visa application center (VAC). You can usually select the VAC that is closer to your residency address, and you will have to register your fingerprints and facial photograph there.  

What are the documents required for Service Supplier Visa (Global Business Mobility)?

During the visa application process, you will be required to provide:  

  • Your CoS number;  
  • Your valid passport
  • Your job title and job’s occupation code;  
  • The name of your employer and their sponsor license number;  
  • Evidence that you have worked for your employer outside the UK

Depending on the specific case, applicants may also be asked to provide:  

  • Evidence that they have enough personal savings to support themselves in the UK;  
  • Proof of family relationships for dependent family members;  
  • A tuberculosis test result; 
  • Other documents depending on your circumstances.

What are the documents needed to prove your work experience?

The documents to be provided vary according to your specific circumstances.  

If you are an overseas employee, you can show documents such as:  

  • Printed payslips;  
  • Online payslips supported by a letter from your sponsor;  
  • Bank or building society statements;  
  • Other documentation according to your circumstances.

If you are self-employed, instead, you can show: 

  • Invoices for the work you have done;  
  • An accountant’s letter confirming the business activity and profits;  
  • Business or personal bank statements to prove the business income;  
  • Other documentation according to your circumstances.

How much bank balance is required for Service Supplier Visa UK?

When it comes to show savings, candidates must usually have at least £1,270 on their bank account to prove they can support themselves in the UK. The money must be available for at least 28 days in a row.  

In case a partner and children will relocate with the Skilled Worker, additional amounts must be available, that are: 

  • £285 for the partner;
  • £315 for one child;
  • £200 for each additional child.

Alternatively, the UK business inviting you can declare on the CoS to cover for yours and your family costs during their first month in the UK. In this case, you do not need to prove financial resources personally.  

How long does it take to get a global business mobility visa in the UK?

You can apply for the visa up to 3 months before your work starting date and the UKVI starts processing applications only after candidates have proved their identity, either using the UK Immigration: ID Check app or attending the appointment at the visa center.  

Then, the authorities usually release a decision on your visa in 3 weeks (for applications from outside the UK) or 8 weeks (for applications from inside the UK).  

Once the application is approved, the authorities send a decision by letter or email.  

Can I bring my spouse to the UK on a Service Supplier visa?

Partner and children can apply for family visas as dependents of the main applicant. Under the UK immigration rules, are considered dependent:

  • The husband or wife, civil partner or unmarried partner; 
  • The child under 18 or over 18 if they are already in the UK as dependent of the main applicant. 

In the absence of a civil partnership or marriage officially recognized in the UK, you will have to prove that you have been living together in a domestic relationship for a minimum of 2 years prior to the visa application.  

Duration of the Service Supplier visa UK

Is the Service Supplier visa temporary or permanent? 

The Service Supplier visa is a temporary visa. In fact, on this type of visa you can stay in the UK for whichever is the shorter of:  

  • 6 months or 12 months – depending on the trade agreement under which you are providing your services; 
  • The time given on your CoS plus 14 days

What is the difference between Global Mobility visa and Skilled Worker visa UK? 

The Skilled Worker visa is applicable to those candidates who received a job offer by a UK licensed sponsor and possess a minimum level of English language proficiency. It is valid for 5 years and it leads to permanent residency in the UK.  

For Global Mobility strategies like the Service Supplier visa, instead, the English language proficiency is not required. However, the worker is due to leave the UK at the end of their service.  

Can I switch job on a Global Mobility visa in UK?

If your job changes while on a Service Supplier visa, you will need to apply to update your visa to a different SOC. However, you must still be contracted to work for the sponsor who issued the current certificate of sponsorship.  

Can I switch to Service Supplier visa if I am already in the UK on another visa type?

You can switch to a Service Supplier visa if you are already in the UK on a different type of visa. However, generally you cannot travel out of the UK until you get a decision.  

There are some instances where you cannot apply to switch, though. These include the case where you are in the UK on a Visitor Visa. To apply for a Service Supplier visa in this case, you must leave the country and apply from abroad.  

How much does a Service Supplier visa cost?

Government application fees for a Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility) usually correspond to:  

  • £289 for the application fee;  
  • £624 per year for the healthcare surcharge.  

Candidates must also show to have a minimum balance of savings, unless their employer declares to cover for them.  

Regulatory Framework

Home Office – UK Visas and Immigration


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