Comparing Skilled Worker Visa and Global Business Mobility Visa: A Guide for Applicants

In the ever-evolving world of UK immigration, businesses are constantly adjusting to new visa application routes for overseas workers. Recently, the Global Business Mobility routes have been introduced, and this article aims to explain a significant part of this new framework.

GBM – Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

This newly minted visa is a part of the Global Business Mobility system. It’s designed for foreign nationals in specific roles, such as senior managers and specialist workers, enabling them to work at a UK branch of their overseas employer. It replaces the old Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (Tier 2 – ICT) visa. The change is more in name than substance, retaining the core features of the former visa but omitting the Immigration Skills Charge exemption.

The Old vs The New

The Legacy Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa

The old Tier 2 – ICT visa catered to employees of multinational companies needing a transfer to their UK branch. Favoured by large outsourcing firms and consultancies, it was a popular choice due to its exemption from the Resident Labour Market Test and its predictable outcomes.

The Traditional Tier 2 General Visa

This visa was for skilled job offers in the UK. In contrast to Tier 2 – ICT, it was subject to quotas and required a 28-day advertising period, making it less attractive for many businesses.

Skilled Worker Visa

Fast forward to 2022, and the skilled worker visa emerges without the constraints of quotas or a resident labour market test. It begs the question: why choose a GBM – Senior or Specialist Worker visa over this?

The distinguishing feature of the GBM – Senior or Specialist Worker visa is its lack of an English language skill requirement, a boon for some. Still, the Skilled Worker visa holds more appeal for those comfortable with English.

Comparative Overview

FeatureSkilled Worker VisaGBM – Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
Immigration Skills ChargeSame as GBM VisaSame as Skilled Worker Visa
Sponsor LicenseRequiredRequired
Time to UKSlightly longerQuicker (if CoS ready)
Role SeniorityRQF Level 4RQF Level 6
Minimum Pay£25,600+ (varies)£42,400+

The Path to Settlement

A critical consideration is the path to settlement. The Skilled Worker visa offers a route to settlement in 5 years, a significant advantage over the GBM – Senior or Specialist Worker visa, which lacks this pathway.

English Language Skills

While the Skilled Worker visa requires English proficiency, the GBM visa does not. This flexibility allows individuals to initially use a GBM visa, improve their English skills in the UK, and then switch to a Skilled Worker visa.

Immigration Guidance

The choice between boils down to specific needs and circumstances. The Skilled Worker visa is often the preferred route with its broader benefits. Yet, for those needing time to meet English language requirements, the GBM visa provides an invaluable alternative. 

Our team is equipped to guide you through either process, ensuring your UK immigration journey is as smooth as possible. 

Contact us for a complimentary remote initial consultation, or arrange a meeting with a solicitor at our office.

Legal Pathway Solicitors

Legal Pathway Solicitors offers legal services for personal and business immigration, family law, civil litigation, medical negligence, personal injury, business & corporate crime and more. 

If you need help complying with the latest regulations, contact Legal Pathway Solicitors to explore your options. Our team is eager to advise you on the best course of action. 

You can contact us by phone at 0203 004 9956 or by email at to book a free consultation and get solid advice. 

Those who prefer can visit our office at 60B High Rd, Ilford IG1 1DL, in London, but we also accept remote clients from anywhere. 

We are happy to help you with any legal matters you may have.

Legal Pathway Solicitors

Ilford, Greater London