Everything you need to know about UK's new Graduate Trainee visa route


Graduate trainees from abroad who wish to participate in a graduate training programme at a UK branch or subsidiary of their foreign company must submit a visa application using the new Graduate Trainee visa route.

One of the five Global Business Mobility (GBM) immigration pathways recently unveiled by the UK government is the UK Graduate Trainee visa. The GBM umbrella is intended for international companies who want to establish a presence in the UK or relocate employees there.

The Graduate Trainee route is designed exclusively for foreign employees who are required to complete a work placement in the UK as a requirement of their graduate training programme, which leads to either senior management or a specialised role. The previous Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route has been replaced by the temporary job route.

A successful candidate will be permitted to travel to the UK on a Graduate Trainee visa to take part in the graduate training programme for which the application was filed. Intra-Company trainees were able to work as supplemental employees under the previous approach, however, this is no longer allowed under the current GBM regulations. Graduate Trainees will no longer be permitted to work in addition to their sponsored position under the new regulations, although they will still be able to volunteer or enrol in a programme of study in the UK. During their leave, they will be allowed to leave the country and come back.

What requirements must be met before applying for a Graduate Trainee visa?

The following qualifications are specified for a UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa:

Possess a current Certificate of Sponsorship from your employment in the UK,

Possess experience with their employer outside of the UK,

Perform a work that is listed among the qualifying professions,

Get the bare minimum qualifying wage necessary for that specific work function.

What income is necessary to qualify for a graduate trainee visa?

The following are the wage criteria for UK Graduate Trainee Visas under the UK Graduate Trainee Visa requirements:

Regardless of which is higher, the candidate must be paid at least £23,100 or 70% of the "going rate" for that specific employment function.

The yearly going rate varies depending on the profession code.

What level of English proficiency is needed to obtain a Graduate Trainee visa?

The English language requirement is not necessary for those applying for a Graduate Trainee visa.

How can I obtain a Sponsorship Certificate?

The applicant must have a "Certificate of Sponsorship" from the UK-based employer, often known as a "Sponsor," detailing all the details of the position for which they are hired in the UK.

A certificate of sponsorship is an electronic record known as an "e-Certificate," not a paper one.

To apply for the visa, the applicant needs the reference number from the Certificate of Sponsorship.

After receiving the Certificate of Sponsorship, the applicant has three months to apply for a visa.

How to submit a UK Graduate Trainee visa application

The person must apply online for a UK Graduate Trainee visa using the reference number on their CoS. Up to three months before the day the candidate is scheduled to begin employment in the UK, an application for a Graduate Trainee visa may be submitted. The sponsorship certificate includes this date. This is an electronic record that includes different information, such as the person's job title and starting date.

The applicant will need to present evidence of their identification and supporting documentation as part of their application, and they might need to make an appointment to accomplish this. They could also be asked to submit their biometric data, which includes a picture and their fingerprints.

A current passport or some other type of travel document that demonstrates the applicant's identity and nationality will be required as part of the paperwork.

The applicant will also want confirmation that they have worked for their company abroad for three months, information about their training programme,

Necessary documentation of personal savings,

If they are from one of the countries on the list, the results of a TB test.

After submitting an application for a UK Graduate Trainee visa and supplying all required supporting papers, the applicant will typically receive a decision within 3 weeks, however, they may be able to pay for a quicker response.

Under the UK Graduate Trainee route, one can apply for entrance permission. They are unable to transition to a Graduate Trainee visa from within the UK, nevertheless. This is due to the requirement that they must have worked for their company for three months before applying.

How long is a visa for a UK graduate trainee valid?

Graduate Trainees have a maximum stay of one year in the UK. This is nonetheless limited to the maximum cumulative time of 5 years in each 6-year term that is allowed on the GBM routes. This implies that the Home Office will consider any prior authorization the worker may have received through any of the GBM routes or the old ICT channels when determining whether or not to authorise them through the Graduate Trainee route.

A Graduate Trainee visa holder cannot extend their visa due to the 3-month overseas work requirement, however, they may apply for another Graduate Trainee visa from outside the UK as long as they don't go over the maximum cumulative term allowed.

For as long as the sponsor informs the Home Office of any changes, a Graduate Trainee visa holder may work in various employment roles for their UK employer during their period of authorization without having to submit a new application. Each employment must also be associated with the visa holder's graduate training programme, and they must continue to adhere to the route's standards. Changes in employment status, however, will not result in an extension of the visa holder's leave.

Can dependents accompany visa holders applying for a UK Graduate Trainee visa?

If the spouse, partner, and dependent children satisfy the necessary criteria for dependents, the Graduate Trainee visa holder may be joined or accompanied by them. Both a personal connection and a financial need are included.

According to the financial criteria, a spouse or partner must provide proof of funds totalling £285, a dependent kid needs $315, and any further children need £200 apiece unless the UK sponsor can confirm support for the entire family. Additionally, there would be a separate application fee and yearly healthcare cost for each candidate.

If a Graduate Trainee's spouse, partner, or dependent child submits a successful application, their visa will expire on the same day as the principal visa holder.

How can we help?

The corporate immigration professionals at A Y & J Solicitors offer guidance on the Home Office requirements for deploying individuals through the Graduate Trainee route, as well as assistance with employer sponsorship responsibilities and employee visa applications. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help.


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