The Graduate Trainee visa is a type of UK Global Business Mobility visa. This particular visa type allows you to come to the UK on a graduate training course. It is a nonimmigrant visa, which means that you can’t use it to apply for residency or settlement in the UK.
You must meet specific requirements to be eligible for a Graduate Trainee visa. These requirements pertain to your employment history, annual salary, the status of your UK sponsor, and the nature of the job you intend to undertake in the UK.
Your overseas employer is also required to meet certain requirements for you to be eligible for the visa. The employer must be connected to an approved A-rated Licensed Sponsor in the UK who must provide a Certificate of Sponsorship. You must also meet financial requirements as an applicant.
The UK Global Business Mobility category offers several visas if you want to undertake business activity in the UK as an employee.
Our Global Business Mobility visa solicitors at the London-based Adam Bernard’s law office offer tailored advice and guidance to help you apply for any visa in this category.
Overseas Work Requirements
To be eligible for a Graduate Trainee visa, you must be linked to a Sponsor based in the UK. This link can be validated in three ways:
- Your current employer is linked to your UK sponsor by joint ownership
- Your current employer is linked to your UK sponsor by joint control
- Your current employer and your UK sponsor are linked by a joint venture on which you intend to work in the UK
Once the link between your current employer and your UK sponsor is established, you need to prove one other thing. You must show that you have been working with your current employer for at least three months. This three-month period must be immediately before your date of visa application and must be continuous with no breaks.
If you are not sure whether your overseas work qualifies for a Global Business Mobility visa, we can help you. Our immigration solicitors can review your case to advise you on whether or not you qualify for a Graduate Trainee visa.
What is a Licensed Sponsor?
A Licensed Sponsor is a business or organisation that has been approved by the Home Office to receive workers from outside the UK. This business or organisation must be registered in the UK with a physical presence, and have qualifying links with an overseas business through common ownership or control, or joint venture.
When it comes to hiring an individual for a graduate training program, the overseas business linked to the Licensed Sponsor must meet the following requirements:
- It must have a structured graduate training programme
- The graduate training programme must lead to a legitimate work placement in the UK
The Licensed Sponsor must be A-rated and listed with the Home Office. You can check with the Home Office to see whether or not your sponsor is approved and listed.
What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?
A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a formal letter issued by your UK sponsor confirming that you have been offered a job. Your CoS for a Graduate Trainee visa must meet the following requirements:
- It must have been issued no more than 3 months before your visa application
- The CoS must have been issued by an A-rated Licensed Sponsor
- The certificate must state your name, the position you are to occupy, and the annual salary you will be paid
- The CoS must confirm the link between your overseas employer and the UK sponsor
- The CoS must confirm that you meet the minimum employment duration requirement
If your CoS meets all these criteria, it is valid and you can use it to apply for a Graduate Trainee visa. If you are not sure whether your CoS is valid, our Graduate Trainee visa solicitors can review it for you. You can also consult our immigration lawyers before, during, and after your visa application.
Your annual salary must exceed a minimum threshold for you to qualify for a UK Graduate Trainee visa. Your employer must pay you at least £23,100 per annum, or 70% of the pro-rated going rate for your position, whichever is higher.
You can check this comprehensive list by the Home Office to see the pro-rated going code for different occupations.
Your annual salary will be calculated by taking into account the basic pay and any additional allowances you will be paid during your stay in the UK.
The annual salary requirements for jobs related to health or education have a different set of requirements. If you are coming to the UK to work in a health or education occupation, your employer must offer at least 100% of the pro-rated going rate for that particular job code..
Graduate Trainee Visa Job Skill Level Requirement
When you are applying for a UK Global Business Mobility visa as a graduate trainee, you are required to prove that the job you intend to undertake meets a minimum skill level requirement. Here is a list of jobs that are eligible for a Graduate Trainee Visa.
In general, you job you intend to do in the UK must be at a skill level of RQF Level 6. This means that the job must be equivalent to a graduate-level role. You are not required to hold a graduate degree to be eligible.
Your sponsor in the UK must choose the right job code. This job code will go on your Certificate of Sponsorship and will be reviewed by the Home Office when processing your application.
The Home Office will consider will then consider the following:
- Is the occupation code on the list of eligible occupations?
- Is there a genuine need for the sponsor to hire someone for the job?Is the noted occupation code a part of a structured graduate training programme and can lead to a legitimate work placement?
- Do your skills, experience, and qualifications as a visa applicant match the requirements of the job?
The outcome of your Graduate Trainee visa application will heavily depend on the answers to these questions. It is best to consult a reliable immigration lawyer to determine whether or not your application fulfils the job skill requirement before you submit it.
After Getting the Graduate Trainee Visa
The Graduate Trainee visa allows you to stay and work in the UK for 1 year, or the duration listed on your Certificate of Sponsor plus another 14 days. Of these two, the briefer period will apply as the deadline for your visa.
It is not possible to seek an extension for your Graduate Trainee visa. However, you can reapply for the visa from outside the UK. In all, the UK immigration laws allow you to live and work in the UK for a maximum of 5 years out of any 6 years on a Graduate Trainee Visa.
As noted above, this is a nonimmigrant visa category. This means that you can’t use it to seek settled status or residency in the UK. You can switch to another visa category which may ultimately lead to settlement in the UK.
Other visa routes such as Innovator Visa, Startup Visa, and Skilled Worker Visa let you extend your stay in the UK and ultimately seek a settlement status. However, each of these routes comes with its own set of requirements.
A qualified Global Business Mobility visa solicitor can help you determine your best options depending on your unique circumstances.
How Can Adam Bernard’s Solicitors Help?
If you are considering coming to the UK on a Global Business Mobility visa, it is important to seek legal help. The UK offers many visas under the business mobility category, and the Graduate Trainee visa is one of them.
Our London-based Global Business Mobility visa solicitors can help you fulfil the requirements of the Graduate Trainee visa. We offer tailored help and guidance along every step of the application process.
With our help, you can ensure that your visa application is free from any errors or omissions. Incomplete or inaccurate visa applications can be rejected or the Home Office may take extra time to process them. We help you avoid this by getting it right the first time.
Call us today at 0207-100-0505 to schedule a free consultation with our immigration lawyers.