Graduate Trainee Visa

Global Business Mobility

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For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767


The Graduate Trainee visa enables you to come to the UK to work for your employer but at their UK branch for a temporary period. For this route to be available to you, you must be in an eligible job and you must be part of a graduate training program which leads to a senior management or specialist position. You must be required to do a work placement in the UK.

If successful, you will be able to stay in the UK for up to 12 months. You cannot extend this visa but you may be able to apply for another Graduate Trainee visa from outside the UK. You may only stay in the UK for a maximum of 5 years in any 6 year period if you have spent time on a Global Mobility visa.

This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee visa.

To speak to one of our solicitors about the Graduate Trainee visa, Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or complete our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you.

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Who is eligible for this visa?

To be eligible for the Graduate Trainee visa, you must be able to meet the following requirements:

  • You must be over 18.
  • You must be an existing employee of a Home Office approved sponsor.
  • You must have worked for your sponsor outside of the UK for at least 3 months immediately before you apply.
  • You must have a certificate of sponsorship from your employer which details your role in the UK.
  • You must be doing a job which is on the list of eligible occupations
  • You must be paid at least £24,410 per year.

You must apply for this visa from outside the UK.

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

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What documentation do I need to supply?

Your application will be submitted online. To support your application, certain documents will need to be provided:

  • A valid certificate of sponsorship
  • A valid passport, or other document which satisfactorily demonstrates your identity and nationality.
  • Proof of personal savings, sufficient to support yourself in the UK.
  • A valid TB test, if applicable.

You may also need to provide evidence that you have worked for your employer outside the UK and details of your training programme.

If your parent and/or children are applying with you, you will need to demonstrate your relationship with them.

For any documents not in English or Welsh, you will need to provide certified translations.

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How can Latitude Law help?

The team of expert solicitors at Latitude Law can provide expert advice on all aspects of Global Mobility visa applications. We can provide detailed guidance about the requirements for a Graduate Trainee visa application, or we can prepare the entire application, together with a detailed letter of representation, explaining how the relevant rules are met.

Contact us today to arrange an initial consultation in relation to a Graduate Trainee visa application. Call on 0300 131 6767 or complete our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Latitude Law has significant experience of preparing successful Graduate trainee visa applications.
We are pleased to be recognised as a leading law firm by the following independent bodies: The Times Best Law Firms 2024, Chambers & Partners 2024, Legal 500 2024 and Who'sWhoLegal 2024. These endorsements from the international legal directories demonstrate our integrity and success in dealing with difficult cases. We are also proud of our 5-star Google reviews from over 150 satisfied clients.

Call us today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Let our legal experts take the uncertainty out of applying for Graduate trainee visa, so you can start your successful journey to the UK today.

FAQs about the Graduate Trainee visa

How much does it cost to apply for a Graduate Trainee visa?

This visa costs £298, and there is an immigration healthcare surcharge of £1,035 per year. There is no additional fee for dependent family members, but you will need to show that you have sufficient savings to maintain them. The threshold for these savings is different, depending on whether you are applying for a spouse, dependent children, or both.

How long does it take to process a Graduate Trainee visa?

Once an application for a Graduate Trainee visa has been made, a decision will usually be granted within three weeks. There may be options to pay for a faster result. It is important to plan around this timeline, as there are several obligations you must fulfil before making your application, and the process may slow down if you make mistakes. Communicating with the UK business you are coming to work for is also vital, as this will set realistic expectations for when you can start training.

In terms of the overall Graduate Trainee visa application process, there are several stages where delays might be introduced, and it is important to work with an experienced immigration solicitor to give yourself the best chance of success.

Before applying for the visa, you must have a job offer from a UK employer who is approved by the Home Office to sponsor a Graduate Trainee visa. The employer will issue you a CoS containing information about the role you have been offered in the UK. 

The role you are offered must be part of a structured graduate training program that leads to a managerial or specialist position. You need to have worked for your employer outside the UK for at least three months before the date of your application. This is the first requirement that can delay the process, although issuing the CoS is usually straightforward, especially if you are moving to a UK branch of the same company.

The Graduate Trainee visa application takes place online. You will need your passport, CoS reference number, and proof of your knowledge of English. You may also need to provide a criminal record certificate and a tuberculosis test certificate, depending on your circumstances. If you have not already taken a test to prove you meet the English language requirement, you should do this first.

You will need to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to have your fingerprints and a photograph taken. When applying online, you will be given an opportunity to book an appointment to do this. There is not usually a long wait for these appointments, but there can be delays if you are unable to find a suitable time to attend.

For applicants, one of the more complicated parts of the process is preparing the necessary supporting documents, which you will need to submit alongside your application. The paperwork you need to provide can include evidence of your employment history, qualifications, financial means to support yourself in the UK, information about the graduate training programme you will attend, and details of your accommodation. A solicitor can help you to gather and prepare suitable evidence and make sure that you meet these requirements before you submit your application.

The processing times for these applications vary based on the volume of applications, your country of application, and whether you use standard or priority services. However, the Home Office aims to return a decision within three weeks when you apply from outside the UK. You cannot apply for this visa from within the UK, as you must have worked for your employer overseas for the three months before you apply. As we have noted above, you may be able to pay for a faster decision.

Can I bring my family with me on a Graduate Trainee visa?

The route allows Graduate Trainee visa applicants to bring a dependent family member (spouse/partner or child under the age of 18) to the UK, provided they meet the relationship and financial requirements.

A spouse or partner needs to show proof of funds of £285 to be eligible for application. For dependent children under the age of 18, you need £315, and £200 each for any additional children. This is in addition to your own maintenance requirement of £1,270.

Applications can be made at the same time as the primary visa holder, and visas will end on the same date as the Graduate Trainee visa.

Does the Graduate Trainee visa lead to settlement in the UK?

This route does not lead to settlement in the UK. To apply for settlement, individuals must switch to a different immigration route, provided they meet the specific requirements for that route.

An expert solicitor can discuss your options with you and advise you on the right visa route to meet your needs. The team at Latitude Law can advise UK Graduate Trainee visa holders on the choices that are available to them in terms of switching to another route, or help you to decide whether this is the right approach before you make your visa application. It is vital to select the right type of visa to cover all the activities you want to undertake while in the UK, or you could risk breaching the restrictions.

How long does a Graduate Trainee visa last?

This type of visa typically lasts 12 months and is designed only for temporary workers. At the end of a Graduate Trainee visa's validity period, you will either need to leave the UK or switch to a different visa route. If you are hoping to move to the country on a longer-term basis, the UK graduate trainee route may not be the best option for your needs. Speak to a solicitor to determine which routes are available to you before you apply, or for advice on switching to a new visa route before your Graduate Trainee visa runs out.

Are there restrictions on what Graduate Trainee visa holders can do in the UK?

As with all UK visas, there are restrictions on what you can do when you come to the UK under a Graduate Trainee visa. As we have noted above, you can only work for the employer who sponsored your visa in the job described in your Certificate of Sponsorship. You cannot change your job or work for an employer who is not your visa sponsor without applying for a new visa.

You may be allowed to study, but there are often limitations on this - especially if your study interferes with the job you have been sponsored to do. Your travel in and out of the UK is not subject to any controls under this visa, provided this does not interfere with your working hours or training. As a sponsor licence holder, your UK employer must report on your attendance at work and if you stop fulfilling your obligations, your visa may be in jeopardy.

You can bring certain family members with you to the UK as dependants, such as your partner and children under the age of 18. You must show that you have sufficient funds to maintain any dependent family members, as you are not allowed to access any public funds or benefits provided by the UK government.

There are also restrictions on engaging in business activities, and you cannot start or run a business during your stay in the UK. You cannot be a director of a company unless it is directly related to the job you are sponsored to perform, or if you are not actively involved in the company's day-to-day management. Finally, the Graduate Trainee visa does not lead directly to permanent residence. Therefore, you cannot apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) under this visa category.

Speak to a solicitor if you have any concerns about your obligations and the restrictions you must follow as a Graduate Trainee visa holder.

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Contact us

As the requirements for a Graduate Trainee visa can be complex, to ensure success, you should seek specialist advice from an immigration solicitor before you proceed with an application. Latitude Law’s specialist lawyers can advise you about your individual requirements and ensure that the conditions of your Graduate Trainee visa are compliant with the very latest immigration rules.

Get in touch with our legal team today on 0300 131 6767 or fill out our enquiry form and we will get straight back to you. Face your future knowing you have the dedicated support of one of our expert lawyers.

Our other visa services

Senior or Specialist Worker Visa

The UK Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility route) replaced the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) provision and enables businesses with linked entities overseas to transfer existing employees to the UK for a specified period of time. The employee will need to be assigned to a UK business that is linked to their employer overseas to be considered for this type of visa.

UK Expansion Worker Visa

The UK Expansion Worker Visa is an option for senior or specialist employees to temporarily work in, and expand a business’s presence to the UK. Workers will either be senior management or specialist employees and be assigned to the UK to undertake work related to a business’s international expansion.

Skilled Worker Visa

A Skilled Worker visa is available for skilled workers of all nationalities that have been offered a position from an eligible UK company who is a registered sponsor. This route can lead to settlement and applicants can be joined by dependent partners and children.

For an initial consultation, call us now on 0300 131 6767

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