The Graduate Trainee Visa is one category that falls under the Global Business Mobility Program. The previously prevalent Intra Company Graduate Trainee Visa has been replaced by the current UK Graduate Trainee Visa, allowing foreign workers holding managerial or specialist roles in an international organization to work in the United Kingdom.
If you are planning to relocate to the United Kingdom and continue working, read this article to learn about the UK Graduate Trainee Visa, the advantages of being a Graduate Trainee Visa holder, eligible occupations and criteria, the application process, and more.
Graduate Trainee Visa
If you are a manager or a specialist and want to work in your company’s UK branch, you need to obtain the Graduate Trainee Visa that will allow you to reside and work in the UK. Applicants must note that they can also include their dependent family members in the UK Graduate Trainee Visa application.
Interested candidates must remember that the UK Graduate Trainee Visa is not quite similar to the Intra Company Graduate Trainee Visa program. As per the previous program, international students with a degree or higher qualification could stay for two years to look for work in the UK. In addition, the application process, documentation, and objective used to be very different from the UK Graduate Trainee Visa.
UK Graduate Trainee Visa – Pros
UK Graduate Trainee Visa holders can do the following in the United Kingdom:
- You can work for your sponsor as per the job mentioned on the certificate of sponsorship.
- You can utilize your time to study.
- You can choose to work as a volunteer in the UK.
- You can include your partner/spouse and dependent children in your UK Graduate Trainee Visa application.
- You can travel to international destinations and return to the UK.
UK Graduate Trainee Visa – Cons
With a UK Graduate Trainee Visa, you will be restricted from doing the following things:
- You cannot apply for public funds or state pension.
- You cannot change your job with the company or apply for a second job in the UK.
- You cannot apply for UK indefinite leave to remain in the region.
UK Graduate Trainee Visa - Eligibility Criteria and Requirements
Are you thinking of obtaining a UK Graduate Trainee Visa? You need to meet the following eligibility conditions.
- You must have worked for an international organization for a minimum of three months before applying for the UK Graduate Trainee Visa.
- Your company must hold a certificate of sponsorship approved by the Home Office for foreign workers.
- Your profession must be listed under eligible occupations.
- Your salary should be according to the eligibility requirements.
In this section, we will detail these requirements under the UK Graduate Trainee Visa route.
Sponsorship certificate for UK Graduate Trainee route
Under the UK Graduate Trainee Visa route, the employer or the sponsor must give the applicant a certificate of sponsorship describing the working details of their occupation in the United Kingdom. The applicant must note that the sponsorship certificate will be in a digital format and not a paper document.
Make sure to keep your reference number from your certificate of sponsorship handy, as you would require that for your trainee visa application. Please note that you also need to have a valid certificate of sponsorship that has been issued within the last three months of the submission of your application.
UK Graduate Trainee Visa – Qualifications required
Before starting your application process, you should be aware of your job’s occupation code (4 digits) to determine your eligibility under the UK graduate training program. You can get to know your four-digit code from your current employer or your certificate of sponsorship.
After you obtain your occupation code, you can visit the official website to check if your job is enlisted under the list of eligible occupations for the UK Graduate Trainee Visa.
UK Graduate Trainee Visa – Salary requirements
To meet the UK Graduate Trainee Visa requirements, your annual salary should be a minimum of £23,100 or 70 percent of your job’s going rate.
Applicants must note that each job has its own occupation code and an average annual going rate. You can visit the official site, as mentioned by the Home office, to find out about the going rates.
Salary required for jobs in the education and healthcare field
The regulations regarding your minimum eligible salary will differ based on your professional field – whether it is education or healthcare. The minimum salary should be £23,100, or the total going rate for your designation.
The going rate of your job is based on the national pay scales set by an independent body in the UK like the National Health Service (NHS).
Language requirement for Graduate Trainee Visa application
Interested applicants must note that they don’t have to conform to the English language requirement for applying for the UK Graduate Trainee Visa.
Cost of obtaining a UK Graduate Visa
You must pay the following fees if you want to apply for a UK Graduate Trainee Visa.
- The application fee is around £259.
- You also need to pay an annual healthcare surcharge of around £624.
After you pay the above fees, you will also be required to have a minimum amount of £1,270 in your bank to sustain yourself in the UK. In certain situations, you will not be liable to pay this amount. In that case, if your company supports your stay in the UK, it must be mentioned in your certificate of sponsorship.
Graduate Trainee Visa - Application Process
You need to apply for your UK Graduate Trainee Visa at least three months before you start your job in the United Kingdom. To apply for the UK Graduate Trainee Visa, you need to visit the official website of the UK Home office. Applicants must note that the start date of their training in the UK should be mentioned in the sponsorship certificate that has been issued by their employer.
Once you apply for the UK Graduate Trainee Visa, you need to share all your required documents and pay the visa application fee of around £259 to complete the application process.
After your payment is made, you need to share your biometric details (fingerprint and photo) with the visa application center, or you can also be required to scan your identity document through the “UK Immigration: ID Check” application. Once you complete your UK Graduate Trainee Visa application process, you will be advised what to do next.
An important requirement
UK Graduate Training Visa applicants must note that they need to prove the authenticity of their job in the United Kingdom. Applicants must ensure that their job title is either a managerial or specialist role and is eligible under the Graduate Trainee Visa program.
If your position in the UK for which you have been sponsored is proven false, a hoax, or just been created to offer you a UK Graduate Trainee Visa, your visa application can be canceled by the Home office of the UK government.
Documents Required for Graduate Trainee Visa
As per the application guidelines, you must submit the following documents if you want to take the UK Graduate Trainee route.
- Your valid passport or any other document showcasing your nationality and identity.
- Your reference number from your valid Certificate of Sponsorship (Cos) issued by your employer.
- Proof of your job position and your salary per annum.
- A document that proves your employer’s name and sponsor license number.
- Your job occupation code from the eligible occupations list.
- Your bank statements proving that you can support your stay in the United Kingdom.
- Proof that you have been working for your company for three months or more outside the UK before applying for the UK Graduate Trainee Visa. You can showcase your pay slip under this category.
- Documents that detail the training program you will be a part of in the UK.
- If your work includes a Ph.D. or higher research on a critical topic, you must provide a valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate.
- If you are including your family members in your trainee visa application, you need to prove your relationship with the family member by submitting documents like a marriage certificate or a birth certificate – whatever is applicable.
- A few applicants from selected countries must also submit their tuberculosis test results.
- Applicants must ensure that the documents shared must be either in English or in Welsh. If they cannot submit the documents in the languages mentioned, they need to share a copy of certified translated documents.
Inclusion of Family Members Under the UK Graduate Trainee Route
Applicants of the UK Graduate Trainee Visa can include family members in their visa application. The graduate trainee visa allows the following family members to accompany the primary visa holder:
- The spouse, civil partner, or unmarried companion of the primary applicant
- The applicant’s children under the age of 18
- The applicant’s dependent children over the age of 18
Once your application is approved, your family members will be allowed to stay with you for the same time period as yours. To be qualified under this program, each family member must prove their relationship status with the primary applicant for the Graduate Trainee Visa. Documents like marriage certificates, birth certificates, and civil partnerships will be thoroughly reviewed by the relevant bodies of the UK Government.
If you are the primary applicant, you must showcase additional funds for your qualified family members in your savings bank account. The additional fees include:
- £315 for your dependent child
- £200 for each of your additional dependent child
- £285 for your spouse or partner
Please note that the application for family members needs to be made separately under the UK Graduate trainee route.
UK Graduate Visa – Validity
When you obtain the UK Graduate Trainee Visa, you can reside in the UK for either 12 months or the time period mentioned on your certificate of sponsorship plus fourteen days – whichever is shorter.
Please note that the time period of your visa cannot be extended. In case you want to stay for a longer period of time, you can apply again for a Graduate Trainee visa from outside of the United Kingdom.
Settlement in the United Kingdom
You cannot directly settle in the United Kingdom by applying for a visa under the UK Graduate Trainee route. But after you come to the UK, you can alter your immigration status to help you obtain permanent residence in the UK. Post your permanent residency, you can also apply for UK Citizenship by Investment. In any case, you will have to meet all the immigration rules of the immigration route you choose to take to settle in the UK.
UK Global Business Mobility Routes
Issued on 11 April 2022, The Global Business Mobility Routes are used by international companies that need to send an employee outside of the UK to the region to fulfill responsibilities that an in-house employee in the UK cannot achieve.
Under the Global Business Mobility Routes, the Graduate Trainee Visa is one of the most popular visa programs. The other routes include:
- Senior and Specialist Worker Visa
- Expansion Worker Visa
- Service Supplier Visa
- Secondment Worker Visa
Sponsor License Application
Companies of all sizes are qualified to use the Global Business Mobility Routes if they are present outside the United Kingdom and have a link to a UK company.
If a company wishes to obtain the Global Business Mobility sponsor license, the company in the UK acquiring the employee must be able to show the following:
- The company’s presence in the United Kingdom
- Relationship with an overseas employer that will send the employee
- Important people who will be able to manage the license
- Capability to meet the sponsor license requirements
Under the Graduate Trainee Program, the company in the United Kingdom should be linked to the company overseas, sending people through common ownership/ control or under a joint venture agreement. In addition to this, the linked overseas employer is required to provide a structured graduate training program with authentic work placements in the United Kingdom.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
One of the types of visa under the Global Business Mobility Visas, the UK Graduate Trainee Visa allows foreign workers in a managerial or specialist role for an international company to stay and work in the United Kingdom.
What is the cost of the UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
The application fee for the Graduate Trainee Visa is around £259. In addition to the application fees, you need to pay a healthcare surcharge cost of £624 and will be required to show a minimum of £1,270 in your bank to support your expenditures in the United Kingdom.
Who is eligible for the UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
Individuals working in a managerial or specialist role under an overseas employer can apply for the UK Graduate Trainee Visa. Moreover, the official UK Government website also enlists a list of jobs eligible for the Graduate Trainee Visa.
Can a UK Graduate Visa be rejected?
Yes, the UK Graduate Trainee Visa can be rejected if the candidate is unable to prove the legitimacy of their job in the United Kingdom or cannot meet the eligibility requirements of the visa application.
How long does it take to get the UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
After you apply online, submit all necessary documents, meet the eligibility criteria and prove your identity, it usually takes around three weeks to get a decision.
What is the salary requirement for a UK Graduate Trainee Visa?
There is a minimum eligible salary required to obtain a UK Graduate Trainee Visa. Interested applicants need to have an annual salary of a minimum of £23,100.
What is the difference between a UK Graduate Trainee Visa and Graduate Visa?
The UK Graduate Trainee Visa and the Graduate Visa are two different types of visas with different objectives. With a Graduate Visa, international students with a degree or higher qualification can stay for two years in the UK to find a job. On the other hand, the UK Graduate Trainee Visa allows international workers in managerial or specialist roles to stay and work in the company’s UK branch. To learn more about the different types of visas, you can read our article: UK Visa: options open to you and how to apply.