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UK Service Supplier Visa

Designed for foreign specialists who come to the UK to provide services under a short-term contract

A UK Service Supplier visa can be issued to an employee of an overseas company or a self-employed professional. The duties are limited to the trade agreements between the United Kingdom and the applicant’s country. The requirements to obtain a UK Service Supplier visa are not as strict as for other visa categories, but you must prepare all the documents carefully. This article will explain who can obtain a UK Service Supplier visa, how long it is valid for, what opportunities it offers, and how to extend the visa or switch to another visa category. Even though there are some general requirements, each case must be studied individually. Before applying to the Home Office, you must ensure that all the relevant documents are in order.

How Long Does It Take To Get UK Service Supplier Visa?

The deadline to apply for a UK Service Supplier visa was 30 June 2022. Now, only dependants of the main applicant who had relocated to the UK by the end of 2022 can obtain the visa. However, if you can prove that you had good reasons to delay the application, you will get a second chance. For example, if you were seriously ill and can provide your medical records as evidence. In case there is no evidence available, you will have to choose another visa category. If you are an Irish citizen, you do not need a UK Service Supplier visa since you can perform any type of economic activity in the UK visa-free.

Who Can Obtain UK Service Supplier Visa?

To be eligible for a UK Service Supplier visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • be an employee of an overseas business or a self-employed service provider based outside the UK;
  • provide services to a UK business under a contract that is covered by a valid international trade agreement;
  • have relevant education and work experience (for more information about the requirements, contact your employer or immigration advisor);
  • get a certificate of sponsorship from your UK sponsor (certificate of sponsorship is an electronic document that is accessed via a link and contains information about your future job and duration of your employment);
  • have worked for at least 12 months for your employer outside the UK or are self-employed for at least 12 months.

How Long Is UK Service Supplier Visa Valid for?

On a UK Service Supplier visa, you can stay in the UK for up to six or twelve months depending on the trade agreement you are providing services under. If you have already spent some time in the UK on a UK Service Supplier visa or any visa from the below list, your overall stay in the country must not exceed five years in the last six years:

Your stay in the UK will also depend on the conditions of your certificate of sponsorship. When it expires, you will have 14 days to decide what to do next: you can either switch to another visa or leave the country.

If you do not plan to change jobs, you can even extend your visa. The application will be processed in one day to two months. If you decide to extend your UK Service Supplier visa, you will be able to apply not more than 28 days before your current visa expires. One important requirement: you cannot leave the UK while your application is being processed.

After your UK Service Supplier visa expires, you can change jobs. To do this, you must obtain a certificate of sponsorship from your new employer and collect a new package of documents.

UK Service Supplier visa allows UK companies to employ foreign specialists based on their qualifications, experience and expertise for a particular type of service. Imperial & Legal’s experts will help you collect and prepare all the documents.

How To Apply for UK Service Supplier Visa?

Applications for a UK Service Supplier visa are usually submitted online. If for any reason you cannot do it online, you need to bring all the documents to a visa centre for them to be scanned and sent to the Home Office. You will have to visit a visa centre in any case to submit biometrics since this is mandatory even for online applicants.

How Much Does It Cost To Get UK Service Supplier Visa?

A UK Service Supplier visa has the following costs:

  • application fee of £259 per person (paid at application);
  • health surcharge of £624 per person per year of stay in the UK (a one-off payment for the whole period of stay in the UK);
  • £1,270 of personal savings for the main applicant proving that they can support themselves financially without claiming public benefits. The money must be kept in your bank account for at least 28 days before the visa application.

If you add dependents to your visa application, the visa costs will increase by £285 for a spouse or partner £315 for each child, and £200 for further children. In some cases, a willing sponsor may agree to cover these visa costs and maintenance requirements.

There are no maintenance requirements for visa extension. Neither do not need to provide your bank statements if your sponsor confirms in your certificate of sponsorship that they will support you.

How Long Does It Take To Get UK Service Supplier Visa?

You can apply for the visa up to three months before you relocate to the UK. As a rule, the application is processed within three weeks for non-residents and within eight weeks for those who want to switch their current visa to a UK Service Supplier visa.

If the Home Office has any questions for the applicant, they will email them, but this may still prolong the application process.

There is an option to accelerate visa processing for an additional fee.

In some cases, you may need to update your application or even revoke it. This can be done through the online account that you used to submit your application to the Home Office.

Opportunities and Restrictions of UK Service Supplier Visa

On a UK Service Supplier visa, you can do the following:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship;
  • do research;
  • add your spouse or partner and minor children to your visa application as dependants (you must prove that each dependant is financially dependent on you);
  • do voluntary work;
  • travel abroad and return to the UK before your visa expires.

On a UK Service Supplier visa, you cannot:

  • claim social benefits;
  • change jobs unless you switch to another visa;
  • apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain;
  • have a side job.

The above list is not exhaustive. If your visa application is approved, you will get a full list of what you can and cannot do on a UK Service Supplier visa. If you break any of these rules, it may cost you your visa.

Documents To Obtain a UK Service Supplier Visa

  1. Sponsorship licence number (provided by your employer).
  2. Personal ID.
  3. Job description with an occupation code that is also specified in your certificate of sponsorship.
  4. Bank statements proving your financial independence.
  5. Evidence that your relationship with your dependants is genuine. For example, if you have children, you can add them to your application as dependants. For children who are older than 16, however, you will have to provide additional documents to prove that they are financially dependent on you. For more information about the full list of required documents, contact an immigration advisor.
    You can also bring your spouse or partner with you. If you are not married, you must prove that you have been in a relationship for at least two years before the application and share a household.If you apply for a UK visa for the first time, it should be done outside the UK in a country where you have stayed for at least six months before the application. If you are switching from another visa, this can be done in the UK.
  6. Negative tuberculosis test results (see the requirements).
  7. Proof that you have worked for your sponsor outside the UK or have been a self-employed service provider for at least 12 months before the visa application.
    If you have been on the payroll, you can submit payslips signed by an authorised person and bank statements to prove your employment.
    If you are self-employed, you will have to prepare bank statements, a letter from your accountant confirming your state of affairs and level of income, and marketing materials.
  8. ATAS certificate if you are going to study at the postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects.
  9. Education documents.
  10. Biometric data taken while submitting documents in a visa centre.

All the documents must be in English or Welsh. Otherwise, you need to provide their notarised translations.

A UK Service Supplier visa is gradually coming out of use; it is no longer issued. All the submitted applications have already been processed. An exception can be made only for a narrow category of applicants who had a good reason for delaying their timely application. If you fall into this category, you must be especially careful while preparing your application. Any mistake, inaccuracy, or discrepancy will lead to visa refusal. It will cost you money and time and you’ll get nothing for the efforts you made. You will have to collect the documents again, making the required corrections, and re-apply.

To avoid this, we recommend you contact experienced immigration advisors once you decide to relocate to the UK. They will review your case individually, compile a list of the required documents, and help you prepare and submit them. Imperial & Legal’s immigration advisors will do their best to save you time. They will take care of all the processes and ensure a positive outcome. We want your case to be successful since we always aim for long-term cooperation. We will be happy to help you later if and when you decide to extend your visa or switch to another one. The first impression is very important, and we hope that after working with us once, you will not doubt contacting us again to resolve another relocation issue no matter how unprecedented, complicated, and challenging it might be.

Getting in touch with Imperial & Legal
Timeframe: 1 day
Imperial & Legal’s experts are UK-regulated immigration advisors. You can book a consultation at our office, over the phone, or via Zoom/Skype. During the consultation, our immigration advisor will ask you questions about your circumstances and plans and answer all your questions. Once a service agreement is signed, our experts will start working on the case, provided you have a certificate of sponsorship.
Getting your visa application ready
Timeframe: 1–3 weeks
Imperial & Legal’s immigration advisors will officially represent you until you get a decision on your Service Supplier visa. They will prepare a list of documents you will need to apply for a Graduate Trainee visa, arrange for professional translation of documents into English, draft detailed cover letters, and fill in an application correctly. If your employer does not have a sponsorship licence, we can help them get it and then obtain a UK visa for you, but this will require more time.
Submitting your application and visiting a UK visa application centre
Timeframe: 1 week
Once everything is ready, our immigration advisors will pay relevant fees on your behalf and submit an online application. They will also upload all the supporting evidence and make an appointment for you at a UK visa application centre to have your photograph and fingerprints taken.
Obtaining your Service Supplier visa and relocation to the UK
Timeframe: 3 weeks

You will get a decision on a Service Supplier visa within three weeks of your application. Once your application is approved and a UK Scale-up visa is granted, you can move to the UK. You will receive your biometric residence permit upon arrival. 

Imperial & Legal provides a full range of services, not just immigration support. We can ensure that your relocation to another country is smooth, and help you find suitable accommodation, a nursery or a school. Most clients come back to us to extend their visas and obtain an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and British citizenship.

FAQ about UK Service Supplier Visa

What did a UK Service Supplier visa replace?

A UK Service Supplier visa was introduced to replace a UK Temporary Workers International Agreement visa, or a UK Tier 5 visa.

Who can apply for a UK Service Supplier visa?

A UK Service Supplier visa is one of the immigration routes under the UK Global Business Mobility scheme. You can apply for a UK Service Supplier visa if you have a contract to provide services to a UK company as:

  • An employee of an overseas company. 
  • A self-employed professional under a valid international trade agreement.

The UK company where you will work must have an A-rating sponsorship licence and issue a certificate of sponsorship for you.

Can I add my spouse and children to my visa application?

On a UK Service Supplier visa, just as on a UK Temporary Workers International Agreement visa previously, you can bring to the UK the following dependants:

  • A spouse or a civil partner if you prove that you have lived together for at least two years (photos and utility bills will do).
  • Children younger than 18 years at the time of application who are dependent on the main applicant. If a child is over 16 years old, you will have to prove that they cannot support themselves financially without your help.

Looking for expert immigration advice?

We will offer a tailored solution to you and your family based on your circumstances. Contact us today for your personalised solution.