Service Supplier Route

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What is the Service Supplier route?

On 11 April 2022, the Service Supplier route replaced the Temporary Work – International Agreement route. This route is for overseas workers who enter the UK to take on temporary work placements, where the worker is either a contractual service supplier employed by an overseas service provider, or is an independent professional established outside the UK, and the work is part of a contract covered by one of the UK’s international trade commitments. The new route is like its predecessor but there are a few amendments.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible under this route:

  • You need to be aged 18 or over on the date of application
  • You need to be an employee of an overseas business, or a self-employed service provider based overseas
  • You need to ensure that the service you provide to a UK business is under a contract that is covered by a valid international trade agreement
  • You need to have an ‘eligible’ job (you may still be eligible if you have relevant qualifications and experience even if your job is not covered)
  • Your UK sponsor needs to assign you a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ with information about the work you’ll be doing in the UK
  • You need to have at least 12 months of work experience with your employer outside the UK, or have at least 12 months of professional experience if you’re a self-employed service provider
  • You need to be able to prove that you have enough personal savings to maintain yourself

How long can you stay in the UK under this route?

The length of time that you can stay in the UK under this route depends on the type of trade agreement that you are providing services under. The trade agreement that you are providing services under may stipulate a time period of either 6 months or 12 months. You can stay for whichever is the shorter of:

  • the time period set under the trade agreement that you are providing services under
  • the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus an additional 14 days.

The Service Supplier visa can be extended while you are in the UK provided that:

  • you still have a valid contract with the sponsor that assigned you a certificate of sponsorship
  • you are yet to reach the maximum total stay on your visa
  • your job, qualifications and experience still meet the eligibility requirements

How is it different to the Temporary Worker International Agreement scheme?

The changes made by the Service Supplier route are:

  • There are now requirements for sponsors to register details of any eligible contracts, and the overseas service provider with whom you have that contract, when you apply for your licence
  • Additionally, sub-contracting is now expressly included in this route so long as there is a clear contractual link between the sponsor, the sub-contractor and the overseas service provider
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