UK Visa Sponsorship: Explained
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UK Visa Sponsorship: Explained

Employing a motivated, overseas worker: Not hard, not expensive   Immigration Law is often considered procedurally complex, expensive, and bureaucratic. I’ve omitted those parts to show employing an overseas worker doesn’t have to be a burden.   The following attempts to simplify a path for the employment of overseas nationals in the UK. To do […]

September 13th, 2022
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Abby.

Founder

A search expert making key hires for over twenty years.

Employing a motivated, overseas worker:

Not hard, not expensive

 

Immigration Law is often considered procedurally complex, expensive, and bureaucratic. I’ve omitted those parts to show employing an overseas worker doesn’t have to be a burden.

 

The following attempts to simplify a path for the employment of overseas nationals in the UK. To do that, I’ve included only what is necessary to understand the main decisions to be made by an employer seeking to recruit an overseas worker. Because it isn’t comprehensive, you should consider taking advice before acting on it.

 

Why gain a licence to sponsor overseas workers?

 

You will know your recruitment needs, and the benefits of a licence are clear. You can increase your pool of potential applicants simply by having a licence, even if you don’t use it immediately. If you have a Human Resource system in place to complete your right to work checks (from paper file to electronic systems) you can easily add on practices which comply with the licence scheme. That said, there is a long-held system of fines for illegal working. Get your house in order first. Proper right to work checks prevent fines. You can familiarise yourself with those requirements here.

 

Who can be sponsored?

 

There is a list of eligible occupations for long term sponsorship. Pick the nearest code here.

 

At its simplest, any employer can obtain a licence, and can employ people to work in that list of eligible occupations for a minimum salary. The most common routes are labelled skilled work (jobs in eligible occupations), global mobility (for workers based outside the UK who are undertaking a temporary work assignment in the UK), and Frontier workers (for EU nationals, including Swiss, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, who live outside UK, are employed in the EU, and they were coming to the UK to work prior to 31 December 2020).

 

Short term workers include visitors who attend meetings, negotiate deals, get work related training, train others, deal with equipment and other matters without sponsorship on a short term basis for up to six months. Paid engagements (of up to a month) are permitted for professional artists, entertainers, musicians, people, and lecturers.

 

There are a number of temporary work routes for seasonal work, charity work or the creative industries, for example an actor, dancer, musician or film crew member. There are routes for those who graduated from certain global universities (think Yale, Harvard, MIT).  Some temporary routes require a sponsor licence.

 

What does it cost?

 

Home Office fees are subject to change but as follows:

  • Vast majority pay £536. ‘Large’ sponsors £1476. License is valid for four years.
  • For each certificate of sponsorship (£199)
  • Individual fees: Immigration Skills Charge (£364 per year for most, up to five years), application fee (£625 for 3 years, £1235 for five, less for ‘shortage occupations’), Immigration health Surcharge (£624 a year).

 

So, the likely cost of First Employee, if you pay all associated fees for a five-year visa, is £6910. Second Employee is slightly less for five years, at £6374. Legal fees vary by provider, but you are usually paying for the same outcome wherever you go.

 

But spread over the five-year course of employment, with the employee looking perhaps for indefinite leave (i.e greater loyalty and retention), you are looking at around £1300 a year to fill your vacancy with motivated, skilled foreign workers.

 

If the employee comes with a spouse/partner/children, you’ll need to discuss who is going to fund their entry. Are you offering a full relocation package? Must they fund this themselves?

 

I want to apply, what do I do next?

 

If you are going it alone, read the Guidance here. In crude summary, have a system in place for monitoring visa dates, gain a basic understanding of the right to work for sponsored employees, and understand how to action your reporting duties, such as if an overseas employee is absent. Then gather documents relevant to your business. Make your application, pay your fees, and upload the documents. A decision can be made within 8 weeks, or pay extra for a decision sooner.

 

The Home Office might visit to ask about your business and the system in place to monitor overseas workers.

 

You are then ready to sponsor your first overseas worker. This involves working with the sponsor management system, a very basic online management system, but there are a series of guides on how to use it.

 

Immigration doesn’t need to be complicated. But from time to time, it is easier to outsource either the application process or the management of sponsor duties. For sound advice, representation, or assistance, get in touch.

 

Daniel Hayes

Solicitor and Director

D Hayes Public Law Practice

 

www.publiclawpractice.com

Daniel Hayes’ Linked-In

To find out more about how to focus on your brand, get in touch today.
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