How to sponsor a skilled worker

The Skilled Worker visa allows individuals, who are eligible, to work in the UK. The sponsoring company needs to be approved by the Home Office and the role needs to be eligible for sponsorship. We, Mulgrave Law, immigration lawyers in London, assist both the company sponsoring as well the candidate to navigate the Home Office process seamlessly. Let’s talk about what the skilled worker visa is and how businesses can sponsor a skilled worker.

Skilled Worker Visa

The skilled worker visa, formerly known as the Tier 2 General visa, is the primary route for skilled foreign nationals seeking employment in the UK.

Valid for up to 5 years (can be extended), the skilled worker visa offers long-term employment in the UK. It also potentially paves the path for a worker to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement), while filling a vacancy for the company sponsoring a skilled worker.

Sponsorship requirements for companies wanting to Sponsor a Skilled Worker

The sponsoring company must hold a valid Sponsor Licence with an A rating and be able to show that they have a genuine vacancy. The Home Office will evaluate the authenticity of the job vacancy, ensuring that the sponsoring employer genuinely requires the position.

The role offered must be at RQF Level 3 or above and a suitable SOC code should be chosen based on the job description.

The role must meet the minimum salary requirement, which is due to increase from £26,200 to £38,700 on 4 April 2024, and the going rate, which is different for each SOC code. There are a few exceptions which will allow a lower salary to be paid.

The employee must have been assigned a valid certificate of sponsorship (CoS) by the employer; the certificate is specific to the role being recruited by the employer. The certificate of sponsorship comes in two variants: defined Certificate of Sponsorship and undefined Certificate of Sponsorship. The defined Certificate of Sponsorship is assigned to candidates based overseas whereas the undefined Certificate of Sponsorship is assigned to candidates in the UK.

The employer will be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge at the time of assigning the certificate. The fee will depend on the size of the company and length of the certificate. The employee will be granted a visa in accordance with length of the certificate.

Other requirements to take into consideration by businesses sponsoring a Skilled Worker and why its important to consult an immigration lawyer

There are several other requirements that both individuals and employers must meet including, English language proficiency, financial maintenance, criminal record checks (for certain roles) and other eligibility requirements, depending on the role.

If you are a company considering hiring foreign nationals, it’s crucial to understand if sponsoring a skilled worker is the best option and whether you as a business will be able to meet the requirements and comply with the sponsorship duties. Seeking legal advice is always important.

As seasoned UK immigration experts, we offer extensive expertise in advising employers and workers on UK employment sponsorship and navigating the Skilled Worker visa process. For expert immigration advice, book a free consultation with us, we’ll advise you on all steps! And offer continuous support up until the application has been successful and beyond.

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