A Complete Guide to Sponsoring Overseas Employees in the UK

A quality workforce is the first step towards a successful business. You would want to hire someone qualified and fit for the role, even if you must look for someone overseas. But things get a little, if not a lot, complicated when you choose to hire overseas employees here in the UK.

The British government takes its visa mandates quite seriously. That is why hiring foreign talent without proper work authorisation is something which you should avoid at all costs. This article discusses how to sponsor overseas employees in the UK to help you get better clarity.

Understanding Sponsorship in The UK

The UK follows a points-based system to provide visas to skilled overseas employees. To invite foreign national employees to work here in the UK, the government puts the onus on employers to sponsor them.

A prospective overseas employee must have at least 70 points to be eligible for a work sponsorship. Once you have assessed a prospective employee’s eligibility based on their skill set and qualifications, you can issue them a CoS or certificate of sponsorship. With the sponsorship letter, they can easily file for a work permit.

Hiring Foreign Talent: Type Of Visas For Sponsored Workers

The UK immigration system is indeed a bit complicated. The type of permit issued to prospective employees depends on the job you are hiring them for and the conditions they qualify for.

Skilled Worker Visa

Also widely known as Tier 2, this type of visa is issued to skilled workers. It is suitable for you if you want to hire employees for your firm for the long term. If your company is a multinational corporation, you can transfer existing employees to the UK via an Intra-Company Transfer visa.

Temporary Worker Visa

This visa works best for you if you want to hire some overseas workers for short-term roles. It can include any charity, creativity and religious workers. In normal circumstances, those who cannot be sponsored under the skilled worker visa route can be sponsored via this type of visa.

Visa Sponsorship For Overseas Workers: The Process

Before your prospective employee can file for a work visa with UK immigration, there are some crucial things you need to do. The foremost thing is to provide sponsorship to them, and this requires the following:

Obtaining A Sponsorship License

The foremost thing you need to start including overseas workers in your workforce is a license. To begin with, you need to decide which visas you want to be licensed, i.e., Tier 2 or Tier 5 (Temporary).

The initial application fee you pay can vary depending upon:

  • If you are a charity organisation or small entity: £536
  • For large sponsors: £1,476

Once you fulfil all the requirements and the Home Office is convinced of your genuineness. You are then assigned a license for four years and an A rating, which you can expect to receive within 2 to 3 months.

Assigning Certificates Of Sponsorship (CoS)

Once your company gets the sponsorship license, with the concurrence of the Home Office, you can issue a CoS to a prospective overseas worker within a day. For each certificate, you need to pay a one-time issuance fee that is:

  • For skilled workers: £199
  • For temporary workers: £21

There are some other charges that your company will incur for hiring foreign talent under Tier 2, which is the skilled workers category. Moreover, there is no limit to the number of overseas workers you want to sponsor. But remember, you need to pay certificate issuance for each of them.

After the prospective employee gets their sponsorship certificate, if everything goes well, she can get the work permit from the Home Office within three to eight weeks.

Concluding Remarks

Visa sponsorship for overseas workers in the UK is a great way to fill the talent gap in the various organisations here. Hiring a talented workforce from overseas can be challenging, considering the procedures involved in getting a license and issuing the certificates.

One smart thing to do in such a complex procedure is to get an experienced solicitor’s assistance. They can help you quickly navigate the intricate processes and ensure all your steps are legally in line. You can look for qualified lawyers at Lawyersorted.com and browse through the long list of law firms and qualified solicitors to find the perfect match for your legal needs.

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