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How to sponsor foreign workers |Nation.better

Understand the skilled worker visa sponsorship process in the UK

Discover how to sponsor foreign workers and leverage the benefits of international talent for your business.

Today, many businesses are looking at the international labour market to fill key roles and eliminate skills gaps in their organisation. Employing skilled foreign workers can be a catalyst for growth, innovation and creativity, enhanced revenue, and diversity in your business. Foreign talent can also add a fresh perspective to your operations, allowing you to leverage their skills and expertise to send your business in a new direction. The process of hiring a non-British citizen in the UK, however, can be daunting and stressful for any organisation, and the recent changes in Home Office regulations have only exacerbated this complexity. Moreover, many employers are not aware of how to go about skilled worker visa sponsorship in the UK, further complicating the process. The good news is that with the right knowledge, the right support, and modern technology, this process can be streamlined to help you hire the best people for your business.

Today, many businesses are looking at the international labour market to fill key roles and eliminate skills gaps in their organisation. Employing skilled foreign workers can be a catalyst for growth, innovation and creativity, enhanced revenue, and diversity in your business. Foreign talent can also add a fresh perspective to your operations, allowing you to leverage their skills and expertise to send your business in a new direction. The process of hiring a non-British citizen in the UK, however, can be daunting and stressful for any organisation, and the recent changes in Home Office regulations have only exacerbated this complexity. Moreover, many employers are not aware of how to go about skilled worker visa sponsorship in the UK, further complicating the process. The good news is that with the right knowledge, the right support, and modern technology, this process can be streamlined to help you hire the best people for your business.

Who can sponsor foreign workers?

Anyone who possesses a valid sponsorship licence can sponsor foreign workers in the UK. To obtain your licence, you have to register with the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration office.

Eligibility requirements

You must:

  • Be a genuine business
  • Operate lawfully and have a trading presence in the UK
  • Not take part in any actions that are not conducive to the public good
  • Be able to prove that you can carry out your sponsor duties and responsibilities
  • Be able to prove the above points by providing certain documents to support your application

Eligibility requirements

You must:

  • Be a genuine business
  • Operate lawfully and have a trading presence in the UK
  • Not take part in any actions that are not conducive to the public good
  • Be able to prove that you can carry out your sponsor duties and responsibilities
  • Be able to prove the above points by providing certain documents to support your application

Suitability requirements

You must:

  • Have HR and recruitment systems in place to meet or continue to meet your sponsor duties
  • Ensure the Home Office is able to visit and conduct checks to verify that sponsor duties are being complied with
  • Offer genuine employment that complies with level RQF3 or above and appropriate rates of pay
  • Appoint key personnel that don’t possess unspent criminal convictions or have any criminal prosecutions pending
  • Have no previous sponsorship non-compliance issues (e.g. by the owner, director or key personnel involved in the day-to-day running of your company)

What are the supporting documents you need?

If you have fulfilled the requirements outlined above, you can proceed with the application process.

You have to submit your sponsorship application to the UKVI via email along with the following documents (you have up to five days to submit the documents):

  • Recent business bank statements or a letter from the UK bank that outlines the dealings they have had with your organisation
  • Evidence that you have coverage for employer’s liability insurance up to £5 million
  • Proof of ownership or rental agreement for the business premises
  • Certificate of VAT registration
  • Evidence of registration as an employer with HM Revenue and Custom
  • The latest annual accounts

How much does it cost to sponsor non-British workers in the UK?

When applying for a licence, you are required to pay a small licence fee to the UKVI. The amount you need to pay will vary depending on the size of your organisation and the type of licence you are applying for.

You are considered a small sponsor if:

  • Your annual turnover is less than £10.2 million
  • The total value of your total assets is less than £5.1 million or 
  • You have less than 50 employees on your payroll
Type of licence Small sponsor Medium or large sponsor
Worker £536 £1,476
Temporary worker £536 £536
Worker and temporary worker £536 £1,476
Add a Worker licence to an existing Temporary Worker licence No fee £940
Add a Temporary Worker licence to an existing Worker licence No fee No fee

What else do you need to know about skilled worker visa sponsorship?

According to the new Home Office regulations that came into effect in December 2020 and replaced the Tier 2 visa scheme with the Skilled Worker visa scheme, you need a licence to employ workers from all non-British regions, including the EU, EEA, and Switzerland.

In addition, you have to conduct right to work checks for all potential candidates to reduce the risk of illegal immigration.

If you have already shortlisted your candidates to sponsor, they must gain adequate immigration points to qualify for the visa scheme. They can obtain points by taking a UKVI approved English language test.

Once your candidates have gained enough immigration points, you need to assign the Certificate of Sponsorship to begin the visa application process.

As an employer, you have to implement measures to monitor all skilled foreign employees and communicate up to date information to the Home Office at regular intervals.

How can Nation.better help you?

Sponsoring a foreign worker can be a complex process even when you have all the checks and balances in place. Each year hundreds of sponsorship applications are rejected due to common mishaps and monitoring oversight. This is why it’s important you know how to sponsor foreign workers. That’s why at Nation.better, we have developed the only all-in-one sponsorship compliance platform in the UK. With our platform, you can seamlessly apply for sponsorship, manage your sponsored employees, and ensure compliance with Home Office regulations. Schedule a free demo today to see Nation.better in action!

How can Nation.better help you?

Sponsoring a foreign worker can be a complex process even when you have all the checks and balances in place. Each year hundreds of sponsorship applications are rejected due to common mishaps and monitoring oversight. This is why it’s important you know how to sponsor foreign workers. That’s why at Nation.better, we have developed the only all-in-one sponsorship compliance platform in the UK. With our platform, you can seamlessly apply for sponsorship, manage your sponsored employees, and ensure compliance with Home Office regulations. Schedule a free demo today to see Nation.better in action!

Frequently asked questions

According to Home Office regulations, you need to renew your sponsorship licence every four years to continue to employ foreign talent in your organisation.

You can renew your licence up to three months in advance by paying the licence fee based on your licence type.

There are two ways to conduct a right to work check: a manual check or an online check.

In both instances, you obtain relevant documentation from prospective employers, check them for legibility, and copy all documents as evidence of the right to work check.

  • Maintain comprehensive records about wages, absenteeism, and other details, and communicate these details to the Home Office
  • Monitor your foreign employees’ immigration status
  • If you’re sponsoring employees under the age of 18, manage arrangements for arrival and accommodation in the UK

Get in touch with us

If you would like to know more about how to sponsor foreign workers and our sponsorship compliance platform, get in touch with our team. We are happy to help you reach your hiring objectives.