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Everything you need to consider before sponsoring employees through the Skilled Worker route

Skilled worker route

Everything you need to consider before sponsoring employees through the Skilled Worker route

Sponsoring skilled workers is a great way for businesses in the UK to improve diversity in their workforce, nurture creativity and innovation, and fill core skill gaps caused by the shortage of skilled workers in the UK labour market.

That said, sponsoring talent can be a complex and time-consuming process due to the various Home Office guidelines and requirements that you need to comply with.

For starters, if you’re looking to become a sponsor in the UK, there are several visa routes you can explore, including the Temporary Worker route, Skilled Worker route, Minister of Religion route, International Sportsperson route, and Senior or Specialist visa route—you must choose the right route based on your recruitment needs.

The Skilled Worker route is one of the most popular sponsorship pathways among employers looking to sponsor employees on a permanent basis, and came into effect on December 1 2020, replacing the old Tier 2 visa route.

Introducing the Skilled Worker visa route has also brought with it a number of changes to the sponsorship process that an employer interested in sponsoring employees through this route must know.

Who can sponsor employees through the Skilled Worker route?

First and foremost, you should hold a valid sponsorship licence to become eligible to sponsor skilled workers in the UK.

You can apply for a sponsorship licence if your business meets the following eligibility and suitability criteria:

If you meet these eligibility and suitability criteria, you can apply online for your licence and pay the corresponding sponsorship fee

You should also know that when you’re applying for a sponsorship licence, you should appoint 3 key personnel—an authorising officer, a key contact, and a level 1 user—to manage your sponsorship activities.

What job roles are eligible for the Skilled Worker route?

You can check if the job role you’re offering is eligible for sponsorship from occupation codes published on the Home Office website or through the ONS occupation coding tool. You should also ensure that the role you’re sponsoring employees for meets the minimum salary requirements. You must pay £25,600 per year, £10.10 per hour, or the going rate for the type of work you’re hiring for—whichever is the highest. If you’re sponsoring healthcare or education professionals, the going rate will be based on national pay scales. There are also exceptions to the minimum salary requirements. You can sponsor employees if the salary is at least £20,480 per year and one of the following criteria is met:

What other factors should you be aware of when sponsoring skilled workers?

Once you’ve secured a sponsorship licence and have become a sponsor, you must ensure that you perform due diligence to your sponsorship duties, which include:

You should also make sure that you’re supporting your sponsorship candidates to get visa clearance by assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

Streamline the skilled worker sponsorship process with expert support

Leveraging the talent of sponsored employees can elevate your business to the next level and help you gain an edge over your competitors. But, the process of sponsoring skilled workers can be stressful for you and your applicants.

At Nation.better, our team of immigration experts make this process streamlined and stress-free through our end-to-end sponsorship management solution, including sponsor licence support, visa application support, and a sponsorship compliance platform.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

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