Which Jobs Are Eligible for Sponsorship in the UK?

In a globalised world, the United Kingdom has become an increasingly attractive destination for international talent seeking job opportunities. It is important for those aspiring to work in the UK, to understand if their occupation is considered eligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker route or not. The Home Office has created a list of skilled jobs which are eligible for sponsorship, these encompass a wide range of industries. 

Companies looking to hire international talent must have a Sponsor Licence, and be willing to provide candidates with a sponsorship to legally have a right to work in the UK. In this article, we will discuss the requirements for jobs eligible for sponsorship as skilled workers.

Does the job role meet the necessary criteria for sponsorship?

Each role offered by a sponsor must meet certain criteria to satisfy the Home Office requirements to be eligible:

Genuine employment

The job must be genuine, and the Home office may take action against an employer if it is believed that the role does not exist, is a sham, or has been created mainly so the worker can apply for a visa.

Skill level

Sponsors must ensure that the job is at the appropriate skill level, and they use the correct occupation code.

An occupation code is a four-digit number corresponding to a certain occupational group and relevant positions. Employers and candidates, alike, can determine the occupation code for their job using the ONS Occupation Coding Tool. Please note not every job title has a respective occupation code. Therefore, it is recommended to choose the closest match based on the role’s duties and responsibilities.

The full list of the occupational codes eligible for the Skilled Worker visa can be found at the Home Office website.

Various sectors in the UK are struggling to recruit suitable candidates for many skilled positions, causing a skill shortage. The Shortage Occupation List contains a list of job positions along with their occupation code.

Salary threshold

In addition, the job must meet minimum salary requirements based on its occupation code to ensure fair compensation for skilled workers. Home Office regulations state that the salary an employer pays to the worker must be equal or exceed all of the following:

• the general salary threshold

• the applicable going rate for the occupation; and

• where it applies, the minimum hourly rate (at least £10.75 per hour)

Note: the general salary threshold and going rate for the occupation can get a ‘discount’ if: (1) the job requires a PhD; or (2) PhD in a relevant STEM subject; (3) the job is in a shortage occupation list; (4) the candidate is a New Entrant.


For example, a chef has a proposed annual salary of £27,800 based on 48 hours per week or £11.14 per hour (£27,800/48 hour/52 weeks), will it meet the threshold? For an occupation code 5434 Chefs the below is true:

• the general salary threshold – £26,200 (£10.50 per hour=£26,200/48 hour/52 weeks);

• the applicable going rate for the occupation – £17,100 (£8.77 per hour)

• where it applies, the minimum hourly rate (at least £10.75 per hour)

Therefore, to satisfy the rule ‘equal or exceed’ the highest hourly rate must be selected – £10.75 x 48 hours x 52 weeks = £26,832 must be the annual salary, which in this case, is lower than the offer, and the offered salary meets the threshold.


In case you would like to find out further information regarding the minimum salaries of health and care workers, please review our helpful guide. Health and care professionals, including nurses, carers, and social workers, can migrate to the UK using the Health and Care visa.

Which jobs are not eligible for sponsorship?

Jobs low-skilled that require no or very little skill are not eligible for sponsorship under Skilled Worker route.

For example, junior office positions, retail assistants, and hospitality workers such as waitresses and bar staff roles are considered NOT eligible for the Skilled Worker visa. For further details, please consult Table 5 of this Home Office guidance.

How can Nation.better assist you?

At Nation.better we can provide employers with fast and affordable immigration support to obtain a Sponsorship Licence to start recruiting qualified and eligible talent. As part of our services, we offer employers the opportunity to invite their candidates to a complimentary Visa Eligibility Check. This will determine the eligibility and suitability of your candidate for a visa. 


Our in-house recruitment team matches qualified professionals looking for job opportunities in the UK with ethical employers. The Nation.better platform provides quick and easy recruitment solutions.


Learn more about our services and unlock international recruitment opportunities!

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Organisations can sponsor new international employees through the Skilled Worker visa route, provided they have a Sponsor Licence and the job is suitable for sponsorship. Consult this guide for more information. Additionally, businesses can continue sponsoring existing employees by assisting with their visa extension. 

An occupation code is a four-digit number that corresponds to a occupational group. To find out the occupation code of a specific job role, please consult the ONS Occupational Code Tool. The Home Office has recommended using the closest code to the job description because some roles are classified together into one occupation code, and some may appear differently than how to search for them. 

There are four main steps businesses should follow when they consider obtaining a Sponsor Licence. Firstly, your organisation should check its suitability and eligibility for the licence. Next, research the type of Sponsorship Licence you’d like to obtain. Then nominate key personnel within your organisation to manage sponsorship requirements. And finally complete and submit your application to the Home Office.  

Nation.better can assist your business in obtaining a Sponsor Licence. Consult our insightful blog article, for further information. 

UK businesses often employ an array of recruitment strategies to hire internationally skilled workers. This includes online job listing websites like LinkedIn and Indeed, recruitment agencies and networking events.

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