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The impact of Brexit means any EU national who doesn’t qualify for the settled status scheme which closed for applications on 30 June 2021 won’t be able to work lawfully in the UK without sponsorship. That’s assuming of course they don’t qualify by some other route, like UK ancestry or through marriage (i.e. non-business immigration routes).
Of course it’s not just EU nationals – any non-British citizen who wants to work in the UK will require sponsorship unless they are able to claim working rights via another route. EU nationals won’t get any special treatment but because of the massive impact this will have on the UK labour market, employers and the economy, the government has at least made sponsorship easier.
Chloe Pereira has created a unique sponsorship calculator which will calculate, based on your circumstances, the total employer and employee costs of sponsoring a Skilled Worker for employment.
Click here to download our free calculator
Types of sponsorship
There are broadly two types of sponsorship licence you can apply for:
- Worker (formerly Tier 2)
- Temporary Worker (formerly Tier 5 (temporary worker))
Within these two types, there are number of immigration ‘routes’.
- Skilled Worker
- Intra Company Transfer (ICT)
- T2 Sportsperson
- T2 Minister of Religion
Temporary Worker routes
- Charity Worker
- Creative or Sporting Worker
- Government Authorised Exchange Worker
- International Agreement Worker
- Religious Worker
- Seasonal Worker
The Skilled Worker route will be the most commonly used route for most employers looking at sponsorship because it allows employers to recruit people to work in the UK into a specific job. A Skilled Worker must have a job offer in an eligible skilled occupation and meet the salary and going rate requirements.
Can I sponsor workers without a sponsorship licence?
There are limited routes for foreign nationals to work without sponsorship. It might be that there is a suitable route for the candidate in mind, and you should take advice if you would like to explore those options.
However, if your business is going to be dependent long-term of attracting talent from outside the UK then it might be prudent to apply for a sponsor licence. It can be a time-consuming process which will prove frustrating if you leave it until the moment you’ve found the ideal candidate, who needs sponsorship.
The Immigration Rules are spread over several online documents, frequently change and are not always the most straight-forward to follow. It isn’t uncommon for employers to find their applications rejected when trying to navigate the system alone.
Applying for a sponsorship licence
Before applying for a Sponsorship licence you should check:
- you’re not employing any illegal workers
- your right to work checks adequate
- you have adequate HR systems in place to manage the licence for example, that there are systems in place to trigger when a report might need to be made about a sponsored worker, for example if their job was to change
Once you’re happy your HR systems and records are compliant you can go ahead with the process of applying for a licence. Always look up and refer to the latest Home Office guidance as they do change it fairly regularly.
Cost of sponsorship
Sponsoring individuals to come and work in the UK can be a time consuming and costly process. Some of the main costs involved are:
- Sponsor licence (first time application)
- Optional – Priority service
- Certification of sponsorship
- Immigration Skills Charge
- Health Surcharge
Free sponsorship calculator
Our business immigration specialist Chloe Pereira has created a unique sponsorship calculator which will calculate, based on your circumstances, the total employer and employee costs of sponsoring a Skilled Worker for employment.
Click here to download the free calculator.
Support with Business Immigration, sponsorship licences and right to work checks
If you need further support we help employers with sponsor licence applications, sponsor duties, certificate of sponsorship and visa applications and queries, and right to work queries.
Please get in touch for a friendly chat about your needs