UK IMMIGRATION IS COMPLEX. FOR THE INDIVIDUAL APPLYING TO VISIT THE UK TO EITHER WORK OR STUDY, THERE ARE A PLETHORA OF REGULATIONS AND OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE EMPLOYER? WHAT IF YOUR COMPANY WANTS TO HIRE A SKILLED WORKER AND YOU FEEL THAT THE ROLE WOULD BE BEST MET BY A NON-UK CITIZEN, WHAT THEN? HERE WE LOOK AT THE ISSUE OF UK IMMIGRATION FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE EMPLOYER, AND PUT TOGETHER A CHECKLIST OF WHAT THEY NEED TO DO.
Whilst it opens up a much larger talent pool, employing a Tier 2 (skilled) worker can be a complex process, involving many rules that must be followed to procure a Tier 2 Visa.
Firstly, to qualify for a visa, the job must satisfy the minimum skill level – which generally means degree level or above. The employer will need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (they “sponsor” the employee), and there is also a minimum required level of salary – the current figure is around £30,000, depending on experience. The reasoning is that you are employing a skilled worker, and they will need to support themselves and any family without reference to the state.
If required, the role will have had to have been advertised according to the Resident Labour Market Test, to ensure that the role couldn’t be fulfilled by a resident worker, before one from outside the UK is considered.
You may need to provide details of the selection process, through copies of submitted CVs, interview notes, etc. when you apply for a Sponsorship Certificate. This documents that the processes have all been followed fairly. This may seem onerous, but it is a requirement of the Sponsorship scheme.
Remember that although you will sponsor individuals, it is for them to apply for a Tier 2 Visa, not you. They will have to go through the process and it’s important to ensure they will be eligible to apply for visa. For example, if the role is working with vulnerable people, any criminal record may forbid the application, making the process redundant. Many other rules apply and these should be considered at the start of the whole process, including health and financial restrictions.
You will need to provide a certificate of sponsorship, which will then be used by the individuals as part of their application.
Once it can be demonstrated that you have followed the correct procedure in advertising the role, recruiting the right candidate and proving the Sponsorship Certificate, then the individuals can make the application for a visa within 3 months of their start date of employment. They should receive a response within 3 weeks of the application.
Filling a role with a Tier 2 worker is a great way of improving the skillset within any organisation. However, procedures must be followed prior to and throughout the period of employment. Though it is ultimately for individuals to make the application for a Tier 2 Visa, they cannot do so without your sponsorship. Whilst the reality is a little convoluted, the benefits are immense. A little effort at the start can mean great things for the organisation in the long run.
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