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Candidate Advice

Sponsorship in the UK: A Guide


Sponsorship in the UK: A Guide

Securing sponsorship in the UK involves several key steps, which can be broadly categorised into research, preparation, application, and post-application processes.

UK Government guidance states that:

“You cannot sponsor a worker if you will not have full responsibility for all the duties, functions and outcomes or outputs of the job they will be doing, or if: 

  1. the job amounts to the hiring out of the worker to another organisation (third party) who is not the sponsor to fill a position with them, whether temporary or permanent, regardless of any genuine contract between you and the third party
  2. the worker will be contracted to undertake an ongoing routine role or to provide an ongoing routine service for a third party who is not the sponsor, regardless of the nature or length of any arrangement between you and the third party”

At Safehands Recruitment, we support healthcare providers with temporary, fixed contract and permanent members of staff. This means that we cannot provide sponsorship to candidates, but once you have sponsorship and a visa we can help you find fulfilling, regular work within the restrictions of your visa.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to securing sponsorship in the UK:

  1. Research and Identify Potential Employers

Sponsor employers may recruit unlimited numbers of workers from anywhere in the world, as long as they meet the requirements of the route, and can demonstrate that the roles are genuine and credible (ALP Brief 273).

Sector-Specific Search: Determine the sector you want to work in (e.g., healthcare) and focus on companies within that sector.

Job Portals and Websites: Use job portals like Indeed, LinkedIn, and the UK government’s Find a Job service.

Licensed Sponsors List: Check the UK government’s list of licensed sponsors to identify employers authorised to sponsor work visas.

  1. Meet Eligibility Criteria

Qualifications: Ensure you have the relevant qualifications and experience required for the job.

English Proficiency: Prove your English language skills through recognized tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, or equivalent qualifications.

Job Suitability: Ensure the job meets the criteria for a Skilled Worker Visa, such as being on the Shortage Occupation List or meeting the appropriate skill level and salary threshold.

  1. Prepare Your Application Materials

CV: Write a professional CV tailored to the UK job market. Highlight your skills, experience, and qualifications relevant to the job.

Cover Letter: Write a cover letter explaining why you are a suitable candidate for the job and why you want to work for that specific employer.

  1. Apply for Jobs

Direct Applications: Apply directly through company websites and job portals.

Networking: Use professional networks such as LinkedIn to connect with industry professionals and potential employers.

  1. Secure a Job Offer

Interviews: Prepare for job interviews by researching common questions, practising your answers, and learning about the company.

Negotiation: Once you receive a job offer, ensure it includes details about sponsorship.

  1. Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

Employer’s Role: Your employer will apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship on your behalf. This is an electronic record with a unique reference number that you’ll need for your visa application.

In order for the CoS to be valid, it must include

  • The sponsorship route
  • Personal details of the worker, such as their name, nationality, date of birth, passport details and contact address
  • Usual work address or addresses
  • Total weekly hours of work – if this varies, an average figure should be entered
  • Details of the worker’s job, including job title, job description, start date, end date, salary and occupation code
  • Whether the worker was sourced through an agent and, if so, details of that agent
  • Whether the sponsor wishes to certify that the worker meets the financial requirement
  • Whether the worker needs an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate

Compliance: Ensure the job role and salary meet the requirements for sponsorship.

  1. Apply for a Skilled Worker Visa

Gather Documents: Collect all necessary documents, including your CoS, proof of English proficiency, a valid passport, and evidence of sufficient funds.

Online Application: Apply for the Skilled Worker Visa through the UK government’s visa application portal. Pay the visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Biometric Information: Schedule and attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph.

  1. Await Decision

Processing Time: Visa processing times can vary. Typically, it takes a few weeks.

Approval Notification: You will be notified of the decision. If approved, you will receive a vignette (sticker) in your passport to enter the UK.

  1. Post-Arrival in the UK

Collect BRP: Collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) within 10 days of arrival in the UK.

Accommodation: Arrange for accommodation and settle in.

Induction and Training: Attend any induction or training sessions required by your employer.

Compliance: Adhere to the terms of your visa and employment contract.


Additional Tips

Stay Informed: Keep updated with any changes in UK immigration laws and policies.

Professional Development: Consider additional certifications or courses relevant to your field to enhance your employability.

Cultural Preparation: Familiarize yourself with the UK’s culture and work environment to ensure a smoother transition.

By following these steps, you can increase your chances of securing sponsorship for a job in the UK. It’s essential to be thorough, proactive, and prepared throughout the process.


Conditions of Stay

“Skilled Workers may bring their partners and children to join them in the UK.

Skilled Workers have no access to public funds which means they may not claim most state benefits or tax credits or access homelessness or housing assistance from the state.

If the worker is a national of a country specified in Appendix 2 to the Immigration Rules and they meet the conditions specified in Part 10 of the Rules, they will be required to register with the police within 7 days of their arrival in the UK, and report any changes of address or further extensions of stay to the police.

Skilled Workers visas can last for up to 5 years and can be extended as many times as you want, as long as the worker remains eligible.

Once a worker has been continuously and lawfully resident in the UK for five years, they can apply for indefinite leave to remain.

A citizenship application can made when someone has lived in the UK for 5 years and they have had one of the following for 12 months:

  • Indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • ‘Settled status’ (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’)
  • Indefinite leave to enter the UK (permission to move to the UK permanently from abroad)”

(ALP Brief 273)

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