UK visa sponsorship for employers

Eligibility

To get a licence, you cannot have:

You’ll need appropriate systems in place to monitor sponsored employees.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will review your application form and supporting documents. They may visit your business to make sure you’re trustworthy and capable of carrying out your duties.

The licence you need depends on whether the workers you want to fill your jobs are:

  • ‘Workers’ – for those with long-term job offers
  • ‘Temporary workers’

You can apply for a licence covering one or both types of worker.

HR contractors and agency staff

You must have at least one level 1 user who is your employee. You can have other level 1 or level 2 users employed by third-party organisations contracted to provide you with HR services. Your level 2 user can be a temporary member of staff supplied by an agency.

Worker licence

A ‘Worker’ licence will let you employ people long-term or permanently. It’s split into:

  • Skilled Worker – the role must meet thejob suitability requirements
  • Intra-company visas – this includes Intra-company Transfer and Intra-company Graduate Trainee, for multinational companies which need to transfer established employees or graduate trainees to the UK
  • Minister of Religion – for people coming to work for a religious organisation
  • Sportsperson – for elite sportspeople and coaches who will be based in the UK

Temporary Worker licence

A ‘Temporary Worker’ licence will let you employ people on a temporary basis. It’s split into:

  • Creative or Sporting Worker – to work as a high-level sportsperson (up to 1 year), entertainer or artist (up to 2 years)
  • Charity Worker – for unpaid workers at a charity (up to 1 year)
  • Religious Worker – for those working in a religious order or organisation (2 years)
  • Government Authorised Exchange Worker – work experience (1 year), research projects or training, for example practical medical or scientific training (2 years) to enable a short-term exchange of knowledge
  • International Agreement Worker – where the worker is coming to do a job which is covered by international law, for example employees of overseas governments
  • Seasonal Worker – for those coming to the UK for up to 6 months to do farm work

You’re usually a small sponsor if two of the following apply:

  • your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less
  • your total assets are worth £5.1 million or less
  • you have 50 employees or fewer

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