Can I Get a UK Work Visa Without Sponsorship?
We understand that choosing the right visa and then going through the application process can be daunting and intimidating. There are so many rules, requirements and things to consider before sending your application.
However, making sure you have everything you need before submitting your visa will save you disappointment in the long run and will mean you’re one step closer to moving to the UK to start your new job!
One of the most popular questions that foreign workers ask about a UK work visa is if they need sponsorship to get a visa. In most cases the answer is yes, however, there are exceptions and in this post, we share with you everything you need to know about UK work visas and sponsorship.
UK work visas
To come to the UK for work you must have a UK work visa. A visa allows you to live and work in the UK for a set time. When your visa is coming to an end, in some cases it can be renewed so you can stay longer or you might decide. You might also decide to change your visa if your circumstances are changing, or you can go back home.
To be granted a UK work visa you first must apply for one and before doing that there are certain requirements you need to meet in order to be considered and accepted. There are different types of visas to choose from depending on your circumstances and professional background, such as a skilled worker visa or health and care worker visa.
If you meet all of the necessary requirements for the visa you are applying for, then you have a pretty good chance of getting accepted as only around 1 in 20 skilled worker applications get rejected on average.
Types of UK work visas
There are many different types of work visas and which one you apply for will depend on what type of work you will be doing in the UK. Here are some examples of the most popular UK work visas.
Global Business Mobility
The Global Business Mobility visa is made up of five sponsored work routes for overseas businesses looking to establish, develop or support UK-based operations. The organisations must want to set up a UK branch or already have that connection with their own or another business.
The Global Business Mobility (otherwise known as GBM visas) reform and expands on previous UK work and business visas and, since April 2022, has replaced the ICT visas. You may still see ICT being used, but this type of Visa is no longer valid, and the correct visa to refer to is the Global Business Mobility.
Five separate global business mobility routes correspond to different temporary work assignment types, including:
- Senior or Specialist Worker route
- Graduate Trainee route
- UK Expansion Worker route
- Service Supplier route
- Secondment Worker route
Skilled Worker visa
The Skilled Worker visa is the main immigration route into the UK for non-UK workers.
Not every employer and every job qualifies an applicant for a skilled worker visa in the UK; the employer must have a sponsorship licence to provide a job offer to a non-UK worker for a skilled worker visa.
Some things must be in place before your application and visa approval are accepted. For example, you must already have a job offer from an approved employer for a job on the list of eligible occupations.
How to get a UK work visa
Here, we look at some of the requirements needed for a UK work visa, including if you need to have a job offer before applying. In many circumstances, you will need a job offer (or sponsorship) in the UK from an employer with a sponsorship licence to apply for a work visa, but there are some exceptions.
Next, we have information about when you will need a job offer to apply for a UK work visa and when a job offer isn’t necessary. If you are unsure or if you want more information on whether or not you need a job offer, contact us at Synergy Immigration Solutions and someone will be happy to help you.
Visa routes that require a job offer
The majority of work visas in the UK require a job offer before applying in order to be considered and accepted. Some examples of the most popular work visas that fall within this category are as follows:
- Global Business Mobility- Within this category of visa there are subcategories that you can apply for such as the Senior or Specialist worker visa, Graduate Trainee visa and UK Expansion Worker visa.
- Seasonal Worker visa
- Creative Worker visa
- Charity Worker visa
What is a sponsorship licence?
A sponsorship licence is a certificate given to an employer that meets certain requirements set by the Home Office. For an organisation to employ foreign workers, it must first obtain a sponsorship licence and prove that they are an ethical and reputable employer. This is to ensure foreign workers are safe.
If you are an individual, looking for work in the UK for a job that requires a visa with a job offer, you will need an offer from an employer with a sponsorship licence. An offer from an employer without this licence will not be valid.
Visa routes that don’t require a job offer
There are some exceptions where you won’t need a job offer to be accepted for a UK visa and here are some examples:
- British National (Overseas) visa
- Graduate visa
- Youth Mobility Scheme visa
- India Young Professionals Scheme
- Global Talent visa
- UK Ancestry visa
- High Potential Individual visa
UK visa requirements
The requirements will vary depending on the type of visa you’re applying for, but we are going to use the Skilled Worker visa as an example here of some of the things you might need before applying.
To apply for a Skilled Worker visa you must:
- Have a job offer from a UK employer that has a sponsorship licence
- The job offer must be a high-demand skilled job on the list of eligible occupations
- Meet the minimum salary requirement for the job you are being offered
- A good level of English. Applicants don’t always need an IELT for a worker visa in the U if they can prove their English knowledge another way.
A lot of people wonder about what education level is required to gain a UK work visa and this will depend on the type of job you want to do in the UK.
For example, if you want to work in education or healthcare as a teacher of medical professionals then you will need a recognised degree, but if you want to do another job in healthcare such as a carer or hospitality perhaps, you may not need such as high level of education to be accepted, but instead, you will need the right skills and experience to be given a job offer.
Synergy Immigration Solutions
Synergy Immigration Solutions Ltd is an OISC-registered company offering a wide range of UK immigration visa services for both corporate and individual clients needing assistance with their visa issues and concerns.
We assist small to medium-sized businesses in obtaining sponsorship licences to enable them to recruit overseas talent, and we are experts in processing Skilled Workers and ICT visas. We work with clients from a wide range of sectors including IT, Education, Retail, Beauty, Mental Health, Construction, Manufacturing and Film Production.
We are experts in UK work visas and we’re here to help you. If you have a concern, question or want to know more about how we can help you, contact us today.
To conclude, for most types of visas, yes you will need sponsorship and a job offer from an eligible employer with a sponsorship licence. In some cases, you don’t need a job offer or sponsorship to apply. For more information, have a look on our website.