Unlocking Opportunities The Surge in Foreign Nationals' Interest in UK Jobs and the Complex Path to Sponsorship

Brexit and Covid-19: two buzz words that we still hear all too much and send shivers down the spines of many British people, particularly businesspeople. Both of these momentous events have had a significant impact on all of our lives and our livelihoods, as people were forced to relocate, retrain and seek different employment.

Working from home and becoming self-employed can be wonderful experiences for many working people, but the fact remains that there are shortages of workers in specific fields, that don’t seem to be being filled. Plus, with the uncertainty of Brexit and the pandemic, even these years later, employers don’t necessarily know where to look to fill these job vacancies.

Fortunately, we think we have some of the answers.

 

The UK Job Market: As it Stands

2023 has seen a great upheaval in many industries, with workers in transport, healthcare, waste disposal and more, striking for fairer pay and better working conditions. But strikes aren’t the only disturbance to the UK job market. As of June 2023, the unemployment rate has increased to 4.2%, a rise of 0.3% from the previous quarter, and many people remain based at home, caring for loved ones. 

Job vacancies have gone down slightly this quarter, however, they are still very high compared to the numbers before the Covid-19 pandemic struck the UK in 2020. 

It’s clear from the statistics given by the Office of National Statistics, that there are issues within the UK job market, and these become abundantly clear from the UK’s Skilled Worker Job Shortage list, as everyone from engineers, artists, architects, care workers and fishers are in short supply in the UK. 

However, Brexit doesn’t mean the death of foreign nationals working in the UK. Following the government’s new immigration policies, there has been a significant rise in the number of foreign nationals searching for jobs within the UK, from 2.2% in April 2021 to 5.5% in June 2023. So, given the worker shortages, the increased interest in working in the UK from foreign nationals and the government’s new visa schemes, it seems as though there’s a clear answer to the question of how to fill your business’s job vacancies.

How Obtaining a Sponsorship Licence Can Boost Your Business

Visa and immigration applications are never easy, whether you’re applying for yourself or for a Family Visa, British citizenship, or trying to bring a foreign worker to the UK, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t significant advantages to gain from making an application for a sponsorship licence.

With the serious impact of contentious international relations, the cost of living rising globally, civil liberties being affected and the pound remaining a strong currency, living and working in the UK is an attractive prospect for many foreign nationals. Leaving the EU may have impacted the ease of recruiting European workers, but we mustn’t close the door to Europe or the rest of the world.

The increase in searches for jobs in the UK shows that many businesses can take advantage of this interest and seek out more foreign employees to fill their job vacancies. However, to do so, each business must apply for a sponsorship licence, pay the application cost and meet various requirements. This process can be complicated, especially for small businesses that don’t have enough staff to assign the task of sponsorship application research, but that’s why there are expert immigration agencies like Synergy Immigration Solutions to help.

How Much Does a Sponsorship Licence Cost?

There are three types of sponsorship licence in the UK, each with different fees depending on whether you have a “small or charitable business” or a “medium or large business”. Each term is classified on the amount of revenue generated by your business and the number of employees.

The costs for small/ charitable businesses are £536 for a Worker, Temporary Worker or Worker and Temporary Worker sponsorship licence.

The costs for medium/ large businesses are as follows:

  • Worker – £1,476
  • Temporary Worker – £536
  • Worker and Temporary Worker – £1,476

Temporary worker visas are only valid for a maximum of 12 months, while worker visas are valid for up to 5 years. After these five years, your foreign employee can apply for permanent residency so they may live, work and study in the UK without needing a relevant visa.

How Do You Get a Sponsorship Licence?

To get a sponsorship licence, you must first check your business meets the requirements to sponsor a foreign employee. There are many requirements, so you should make sure you’re aware of them all before you begin your application to avoid disappointment over wasting time and money.

First to note, you will automatically be rejected if any of the following are true:

  • You have a criminal record or ongoing criminal charges (unspent criminal convictions) for immigration offences and other serious or financial crimes such as money laundering
  • You have had a sponsorship licence revoked in the last year

Your business must also be operating within an industry that deems it necessary for you to employ foreign nationals to work for you. Therefore, your proposed foreign worker must fit into one of the following job categories for you to receive a licence to sponsor a foreign national:

  • a skilled worker
  • a health or care worker
  • a worker on a Global Business Mobility visa 
  • a scale-up worker
  • a worker on a government-authorised exchange
  • a seasonal worker
  • an International Sportsperson 
  • a worker on an international agreement
  • a creative worker
  • a charity worker
  • a religious worker

Your business must also have a department to ensure your business remains eligible for its sponsorship licence and to monitor the sponsored worker. A government employee may come to your place of work to ensure that these appropriate systems are in place before issuing your sponsorship licence. A sponsorship licence is valid for four years, however, if you do not comply with the requirements of the licence, it may be revoked at any time during those 4 years. 

What Documents Must You Provide in Your Application?

You may need to provide many documents to support your application and prove your eligibility for sponsorship to the Home Office. These can include:

  • Company bank accounts
  • VAT registration details
  • A letter from your company’s bank
  • Business ownership documents
  • Proof that your company is based in the UK
  • Proof that you are operating and trading lawfully in the UK

When you have agreed a work contract with an eligible foreign worker, it’s up to you to ensure that they meet their visa application requirements and that your business will:

  • Meet salary requirements for the job in question
  • Ensure that the employee has the relevant skills, qualifications and experience
  • Provide a Certificate of Sponsorship with sufficient details of their work contract
  • Potentially also cover the foreign national’s cost of living for their first month – and specify this on the Certificate of Sponsorship

Can You Get Help with Your Application for a Sponsorship License?

The UK government’s official website stands to make all of the requirements clearly intelligible and the application process for obtaining a sponsorship licence as easy as possible. However, as with all bureaucratic processes, it can still be very complicated to ensure you have all of the relevant documents and can prove that you meet all of the eligibility requirements. Starting the application process and realising you don’t meet all of the requirements can be heart-wrenchingly painful, so the best advice we can give is: don’t go it alone!

Immigration services like those provided by Synergy Immigration Solutions aren’t just for people looking to immigrate to the UK. They also provide assistance for companies looking to gain a sponsorship licence for foreign employees. So, save yourself a lot of trouble and time, and let Synergy Immigration Solutions take over your application process so you can get back to doing what you do best: running your business!

Synergy Immigration Solutions Are Here to Help!

We have a team of immigration experts on hand to help you apply for your sponsorship licence. What are you waiting for? Contact us today to see how we can help you in your individual case.

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