How to sponsor an International Agreement worker

03 Jun 2024, 17 mins ago

If you are looking to hire an employee to work in overseas governments or international organisations in the UK, or as a private servant in a diplomatic household, the International Agreement Visa route may be the most suitable option for you.

The International Agreement route was designed for persons who want to come to the UK and provide services covered under international law. This article explains the visa application process for International Agreement workers and outlines the key requirements under this route. 

The application process

To sponsor an International Agreement worker, you must hold a valid sponsor licence under this route. If you do not have a sponsor licence or only have a licence for the Skilled Worker route, you may need to obtain a valid sponsor licence as a preliminary step.

The applicant for an International Agreement route must obtain a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned by their prospective sponsor. A valid CoS must confirm the following details (the list is not exhaustive):

  • application is for the International Agreement route
  • applicant’s personal information (such as name, date of birth, nationality), passport details and contact details
  • start and end date of the applicant’s prospective employment
  • relevant occupation code for the role
  • main duties of the role for which the applicant is being sponsored
  • details of the worker’s salary
  • details of certifying maintenance for the applicant

Once a valid CoS is obtained, the applicant must submit an online application via on the specified form as a temporary worker. As part of the submission process, the applicant must pay the relevant application fee and the Immigration Health Charge. Once the application is submitted, they will be required to attend either a UKVCAS service point or a Service and Support Centre (SSC) if it was submitted in the UK. If applying from outside the UK, they will be asked to go to a visa application centre in their country of residence.

Requirements under the International Agreement route

The CoS must specify that the applicant will be undertaking employment as a private servant in a diplomatic household or employed at an overseas government or international organisation established under an international treaty signed by the UK. The relevant role must be genuine and it must not be created for the purpose of the visa application.

*Applicants seeking employment as a private servant must not be a relative of the employer, or employer’s spouse or partner, either by blood or by marriage.

*Applicants seeking employment with overseas governments or international organisations are not allowed to take any other form of employment for the sponsor beyond what is specified in the CoS.

To qualify for this route, the applicant must demonstrate English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) of at least level B1 (intermediate). This can be evidenced by a degree certificate taught in English or the relevant English test certificates specified on the website.

Under this route, you can bring your family as dependents and reside in the UK. While this visa does not lead directly to settlement, you may be able to switch to another immigration route that leads to settlement.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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