Top Tips For Recruiting Overseas Employees In The UK

25 Oct 2023, 25 mins ago

This blog will discuss the benefits of recruiting overseas employees for companies. It will discuss the Skilled Worker visa route, the Scale-Up Worker visa and the Graduate Trainee visa.

Recruiting overseas employees can be an effective way for a company to diversify and broaden the talent and expertise of their work force, thereby contributing to the economic and social value of the company.

Overseas employees are useful in both high-skilled and low-skilled jobs. In high-skilled job sectors, overseas workers can perform jobs that require specialist skills, such as technical or language skills, which may be harder to source in the UK. Facilitating transfers from overseas divisions is also an effective way to introduce new ideas and productive work patterns into the UK organisation. Overseas employees may also hold a pre-existing skill set that can effectively fill temporary vacancies.

In low-skilled job sectors, overseas workers can also be a valuable asset to help fill labour shortages.

It is also important to note that if you are recruiting an Overseas employee in a job that is on the government’s list of designated shortage occupations, there are two key benefits that are particularly attractive for Employers. A skilled worker filling a job on the shortage list can be paid 80% of the job’s usual going rate and will be subject to a lower visa fee.

Types of licence:

It is important to understand what type of licence is required, as there are various routes for recruiting employees from outside the UK. Prospective overseas employees will either need a ‘Worker’ visa, which is required for skilled or long-term employment, or a ‘Temporary Worker’ visa, for specific types of temporary employment.

A ‘Temporary Worker’ licence is useful if you would like to sponsor employees on a temporary basis. This licence is split into categories for specific types of employment and visas. Two important categories are Senior/Specialist Worker and Graduate Trainee visas (which falls into the Global Business Mobility sector)

A ‘Worker’ licence allows you to sponsor people in different types of skilled employment. The work can be for a short term, long term or permanent role, depending on the terms of the visa. If you would like to recruit an overseas worker under the ‘worker licence’ route, the most common licence you will apply for is a Skilled Worker licence. Most individuals will require a sponsor licence unless they are Irish citizens, have settled or pre-settled status or have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK.As an employer, and thus the sponsor for your employee, you will need to have a sponsor licence and provide the individual with a ‘certificate of sponsorship’.

You will need to appoint people within your business to manage the sponsorship process when you apply for a licence – namely an authorising officer, a key contact point, a level one user and (optional) level two user.

This blog will discuss three key visa options that mark an opportunity for employers to expand their workforce and talent base.

1. Skilled Worker visa

The Skilled Worker visa is the most popular UK visa route for skilled overseas nationals. In order to qualify, individuals must meet a 70-point minimum requirement, which is based on key factors such as skill, salary level, English language ability and a qualifying job offer from an employer with a valid sponsorship licence. The job itself must be eligible for a skilled worker visa, the full list of which can be found on the government website.

As an employer and sponsor of a Skilled Worker, you must ensure that the employment meets all the requirements necessary. These include paying all relevant fees, such as for the Certificate of Sponsorship, keeping appropriate records for each worker you sponsor and only sponsor workers in ‘genuine employment’.

 list of eligible jobs for the skilled worker visa is vast and can be found in full n the governments list of ‘Skilled Worker visa: eligible occupations and codes’.

2. Senior or Specialist Worker visa

This visa route allows you to sponsor overseas workers to undertake temporary work assignments for your company in the UK. This worker must already be a senior manager or specialist employee and assigned to you by a linked overseas business. A linked business is one that is joined by common ownership or control, or by a joint venture agreement to an overseas business.

Senior or specialist workers must be paid at least £45,800 per year, have a valid ‘certificate of sponsorship’ and an eligible job. On this route, a worker can be granted permission to enter or remain in the UK for up to 5 years or the time given on their ‘certificate of sponsorship’ plus 14 days. This category imposes limits totalling5 years of stay in the UK permitted within any 6-year period.

3. Graduate Trainee visa

If you have a traineeship programme within your wider company and are looking for more employees, this visa route may be an effective way to do so. This route is specific for overseas employees who are on a structured graduate training programme that will lead to either a senior management or specialist position, and who are required to do a work placement in the UK as part of that programme.

In order to successfully sponsor a worker, you must provide evidence of the training programme that is set up in the UK and evidence of recruitment. Your employee can stay in the UK for either the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, or a fixed 12-month period. 

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have not found an answer to your question, or if you would like to talk to us about your specific circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, 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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