Working in the UK
  1. Working in the UK

    We regularly advise employers in relation to all immigration categories which allow non-British nationals to work in the UK.

    The rules in relation to employing non-British workers and the law and document requirements for immigration applications are complex and subject to change, often with little notice. Therefore, we recommend seeking advice at an early stage to help ensure compliance with these requirements and to avoid delays.

    Some information on the most common categories is set out below.


    • Skilled Workers

      If a non-British national has been offered a skilled job in the UK and the prospective employer is willing to sponsor them in the UK, they may be able to apply to come to, or remain in, the UK to do that job under Skilled Worker. To qualify, the individual must be issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship by the employer and pass a ‘points-based assessment’. The employer must be a licensed sponsor and the role must be sufficiently skilled. There are also minimum salary requirements. The individual must also be able to show that they meet the English language requirements.

      The evidence required to demonstrate that the migrant passes the points based assessment must be in a specified format. Failure to meet the strict evidential requirements is the most common reason for the refusal of visa or extension applications. 

      After five years in the UK under this route the individual may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (i.e. settlement). 

    • Intra Company Transfer route

      Individuals who are employed by an overseas company may be able to come to the UK to work for a UK group company under the Intra- Company Transfer route. The UK employer must be registered as a sponsor and will need to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to the individual. The role must be a highly skilled role (broadly a managerial or professional role) and the individual must be paid the appropriate salary for the role, as determined by the Home Office. There are no English language requirements to apply under this route.

      Time spent under this route does not count towards settlements and individuals may only spend a maximum of five years in any six years in the UK under this route.

    • Temporary Workers

      It may be possible for an employee to come to the UK to fill a temporary supernumerary position or to undertake an internship or work placement for up to 12 months under the Government Authorised Exchange Scheme and we are able to guide you through the process.

      Alternatively, if the employee is a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, San Marino or Hong Kong and is are aged 18-30 they may be able to come to the UK for up to two years under the Youth Mobility Scheme. Applicants also need to have at least £2,530 in savings. Individuals cannot apply under this route if they have children under the age of 18 who live with them or if they have children they are financially responsible for.

    • Visitors

      In some cases, it is possible to come to the UK as a businessperson, sportsperson or entertainer as a ‘visitor’ on a short-term temporary basis. However, the activities which can be undertaken by visitors are limited. If the proposed activities in the UK are likely to go beyond these, an application in another immigration category will be required..

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  2. News


    The new sponsorship roadmap

    Right to work checks update


    Immigration update - March 2021

    Immigration Update - March 2020

    Immigration Update - December 2019

    Immigration Update - September 2019

    Immigration Update - July 2019

    Immigration Update - April 2019

    Immigration Update - February 2019

    Immigration Update - January 2019

    Immigration Update - July 2018

    Immigration Update - April 2018

    Briefing Notes

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