Understanding sponsorship requirements is vital for the UK Skilled Worker Visa application in 2023. This guide simplifies the complexities of visa sponsorship, highlighting essential elements like the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), Sponsor License, and Immigration Skills Charge (ISC). We’ll explore key concepts such as Genuine Vacancy, working with third parties, and procedures for CoS checking and ISC payment. By the end of this guide, you’ll gain a thorough insight into meeting the UK Skilled Worker Visa Sponsorship Requirements.
Table of Contents
1. Understanding Skilled Worker Sponsorship
Overview of Sponsorship Requirements for Skilled Worker Visa UK
The UK Skilled Worker Visa is designed to allow overseas professionals to live and work in the UK. It’s an essential tool in bridging skills gaps in the British workforce and boosting the nation’s economy. The visa is point-based, and candidates must score a certain number of points to qualify. Among these, 20 mandatory points come from sponsorship.
But what is sponsorship? Simply put, sponsorship is the process whereby a UK-based company (the sponsor) supports a visa application for a non-UK resident (the applicant). The sponsor must hold a valid Sponsor License and provide the applicant with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). This document is not a physical certificate but a unique reference number confirming that the sponsor has offered the applicant a job that cannot be filled by the UK workforce.
The sponsorship concept is pivotal in the Skilled Worker Visa application process, connecting employers who need specific skills with overseas professionals who possess them. It safeguards the interests of both the UK labour market and the applicant. Understanding this is your first step towards securing your Skilled Worker Visa.
SW 5.1. The applicant must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are planning to do
2. Sponsor Licensing and CoS
What is the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and Why it Matters?
A UK employer cannot sponsor a foreign professional for a Skilled Worker Visa without having a valid Sponsor License. Obtaining this license involves demonstrating to the UK government that the company is a legitimate entity, is aware of the sponsorship duties, and can manage these responsibilities.
Once a company has a Sponsor License, it can issue Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS). The CoS is a virtual document, represented by a unique reference number. It includes information about the job role and the individual’s personal details. It’s the sponsor’s confirmation that the job role is genuine, at an appropriate skill level, and that they believe the individual is capable of fulfilling the role.
The CoS Checking System, used by the UK Visas and Immigration department, ensures the validity of the CoS. The system cross-references the details given in the CoS with their own data. Thus, any discrepancies can be a cause for concern, leading to delays or rejections of the visa application. This makes it vital for both sponsors and applicants to ensure all information is accurate and up-to-date.
3. The Immigration Skills Charge
ISC: An Integral Part of Sponsorship Requirements Skilled Worker Visa
The Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) is a levy imposed by the UK government on employers who sponsor non-EU/EEA nationals for a Skilled Worker Visa. The purpose of the ISC is to incentivise local hiring and training, with funds raised used to address skills gaps in the UK workforce.
Employers are generally liable for paying the ISC. The charge is £1,000 per sponsored employee per year for medium or large sponsors, while smaller sponsors or charities only need to pay £364 per year per employee. The charge is paid upfront for the total duration of the proposed visa at the time of assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
The payment process is carried out online, via the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Sponsorship Management System. Employers should bear in mind that failure to pay the ISC may result in the refusal of the Skilled Worker Visa application. Note that certain exemptions apply, such as for PhD-level occupations and international students switching from a Student Visa to a Skilled Worker Visa within the UK.
4. Genuine Vacancy and Third Parties
Defining Genuine Vacancy in the Context of Sponsorship Requirements Skilled Worker
A “Genuine Vacancy” is a central requirement for a Skilled Worker Visa. It means that the job the employer is offering must be a genuine position that meets the skill level and salary requirements of a Skilled Worker Visa, and is not an attempt to circumvent immigration rules. It is important that employers can provide relevant documentation, such as a detailed job description, to prove that the role is indeed genuine.
The UKVI assesses the “Genuine Vacancy” requirement during the visa application process, scrutinising several factors including the necessity of the role, the appropriateness of the salary, and the skill and qualifications of the applicant.
Regulations for Working with Third Parties under Skilled Worker Visa
The “Working for Third Parties” regulation, on the other hand, refers to restrictions placed on Skilled Worker Visa holders regarding the entities they can work for while on the visa. While they are allowed to undertake supplementary work in some circumstances, their primary employment must be with the sponsoring employer.
Breaching this regulation can lead to serious consequences, including visa cancellation. Therefore, employers and visa holders need to be fully aware of the limitations of the Skilled Worker Visa and ensure compliance at all times. Employers should also be transparent about these rules with their sponsored employees to avoid any misunderstandings or compliance issues.
5. Scoring Mandatory 20 Points
The Criteria for Scoring 20 Points for Skilled Worker Visa Sponsorship
Securing the mandatory 20 points for a Skilled Worker Visa Sponsorship is crucial to the success of the visa application. These points are primarily allocated based on the applicant’s job offer and sponsorship details.
To earn the 20 mandatory points, an applicant must have a confirmed job offer from a licensed sponsor (which is worth 20 points). This job offer should be at the required skill level of RQF3 or above (which is the equivalent of A level), and the job offer must pass the “Genuine Vacancy” requirement, demonstrating that it is a real and necessary position.
To maximise chances of meeting this requirement, it’s recommended that both employers and applicants thoroughly review the job description and requirements before proceeding with the visa application. It’s also important to ensure that all information provided is accurate and can be verified, as the UKVI will review all details of the job offer and the Certificate of Sponsorship during the application process.
By being thorough and meticulous in meeting these requirements, you can confidently score the mandatory 20 points needed for a Skilled Worker Visa Sponsorship.
6. Application Process
How to Apply for a Sponsored Skilled Worker Visa in the UK
Applying for a Sponsored Skilled Worker Visa is a significant step towards your career aspirations in the UK. The process might seem daunting, but with careful planning and attention to detail, it is entirely manageable. Here’s a step-by-step guide to make things clearer:
Key Steps and Considerations for Smooth Application
- Find a Sponsor: The first step towards securing a Skilled Worker Visa is to receive a job offer from a company that is a licensed sponsor in the UK. The job offer should be at an appropriate skill level and offer a required minimum salary.
- Obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): Once you have a job offer, your sponsoring employer will provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). This document contains details about the job and your personal information.
- Confirm Personal Savings: You must have enough money to support yourself when you arrive in the UK unless your sponsor can provide you with this support.
- Application: Now that you have your CoS and have ensured you meet the financial requirement, you can proceed with the visa application. This is done online, and during the application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide the documents mentioned in your CoS.
- Pay Required Fees: During your online application, you will need to pay the visa fee and the healthcare surcharge.
- Attend an Appointment: Depending on your location, you may need to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo).
- Wait for Decision: Finally, once you’ve submitted your application and attended your appointment, all that’s left is to wait for the decision on your visa application. The time this takes can vary, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Remember, attention to detail is key throughout this process. Make sure every piece of information you provide is accurate and honest to avoid potential setbacks. It’s always better to double-check everything before submitting your application. Good luck with your application and your journey to working in the UK!
7. Common Pitfalls and Avoidance
Mistakes to Avoid in Meeting Sponsorship Requirements Skilled Worker Visa UK
Securing a Skilled Worker Visa sponsorship can be a complex process, and it’s not uncommon for applicants to stumble along the way. Here are some common pitfalls to look out for, along with tips on how to avoid them:
- Failing to Secure a Sponsor: The Skilled Worker Visa relies on sponsorship from a UK employer. A common mistake is to begin the visa application process without first having a job offer from an eligible sponsor. Always ensure you have a job offer from a licensed sponsor before you proceed with your visa application.
- Inaccurate Information on the CoS: Your sponsor will provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), which contains details about you and the job. Any inaccuracies or inconsistencies in this document can lead to delays or even rejections of your visa application. Always double-check the information on your CoS before you submit your visa application.
- Insufficient Maintenance Funds: Skilled Worker Visa applicants are required to demonstrate they have enough funds to support themselves when they arrive in the UK. Falling short of this requirement can result in a visa refusal. Ensure you have sufficient funds in your account and that these funds have been in your account for at least 28 consecutive days before you apply.
- Not Meeting the English Language Requirement: The Skilled Worker Visa requires you to demonstrate a certain level of English language proficiency. Failing to meet this requirement can lead to a visa refusal. Make sure you meet this requirement and have the necessary proof of English language proficiency before you apply.
- Missing the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): All applicants are required to pay the IHS as part of their application. Failing to do so can lead to your application being refused. Make sure you pay the IHS as part of your application.
Securing a Skilled Worker Visa sponsorship is a significant undertaking, but with careful planning and an understanding of the potential pitfalls, it’s a process that can be navigated successfully. Always stay informed and up-to-date with the latest immigration rules and requirements to ensure your application process goes smoothly.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sponsorship Requirements Skilled Worker Visa UK
What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?
A CoS is a unique document reference number provided by your employer that supports your application for a Skilled Worker Visa. It contains information about the job role and the applicant’s personal details.
Who needs to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC)?
The ISC is typically paid by the employer who is sponsoring the skilled worker. It applies to employers in the UK who employ skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
What constitutes a ‘genuine vacancy’?
A genuine vacancy is a job that requires the employment of a person who meets the skill level and salary rate required by the Skilled Worker Visa route. The job role must be genuine and cannot be created solely to facilitate a visa application.
Can I work for a third party while on a Skilled Worker Visa?
Working for a third party is generally not permitted under the Skilled Worker Visa route unless it’s a part of the job you were sponsored to do. It’s important to check the specific conditions of your visa.
How can I secure the mandatory 20 points for the Skilled Worker Visa sponsorship?
Points can be scored in several ways – having a job offer from an approved sponsor (20 points), the job being at an appropriate skill level (20 points), and speaking English to the required level (10 points) are mandatory. However, extra points can be earned if the job is in a shortage occupation or for certain salary levels.
What happens if I make a mistake on my Skilled Worker Visa application?
Mistakes on the application can lead to delays or even visa refusals. Therefore, it’s important to be meticulous when filling out your application. If you realize a mistake has been made after submission, contact the UK Visas and Immigration immediately.
Summarizing the Key Elements of Skilled Worker Visa Sponsorship Requirements
In this post, we’ve unravelled the complexities of the UK Skilled Worker Visa sponsorship requirements. From understanding the pivotal role of a Valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and the essential Sponsor License, to navigating the nuances of the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC), every aspect has been thoroughly discussed.
We have also illuminated the idea of a Genuine Vacancy and regulations pertaining to working for third parties. Moreover, we’ve laid out the roadmap for scoring the mandatory 20 points, which are pivotal for the skilled worker visa sponsorship.
Securing a Skilled Worker Visa in the UK could be a game-changer for your professional trajectory, offering you a world of opportunities and a chance to contribute to one of the world’s most vibrant economies. It might appear daunting at first, but with the right guidance and a firm grasp on the requirements, the path becomes significantly smoother.
We hope that this guide has been a valuable resource in your journey towards obtaining a Sponsored Skilled Worker Visa in the UK. Remember, the key is meticulous preparation and a clear understanding of the requirements. Happy planning, and here’s to your success on this exciting journey!