Visa sponsorship refers to the process by which an individual or an organization provides support and assistance for a foreign national to obtain a visa that allows them to legally live and work in a particular country. This support typically involves the sponsoring entity taking responsibility for the individual, both legally and sometimes financially, during their stay in the country.

In the context of employment, visa sponsorship often occurs when a company wishes to hire a foreign worker. The employer becomes the sponsor and helps the employee obtain the necessary visa to work in the host country. The specific requirements and procedures for visa sponsorship vary depending on the country and the type of visa being sought.

It’s important to note that visa sponsorship is usually required when an individual wants to work or reside in a foreign country, as most countries have regulations and procedures in place to manage immigration and ensure that individuals entering their borders have the legal right to do so.

Guide to UK Sponsorship Visas

A UK sponsorship visa serves as documentation indicating that, as a UK-based employer or the UK branch of a multinational corporation, you are willing to support the visa application of skilled workers by endorsing their credentials. This endorsement enables them to enter and work in any part of the UK under the Skilled Worker visa route.

Stringent regulations govern the permissible types of work for individuals entering the UK under a visa sponsorship. As their employer, it is essential to ensure compliance with legal minimum wage requirements and adherence to working time regulations, with the exception of voluntary overtime.

UK sponsor visas cater to individuals in a diverse range of skilled trades or professions, and the specific jobs covered may change over time based on evolving needs.

As an employer, you have the option to obtain a license that allows you to sponsor employees for skilled or long-term positions, as well as temporary workers engaged in specific temporary or seasonal occupations. Additionally, a UK visa sponsorship for employers license enables you to sponsor both temporary and permanent workers simultaneously.

UK Sponsorship Visa Options

Currently, there are five primary avenues for sponsoring a visa for employee recruitment in the UK. Visa applicants must fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Skilled Worker
  2. Health and Care Worker
  3. Temporary Worker
  4. Eligible under Global Business Mobility provisions
  5. ‘Scale-up’ or ‘Expansion’ Worker – individuals with skills essential to help a non-UK business establish itself in the country

Those granted a Graduate visa for the UK must reapply for a new visa under one of the above criteria after two years, typically through the Skilled Worker route.

Each ‘worker’ license type from the list enables a business to sponsor workers in various skilled occupations, with payment meeting at least the highest of £26,200 per year, £10.75 per hour, or the current ‘going rate’ for the specific work.

A senior or specialist worker license caters to foreign employees transferring from an established business to the UK under Global Business Mobility rules.

Additional categories include Ministers of Religion, for those working for a religious organization in the UK, and international sports competitors seeking to base themselves in the country.

The temporary worker license encompasses 11 distinct sub-categories, including seasonal workers and specific categories covered by the Global Business Mobility program.