Immigration lawyers hear the same question day in and day out: “can you help me to find a sponsor”?
Unfortunately, you have to find the sponsor yourself. But we can give you helpful tips on how to go about it.
Tip # 1
First of all, the sponsor is the business which will be willing to employ you in a qualified job and pay you a requisite salary.
The business offering you a job should have a Skilled Worker sponsor licence. If they don’t have a licence, it’s not a big problem – we can always help them get one.
In order to get a sponsor licence the business has to be a genuine business and have a genuine vacancy suitable for sponsoring a skilled worker. There is no requirement for the business to have traded for any number of years, or to have a turnover above any specific amount. Genuineness is the test.
Apart from a genuine trading presence and a genuine vacancy, the business has to have a settled person or a British citizen as an office holder (i.e. the director or secretary) or a senior employee who can act as the person responsible for recruitment of workers from overseas. This person will act as the Authorising officer who will take responsibility to act in compliance with the Home Office guidelines on prevention of illegal working.
Tip # 2
Before applying for a job, you have to check if the position is suitable for sponsorship. You can check eligible occupation codes in the Immigration Rules, Appendix Skilled Occupations.
Table 5 in this Appendix lists job not suitable for sponsorship. So, for example, if you are thinking of applying for a position of a waiter, you will see that it is listed under occupation code 9273 as not suitable for sponsorship. However, a bar manager or a floor manager at a restaurant can be sponsored under the occupation code 5436.
Similarly, you may find that riding instructors cannot be sponsored, but fitness instructors, including personal trainers, gym instructors or lifestyle consultants can.
You will see that administrative assistant is not a suitable role for sponsorship, but personal assistant is. Library assistant or event library supervisor cannot be sponsored, but a librarian can.
All in all, you may have to adjust your search to make sure you are looking for a position that can be sponsored.
Alternatively, if you have a temporary permission to work in the UK without sponsorship, for example as a student or graduate, you can start with a lower position with a view to promotion and eventual sponsorship as the next step.
Tip # 3
Don’t write to every company on the register of the sponsor licence holders asking if they can give you sponsorship. There are thousands and thousands of companies, and you will waste much time and energy and end up disheartened.
Start your search with companies that have advertised a vacancy in your area of expertise. Try to understand what they are looking for and see if you are a good match. If you are exactly what they are looking for, they will work with you to make things happen. They will be as interested as you are in having you on board.
Check the Immigration Rules, Appendix Shortage Occupations and see if the job is listed. The list will tell you which professions are particularly hard to find in the UK. Check out full benefits of a job being on a shortage occupation list.
Tip # 4
Check online how UK job applications look like. You will need to prepare a cover letter explaining why you believe you are a good match for the business. For this you will need to do some research around the company you want to approach and try and understand their needs and concerns. Think what kind of person they are looking for and what you would be looking for in a prospective employee if you were to swap roles. In your cover letter, show that you have take steps to understand their business and that you may contribute value to what they do. Keep this letter brief. It shouldn’t be more than an A4.
Your CV should also be brief, not more than 2 sides of A4. It should list your major work experience which will benefit you in the proposed position. Briefly state how this experience will help you excel in what you propose doing for your prospective sponsor.
Once your written application is of interest, you will be invited for an interview. An interview may be held remotely via zoom or otherwise, but you should “meet” with your employer. If you application is successful, the employer will offer you an employment contract with the details of your proposed job title, your duties, hours of work and salary.
Tip # 5
Beware of the “agents” who offer you a visa and tell you that it comes with a job, or that you will find a job once in the UK.
Skilled Worker visa is not “sold” by agents. You have to speak to the employer and make sure it is a genuine offer of employment. Most employers will instruct a lawyer to prepare you visa application, but some employers may have in-house personnel who will look after this process. Remember, that the employer should not be asking you to pay for any “favour” they are offering you. You may be paying the government fee for the visa application and the Immigration Health Surcharge, if the employer does not offer to cover these fees. But there shouldn’t be any “agency fees” or “job offer” fees associated with the sponsorship.
We hope that these tips will help you find a prospective sponsor.
Once you have a job offer, our immigration lawyers can check if the requirements of the rules are met, what salary you have to be paid, how your job description should look like. Once everything is agreed, we will make sure that both your employer’s sponsor licence application and your visa application are successful.