Visa Sponsorship guidance for British employers

Salary changes from 4 April 2024

The minimum salary for a Skilled Worker visa is now £38,700 per year, up from the old threshold of £26,200. There are some other exceptions, such as young people under 26yo, those switching from a Student visa, health and care workers and teachers. Here the minimum salary is £30,960. There is still a 20% reduction for jobs on the new Immigration Salary List. It is like the old Shortage Occupation List but with a fewer eligible jobs. 

Workers who had a visa before 4 April 2024 

If a worker applies for a visa under the Rules before the change, they “carry on” under the current rules , even after that change. They will continue under the old salary rates for extension, change of employer and even Settlement (Indefinite Leave).  However, the old threshold of £26,200 has also been increased to £29,000. It does not have to start immediately, but at the next application for extension or changing a Sponsor, or by the time of Indefinite Leave. 

Any salary, under old and new Rules, is still subject to the going rate. If the going rate is higher than £29,000 or £38,700 respectively, then you have to offer a higher salary. Or you could reduce working hours. We can help you to work it out as part of our services. 

Sponsor Licence

The 1st step in sponsoring (employing) migrant workers is a Sponsor Licence for the company. Your business now needs it to employ people from both the EU and outside the EU, and the same visa rules apply to everyone. If  a company doesn’t have a Licence, we can help with the application and the entire process. 

Very often we are approached by a migrant, on a Student or Tier 5 visa in the UK, whose employer is willing to sponsor them for a work visa.  The process has been made faster due to abolition of a resident labour test (no need to advertise a job to settled workers anymore) and removal of annual limit.

Once the company has a Sponsor licence, it will be placed on the Register of Sponsors and will have access to the Sponsor Management System. Sponsor Licence is issued for the company in general, not for a specific employee. Now a company can request certificates of sponsorship, then a migrant can apply for a visa based on it. 

We can work with an employer, a worker or both. You can also book an online consultation with us and both participate in it via Zoom, WhatsApp etc.  

Eligible occupations (jobs)

A company can sponsor migrant workers for jobs at RQF Level 3 or above. Level 3 is the UK ‘A Level’, it is lower than pre-Brexit Level 6 (degree level). This is a level of job offered, duties a worker is performing, it is not a level of the worker’s qualifications. There are also jobs on the Immigration Salary List, formerly Shortage List, which could be a lower level of skill but still acceptable, such as a care worker. 

Health & Care Worker visa

This is a category for workers in the medical profession and social care: doctors, nurses, carers, senior care workers and others. There is an exhaustive list of acceptable occupations and you still need a Sponsor, such as the UK National Health Service (the NHS) or a company that provides care services, such as a nursing home. This work visa sub-category is faster and cheaper than the main Skilled Worker visa. Start from booking a consultation here.  

Care workers cannot bring dependants from 11 March 2024, but all other workers, including in health sector, can continue to include dependants. If a care worker has a Skilled Worker visa issued under the Rules before 11 March 2024, they can also bring dependants. Care workers are those sponsored under the codes 6145 and 6146 under the old 2010 SOC table, the same are 6135 and 6136 under the new 2020 SOC table.