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In today’s global market, attracting top talent is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge. The Skilled Worker visa route offers UK businesses an efficient way to hire highly skilled professionals from around the world. This guide outlines the key steps involved in the process and explains why now is the perfect time to secure a sponsor licence and bring in international talent.

Step 1: Apply for a Sponsor Licence

To hire skilled workers from outside the UK, your business needs a sponsor licence. This licence allows you to sponsor foreign workers under the Skilled Worker visa route. Here are the steps:

Preparing Documentation: Gather documents to prove your business is genuine and capable of meeting sponsorship duties. This includes evidence of business operations, regulatory compliance, and details about key personnel managing the sponsorship process.

Application Submission: Submit your application online with a fee that varies based on your organization’s size. Small businesses and charities benefit from reduced fees.

Home Office Assessment: The Home Office reviews your application and may conduct a compliance visit. This step can take several weeks. Once granted, the sponsor licence is valid for four years. Companies must adhere to ongoing compliance duties to retain their licence.

Step 2: Obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

After securing a sponsor licence, the next step is obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship for the prospective employee. This involves:

Job Offer and Eligibility Check: Ensure the job offer meets the Skilled Worker visa requirements, including appropriate skill level and salary threshold. The candidate must also meet English language proficiency standards.

Assigning the CoS: Assign the CoS through the Home Office’s Sponsorship Management System (SMS). This certificate includes details about the job and the individual being sponsored.

CoS Issuance: Once assigned, the CoS is valid for three months, during which time the sponsored worker must apply for their visa.

Step 3: Apply for the Skilled Worker Visa

With the CoS in hand, the prospective employee can apply for their Skilled Worker visa. This involves:

Application Submission: The candidate applies online, providing biometric information and supporting documents, including the CoS, proof of English language ability, and personal identification.

Visa Processing: The Home Office processes the application, typically within three weeks for standard applications or faster for priority services.

Visa Approval: Upon approval, the employee receives their visa, allowing them to live and work in the UK. The visa can be granted for up to five years, with options for extension and a pathway to settlement.

Why Now is the Perfect Time for UK Companies to Act

With potential political changes on the horizon, now is a crucial time for businesses to secure their sponsor licence and skilled talent. Here’s why:

Stability in Current System: The current Skilled Worker visa system is well-established, providing clarity and reliability for businesses. Future changes could introduce uncertainties or additional complexities.

Talent Acquisition: In a competitive global market, securing skilled workers now ensures businesses can fill critical roles and drive growth. Delaying may result in missing out on top talent due to potential changes in immigration rules.

Economic Growth: As the UK economy recovers and grows, having a skilled workforce is essential for innovation and competitiveness. By acting now, businesses can position themselves advantageously for future opportunities.

Compliance Preparation: Obtaining a sponsor licence and understanding the compliance requirements ahead of any potential regulatory changes allows businesses to adapt smoothly and maintain their ability to sponsor workers without disruption.

How 360 Law Services Can Help

At 360 Law Services, we guide companies through the entire process, from sponsor licence application to visa application. Our immigration expert, Chris Dias, ensures your business is fully prepared and compliant. With our expert guidance, you can confidently secure the skilled talent your business needs. Reach out now for a consultation and let us help you achieve your goals.

Key Takeaway Points

  • Secure a sponsor licence to hire skilled workers from outside the UK.
  • Follow the three-step process: sponsor licence application, obtaining a CoS, and applying for the visa.
  • Act now to benefit from the stability and clarity of the current system.
  • Ensure compliance to maintain your sponsor licence.
  • 360 Law Services can guide you through every step, ensuring a smooth process.

Reach out to 360 Law Services today for expert guidance in securing your skilled talent.

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