How to get sponsored by an employer in the UK

London skyline

When companies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are unable to find qualified workers living in the United Kingdom, they look worldwide to help fill those skill shortages. To be eligible for skilled work sponsorship in the United Kingdom, you need to qualify for a relevant job on a UK occupations list, after this you will qualify for a number of visas. The first step is to identify which visa option is most appropriate for yourself and gives you the best chance of approval. There are many visa routes that do not require you to get sponsored, but the four visa options below it is mandatory to get sponsored by an employer.

Employer Sponsored Visas for the UK

FInding an Employer

Once you know your eligible for sponsorship by checking your occupation is on the relevant visa occupations list, the next step is to find an employer willing to sponsor you. This is the most time consuming and difficult part as employers will always recruit domestically if they can, as it is easier to hire someone who can start work immediately. Going through the sponsorship route for an employer is also more costly and can carry more risk. Despite this, over 277,000 work related visas were granted in the year ending March 2022 and there is a skills shortage in the UK in many professions.

You can use websites such as Hays, Indeed and NHS Recruitment to find jobs being advertised, you can also add “Sponsorship” into the search function to find employers currently sponsoring. Contact companies that interest you by sending them them your CV and asking them if they have any sponsorship opportunities available. Many employers have a “Career” section that allows you to submit your CV without a specific job advertisement, this allows them to check their database for suitable candidates when a suitable role becomes available.

Another way of finding an employer is searching for global companies that have offices in your home country and the UK. This would mean working for this company in your own country for a period of time then asking for a transfer opportunity in a UK city.

Plan a trip to the UK

An effective way of getting sponsored is visiting the UK to meet employers personally. Once you build a list of employers that you know offer sponsorship opportunities, you can begin arranging interviews before applying for a Visitor Visa which allows you up to six months in the UK.

If you are on a Student Visa and already residing in the UK, then you can switch to a Skilled Worker visa if you find an employer willing to sponsor you. You dont event have to finish your degree, just make sure the occupation is on the shortage list and meet the minimum salary threshold.

The best option if you are aged between 18-30, is to apply for a Working Holiday visa. This visa allows you to work in the UK for up to two years if you are from an eligible country.

Network on LinkedIn

Think of LinkedIn as your online CV, this powerful social media tool is increasingly used by employers to find skilled workers and to network. We will work with you to make sure information that will boost your employment chances are included, there are also a range of UK qualifications and accreditations that Emigrate to the UK can help you attain, these can be included to further enhance your profile.

Once you find an employer

The hard part is done! You will then start planning your arrival to the UK and will be given a Certificate of Sponsorship which allows you to begin the application for your chosen visa.

Depending on your circumstances you may need to arrange any of the below:

  • Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Proof of your knowledge of English
  • A valid passport
  • Bank statement for proof of funds
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Biometric identify checks
  • Education certificates
  • References from previous landlords and employers

Planning your arrival

Now that your visa to the UK has been approved, it is time to start preparing for your arrival. You might decide that a suitcase is all you need and anything else can we bought in the UK, but if not, you will need to consider an international shipping company. The cost of shipping belongings will vary from a few hundred pounds for boxes, to thousands for a container, depending on weight and the distance. You will need to budget for your flight which you can get a rough idea by using Skyscanner. If you can, try and select flexible tickets that will allow you to change the date of your flight, just in case your job start date changes, or if an apartment you have agreed falls through. Another possible cost is for your pet, this includes transport and insurance. We have outlined this in more detail on our Pet section, this also includes getting your pet vaccinated and the right documents in place.

When you arrive in the UK, you will need to have already booked yourself some short-term accommodation, usually a hotel or an Airbnb apartment. We would recommend at least 2 weeks as this gives you enough time to decide where you want to live and organise any paperwork if required with a letting agent. It is possible to move into a room quicker, such as through SpareRoom.

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