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Exploring non-sponsored routes to work in the UK - Business Immigration Video Series

In this video, our Business Immigration experts Shabana and Ruth explore the options businesses have when wanting to employ migrant workers who don’t require sponsorship. Individuals with visas permitting work can fill any long or short term vacancies, provided that they’re not employed beyond the expiry of their existing permission without evidence of further permission being obtained. If you would like to explore the non-sponsored routes to work in the UK, our Business Immigration team is on hand to help.

In addition to the sponsored work routes such as Skilled Worker and Senior or Specialist Worker, there are numerous other immigration routes in place which permit migrants to work in the UK without the need for sponsorship. Individuals with permission under the following routes will have the right to work in the UK:

  • EU Settlement Scheme: EU nationals who were living in the UK prior to the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 were able to regularise their immigration status under the EUSS.
  • Dependants: Individuals on dependant visas will usually have the right to work for the duration of their visa (with some limitations).
  • Student: Studying at a degree level or higher (there are generally limits to the number of hours Students can work per week during term-time).
  • Graduate: The Graduate route allows international Students who have completed their UK degree to continue living and working in the UK for a further two years (three years for those who have completed a PhD).
  • High Potential Individual: This route is available to graduates of leading global universities, and like the Graduate route, permits work in the UK for two or three years.
  • UK Ancestry: Individuals who are citizens of certain Commonwealth countries and have a grandparent who was born in the UK can obtain a five-year visa (which can be extended) to live and work in the UK.
  • Global Talent: An attractive route for individuals recognised as leaders in their field.
  • Youth Mobility Scheme: A route which allows applicants aged 18-30 (or 18 to 35 if they’re from New Zealand) from certain Commonwealth countries to work and study in the UK.

Individuals can also carry out limited permitted business activities in the UK as a Visitor on a short-term and temporary basis for up to 6 months, provided the requirements of the Visitor route are met.

If your company is looking to employ non-British / Irish nationals with specific qualifications and experience, but you’re not in a position to offer sponsorship, or want to assess their suitability for the role before incurring the costs of sponsorship, then it’s valuable to be aware of these alternative routes.

How we can help with your non-sponsored routes to work in the UK

There are numerous other options in place to allow individuals to work in the UK without a sponsor licence being required. Our Business Immigration experts Shabana and Ruth are on hand to help you explore the different options to enable you to recruit the specialist talent your business needs.

Subscribe to our Business Immigration insights to catch the end of our right to work series, and receive a free questionnaire to assess your compliance with right to work legislation and sponsor licence needs.



Employment & Immigration

Shabana's contact details

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Senior Associate

Employment & Immigration

Ruth's contact details

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