12th July 2023
When it comes to sponsorship requirements to work in the UK, understanding the requirements is crucial. The specific route chosen, whether Skilled Worker or SSW (Senior or Specialist Worker), will determine the slight variations in the sponsorship criteria. However, both routes share a common emphasis on meeting Skills and Salary requirements. In this video, our Business Immigration experts Shabana and Ruth, delve into the details of each route and explore how the criteria is considered by the Home Office.
Under the Skilled Worker route, the sponsored role must be skilled at RQF level 3, roughly equivalent to A-level, or above. The skill level of the job determines the eligibility for sponsoring, and formal qualifications to A-level standard are not required. The skill level requirement was lowered from RQF level 6 to level 3 in January 2021, significantly expanding the range of roles eligible for sponsorship. The general minimum salary threshold for Skilled Worker sponsorship is £26,200 with an hourly minimum of £10.75. However, the salary must also meet the going rate for the specific role, which can be determined by choosing the appropriate occupation code. Some workers may be paid less than the threshold if they meet additional “tradable points” criteria related to new entrants, relevant PhD qualifications, shortage occupations, or specific education/healthcare roles. A Skilled Worker will also need to demonstrate English language skills to a prescribed level, and that they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves in the UK.
For sponsorship under the SSW route, the worker must have a minimum of 12 months’ employment with an overseas company linked to the sponsor by common ownership or control, or less if their UK role earns more than £73,900 per annum. Senior or Specialist Workers must have a role skilled at RQF level 6, equivalent to a degree level. The sponsored worker’s salary under SSW must meet both a general threshold of £45,800 and the going rate for the specific occupation, whichever is higher. Unlike Skilled Worker, there are no salary deductions for tradable points under the SSW route. The worker must be able to demonstrate sufficient funds to maintain themselves in the UK, but there is no English language requirement.
When applying for a Skilled Worker or SSW visa, the critical requirement is obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from a licensed sponsor. The sponsor must apply for and assign a CoS to the worker, which includes job duties, annual salary, hours of work, and the most appropriate occupation code. These details are reviewed during the CoS application process and the worker’s immigration application. During Home Office audits, it is common for them to verify that sponsored workers are fulfilling their roles as specified in the CoS.
Understanding these factors is essential for companies seeking to sponsor workers in the UK, as it helps ensure compliance with the requirements set by the Home Office. Shabana and Ruth can assist you every step of the way in understanding and meeting the requirements for sponsoring workers under both the Skilled Worker and SSW routes. Our Business Immigration team are ready to provide guidance, support, and personalised solutions tailored to your specific needs.
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