Anyone travelling to the UK for work must meet a specified set of standards for which they will receive points under the points-based immigration system, except for Irish citizens. Those who earn enough points are then granted visas.
This system allows UK firms to hire qualified individuals from all around the world through a variety of immigration methods.
To hire most eligible employees from outside the UK, you'll require a sponsor license. Before applying to be a sponsor, make sure the jobs you intend to fill match the standards for sponsoring work visas.
This article gives an overview of the points-based immigration system and the procedures that employers should take to adjust to their business.
The points-based system is part of a larger package of interventions that comprise our long-term approach to the labour market and our strategy to rebuild our economy, assisting your business's growth and assisting people to return to work.
The point-based system allows you to connect with people and talent from all over the world. Employers are encouraged to first consider domestic recruitment options within the UK. Our Plan for Jobs includes several programmes, some of which provide financial incentives to employers who are thinking about hiring new employees, offering work experience, or up skilling existing employees.
To be able to apply for work in the UK, you must have a total of 70 points
The Skilled Worker route covers most UK jobs that are eligible for overseas recruitment, offering a simple and flexible way to tap into the global talent pool.
Anyone you want to hire from outside the UK under the Skilled Worker route must demonstrate:
|Characteristics||Mandatory \ Tradeable||Points|
|Offer of job by approved sponsor||Mandatory||20|
|Job at appropriate skill level||Mandatory||20|
|Speaks English at required level||Mandatory||10|
|Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)||Tradeable||0|
|Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)||Tradeable||10|
|Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)||Tradeable||20|
|Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee||Tradeable||20|
|Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job||Tradeable||10|
|Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job||Tradeable||20|
The Graduate route enables international students who have been awarded their degree to stay in the UK and work, or look for work, at any skill level for two years, or three years for doctoral students. It is an unsponsored route, meaning you do not need a sponsor license to hire someone with a Graduate visa. Graduate visa holders can work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required. They cannot extend their visa, however they can switch to a different visa, for example a Skilled Worker visa, once they have found a suitable job.
The Intra-company visa enables multinational corporations to facilitate temporary moves into the UK for key business personnel via their subsidiary branches, if ICT sponsorship requirements are met. The route requires applicants to be in RQF 6 (graduate level equivalent) roles and is subject to a different minimum salary threshold than the main Skilled Worker route.
The Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route is for employees who are being transferred by their employer to work in the UK as part of a structured graduate training programme, with clearly defined progression to a managerial or specialist role within the organisation.
Intra-company routes will be phased out in favour of a single, sponsored Global Business Mobility route. We hope to open the new route in the spring of 2022.
The Start-up and Innovator routes are intended to bring to the UK entrepreneurial talent and innovative, scalable business ideas. Start-ups are those who are starting an innovative business for the first time, while Innovators have industry experience and at least £50,000 in funding. Individuals or groups may apply.
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