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Tech Sector Businesses Recruiting Overseas Skilled Workers

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Are you a start-up or scale-up SME in the UK tech sector? Do you have UK skilled worker shortages? Are you at the end of your tether in trying to get the right staff to grow your business? In this article, our immigration solicitors explain how they can help tech sector businesses recruit overseas-based skilled workers.

 UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors and Sponsorship Licence Lawyers  

For immigration and sponsor licence advice call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

The tech shortage

However great your HR team or the size of your recruitment budget the reality is that the demand for skilled tech workers outstrips the supply of available UK-based settled workers. With tech businesses, the solution is often to be found overseas as you won't be able to recruit a person straight out of school and hope that an apprenticeship will give them the sort of skills and experience that you need your employees to possess.

A sponsor licence and the recruitment of overseas talent can be your solution to the tech shortage and your route to growth.

A sponsor licence to recruit tech staff

A sponsor licence to recruit tech staff is the first step in sorting out your recruitment problems. A sponsor licence is obtained from the Home Office and without the licence your company does not have the right to sponsor an overseas worker who needs a sponsoring employer to sponsor their employment in the UK.

Business immigration lawyers say that there are some immigration routes into the UK where an employer doesn’t need a sponsor licence, such as:

  • An EU national with pre-settled status or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • A person in the UK on a graduate visa
  • A person in the UK on a spouse visa or family visa

However, the sort of specialist employee you need is more likely to require specialist recruitment on a work visa such as a skilled worker visa or scale-up visa and for either of those types of work visa, an employer needs a sponsor licence before they can recruit someone from overseas or someone who is already in the UK but who needs a sponsoring employer to be able to switch their employment to a new employer.

Applying for a first sponsor licence is not as intimidating as it sounds. You can be an entrepreneur, start-up or scale-up or SME and make your application. You don’t need to have been in business for a minimum period to sponsor skilled worker visa holders and you don’t need a minimum level of turnover. Any size of business can apply for a sponsor licence. You need to have:

  • Appointed an authorising officer as part of the key personnel to manage the sponsor licence
  • The right HR systems in place so you can show you can comply with sponsor licence reporting and recording duties
  • The paperwork necessary to support your application – what documents will be needed depends on the nature of your business

Does your tech business need a Sponsorship Licence lawyer?

A Sponsorship Licence lawyer can help you secure your first sponsor licence by:

  • Advising on the type of sponsor licence required. For example, if your tech business does not meet the criteria for a scale-up business there is no point in applying for a sponsor licence to sponsor scale-up visa applicants but you could apply for a sponsor licence to sponsor skilled worker visa applicants. Business immigration lawyers can check if your planned tech vacancies are likely to be on the list of jobs capable of sponsorship and if the vacancies will meet the minimum salary threshold and skill threshold for the scale-up visa or skilled worker visa
  • Advising on sponsor licence costs including the costs of applying for the sponsor licence and managing the sponsor licence as well as the cost of recruiting skilled workers from overseas, such as the certificate of sponsorship fee or the immigration skills charge for sponsorship of skilled worker visa applicants
  • Carrying out an internal audit of your existing HR practices and suggesting changes to help ensure you can secure a sponsor licence and meet your reporting and recording duties under the licence
  • Applying for the sponsor licence from the Home Office – if the application is time critical advice can be given on using the priority or premium service offered by the Home Office
  • Managing the sponsor licence for you
  • Helping train your key personnel on sponsor licence duties if your company prefers to manage the sponsor licence internally
  • Advising on recruiting from overseas, such as the correct standard occupational classification code for your job vacancy or the allocation of a certificate of sponsorship to a new recruit
  • Helping if you have had a previous sponsor licence application refused and you are not sure if you should make a fresh application
  • Supporting and advising on the conduct of right-to-work checks on your sponsored employees
  • Sponsor licence reporting and recording duty compliance and training

UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors 

For advice on sponsor licences and immigration law call the immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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