The United Kingdom is a popular destination for many individuals not only because of the great quality of life that it offers but also because it offers plenty of career opportunities. There are numerous things to love about the country as well, such as its cultural diversity, top-notch schools, and universities, as well as talented people across all fields. London, the capital of England, is particularly on the list of many immigrants’ top destinations for relocation for all these reasons.
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Tech Jobs in the UK
If you’re looking to move to the UK to boost your tech career, you’re on the right page. According to a survey initiated by Boston Consulting Group and The Network, 12% of 10 000 workers consider London the most desirable city to move to. Career advancement was the primary driver for roughly two-thirds of techies looking to move jobs, alongside good-work life balance and decent financial compensation. For one, the median tech wage in London is about 82% higher than the overall salary across all other occupations at £49,685.
But before you can relocate to the UK to kickstart your tech career, a UK sponsorship licence would be necessary for you to get started. UK companies looking to hire international workers would need to apply for a sponsor license under Tier 2 and 5 point-based visas, including seasonal and unpaid work.
How to Obtain a Sponsorship Licence
UK-based companies must pass the Resident Labor Market Test when recruiting foreign-born talent. This means that businesses should first search for talent and applicants among their domestic or local workforce. On the other hand, jobs found on the Shortage Occupation list can be provided directly to non-UK workers.
It’s worth noting that sponsoring an international worker does not immediately ensure that they will be permitted to stay or even enter the UK. For this, employees would need to present a valid application according to their individual situation – whether for a Tier 5 or Tier 2 visa.
UK-based companies who wish to employ foreign-born workers should request a sponsor licence via the online form. The process includes the following:
- Accomplishing the application and submitting it online
- Paying the right fee
- Showing proof that you are a legitimate business operating in the UK
- Providing evidence that you comply with all the eligibility criteria
- Selecting tiers you prefer to be licenced under, depending on the categories of workers the company needs to hire.
Sponsorship licences are typically valid for four years once obtained. The UKVI will also monitor the company’s ability to follow through with its duties and responsibilities as an employer throughout the licence’s validity period.
Types of Licences
The type of sponsorship licence companies can apply for depends on their respective needs. This licence can cover either Tier 2 or Tier 5 employees or a licence covering these two tiers.
1. Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa
This type of sponsorship licence is catered towards skilled workers who want to stay in the UK either for an extended period or settle in the country permanently. It’s also aimed toward highly skilled workers, including sportspersons and ministers of religion.
It’s also a much simpler visa to get and is the choice that most people should consider. Before working a tech job in the UK, it’s essential that you find a job offer from a UK-based company that has a licence to sponsor you. Upon getting a job offer from a business in the UK, the company will need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the Home Office. This process can take up to a month in some cases. After that, the company will get the Cos information for you, including its sponsor license number, for which you can then apply for a work visa.
This entire process can be conveniently performed online, payments included, via the official website of the UK government. Also, your family or dependents can obtain the same visa as a part of the application. You’ll need to pay for the Visa fee, which ultimately depends on the length of time you’re planning to apply for, and the IHS fee, which is for healthcare.
2. Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa
Unlike the Tier 2 Skilled Visa, the Tier 5 visa is for skilled workers who only plan to work in the UK for a temporary period. This category includes religious and charity workers, as well as creatives. Tier 5 is also applicable for applicants and employees who are only entering the country for temporary work experience or any other form of Government Authorised Exchange.
After you submit your visa application, you will get to receive an appointment to visit the Embassy to submit the necessary documents and perform the biometrics. You usually get a one-month entry window for the Skilled Worker visa, for example, after which you’ll need to finalize your residency once you get to the UK.