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Changes to hiring outside of the UK

Now that the UK has left the European Union and the transition period has ended, the way that we can hire people from outside of the UK has changed. This is a really important topic if you are hiring, so we thought we would break down the new changes for you here.

Registering as a licensed sponsor

Registering as a licensed sponsor

If you want to hire outside of the UK, you now need to become a licensed sponsor in most cases (this does not apply for Irish citizens). To apply for a licence you will need to choose the type of skilled worker licence that you require and put appropriate systems and processes in place to act as a sponsor.
You will also need to check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work and that your business is eligible. You then need to apply online and pay the fee. It is also worth noting that you don’t need a license to hire employees with an unsponsored visa.
Requirements for employees

Requirements for employees

People from outside of the UK moving to work here will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Received a job offer from an approved sponsor
  • Job offer must be at the required skill and salary level
  • Must speak English at the required level
Once you have applied to be a sponsor, you will usually receive a decision within 8 weeks and if approved, it will allow you to recruit skilled employees globally for 4 years. We recommend all businesses to apply early if they are likely to hire workers outside of the UK.
Who you can hire

Who you can hire

Once you become a licensed sponsor you will be able to hire eligible employees from anywhere in the world, but the jobs you are hiring for must meet a minimum skill level and salary threshold:
  • Minimum skill level of RQF3 (equivalent to A level)
  • Minimum salary threshold will be the higher of £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for that job – some employees may be paid less than £25,600, for example if their job is in a shortage occupation
EU citizens already employed by you

EU citizens already employed by you

The new system will not apply to EU employees already working for you in the UK. EU citizens and their family members living in the UK by 31 December 2020 can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Those eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme must apply by 30 June 2021.

You can find more information on becoming a sponsor and hiring workers outside of the UK on the government website. If you would like any advice on this topic, please drop us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Convolo Personnel is a trading name of Veritrec Recruitment Solutions Limited. Veritrec Recruitment Solutions Limited is a limited company registered in England and Wales with registered number 0914​4304.

Registered office address: Wittas House, Two Rivers, Station Lane, Witney, Oxfordshire OX28 4BH

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