Hire staff from outside the UK

Your company must register as a licensed visa sponsor with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to hire staff from outside the UK beginning 1 January 2021.

This includes hiring people from the following countries:

  • The EU  
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway
  • Switzerland

Who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020 because the UK has left the EU and the transition period ended 31 December 2020.

The people your company is recruiting must also meet the new job, the language and the salary requirements set by the UK Immigration Department called the Home Office.

Licensed visa sponsor for UK employers

You can apply for your employer licensed visa sponsor from the UK Visas and Immigration.

Once approved, the Home Office will a certificate of sponsorship to you. Your license will be valid for 4 years.

Once your company has become a licensed visa sponsor, you must maintain your employer’s responsibilities as set out by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). For example, if your company has ceased trading and you are going to dissolve your company.

Hire Staff from outside the UK that does not require a licensed visa sponsor

The licensed visa sponsor rule does not apply to the staff from the following countries you already employ in the UK and were living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

  • The EEA
  • Swiss citizens

They and their family members can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021.

Besides, making sure you apply for a licensed visa sponsor before hiring staff from outside the UK and maintaining your responsibilities as a licensed visa sponsor employer, remember to maintain your company filings with Companies House. Deliver your confirmation statement and company accounts to Companies House promptly to avoid a late filing penalty.

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