Following Brexit, immigration law is an increasingly important issue for employers. Many industry sectors face problems recruiting staff from within the UK, especially where experience or specialist skills are required. The new immigration regime is intended to allow the recruitment of the ‘best and brightest’ talent and many employers may be considering sponsoring employees for a work visa where this was previously unnecessary. Since breaches of immigration law can result in significant fines, and in extreme cases even imprisonment, it is vital that employers get things right.
How can Vialex help?
Vialex can help employers navigate the new immigration laws. We can advise in relation to the Skilled Worker visa route and on alternative visa categories with the right to work in the UK and can assist employers in applying for a sponsorship licence from the Home Office or renewing an existing licence. We can also advise employers on every step of the process including recruitment issues, right to work checks and their ongoing duties, and can provide training to their HR teams on all aspects of business immigration. We can also assist where individuals are looking to move to the UK under the Global Talent visa or who are considering establishing a business in the UK and require an Innovator or Start Up visa.
Skilled Worker visas and employer sponsorship
Unfortunately, not all jobs are eligible for sponsorship. We can help employers review the positions they are having problems filling and identify if these would meet the requirements for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker route, including the relevant minimum salary levels. We can assist with the sponsorship process and if employers do not currently hold a sponsorship licence from the Home Office can help them obtain this.
Other visa routes
There are a number of other visa routes which enable individuals to work in the UK, but which do not require sponsorship by an employer. We can advise employers in relation to these visas and on any restrictions that might apply. Commonly these include:
- Youth Mobility Scheme
- British Nationals (Overseas) visa
- UK Ancestry visa
- Graduate visa
- Family visa
- High Potential Individual visa
Global Talent visa
Employers may be considering individuals in the fields of academia and research; arts and culture; and digital technology who may be eligible for a Global Talent visa. This may be either under the Exceptional Talent route for recognised leaders in their field with established careers, or the Exceptional Promise route for recent graduates or those in the early stages of their careers, though the latter category is not available in all fields. There is a two-stage process under this visa category. Applicants must first apply for an endorsement from an appropriate body relevant to their field, which acts as expert assessor and determines whether the individual is sufficiently talented. They may then apply to the Home Office for their visa.
We can assist applicants in putting their case to the relevant endorsing body and in assembling a portfolio of supporting documents. Thereafter we can assist with their visa application.
Innovator and Start-up visas
Entrepreneurs looking to establish a business in the UK may be eligible for an Innovator or Start-up visa. There is a two-stage process for these visa categories. It is necessary first to have their business plan endorsed by one of a number of bodies specified by the Home Office confirming that their business idea is different from anything else in the market and is viable and has potential for growth. Applicants for Innovator visas must also demonstrate that they have at least £50,000 in investment funds available to set up the business. Once their business idea has been endorsed, they may then apply for their visa.
We can assist applicants in putting their case to the relevant endorsing body and thereafter can assist with their visa application.
For further information please contact Steven Dunn (details below).