A summary of the UK’s Points-Based Immigration System

Hiring from Abroad and the Skilled Worker Visa

If you are looking to hire from outside of the UK you will need to have a sponsor licence (this includes anyone who arrived in the UK from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland after 31st December 2020)

The position you wish to fill should fall under a ‘job shortage occupation’ category – in this instance, that would be ‘Health and Social Care’.  A list of eligible roles can be found here

To gain a sponsor licence there are various steps to follow and further information can be found here on the Governments website.  The key points being:

  • Your business must be eligible
  • The job must be suitable for sponsorship
  • What type of licence do you require?
  • A person will need to nominated to manage the sponsorship, and take responsibility
  • The licence can should be applied for online, and there will be a fee to pay

The application process can take 8 weeks, but if successful you will be given the relevant licence rating and will be able to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to successful applicants.  Once issued, the licence is valid for 4 years, although this is on the basis that you continue to meet the sponsor responsibilities.

For an applicant to be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa they must score at least 70 points.  50 of these points are mandatory, and non-negotiable:

  • They must have a job offer from an approved sponsor (proof of this would be a Certificate of Sponsorship)
  • They must have the relevant skill level (RQF3 or above)
  • They must have a good understanding of the English language

The remaining 20 points can be awarded via salary, or additional relevant qualifications (PhD/ STEM PhD), or be applying for a job on the ‘shortage occupation’ list (as mentioned above).


Other Options

If you do not wish to go down the sponsorship route, or the Points-Based Immigration System is not suitable, you can hire from the existing UK labour market.  This includes:

  • Irish citizens
  • People with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (further information here)
  • Or people with indefinite leave to remain in the UK


Right to Work Checks

Checks must be done on all applicants, and since 1st July 2021 you are no longer allowed to accept EU passports or ID cards (unless an Irish citizen) – all checks should be carried out online.  Evidence must be kept as you could be asked to provide proof at a later date (a printout or saved pdf copy).

For further information on Right to Work Checks can be found by visiting the Governments website – Checking a job applicant’s right to work or they can be called on 0300 790 6268


Additional information