UK Self-Sponsorship Skilled Worker Visa: An Entrepreneur's Path to Success

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start a business in the UK or an existing business owner seeking new opportunities? The UK Self-Sponsorship Skilled Worker visa may be the perfect option for you. By being sponsored by your own UK company, you can pave the way for a self-sponsored visa, enabling you to work, settle, and even bring your family along. In this blog post, we will delve into the requirements and application process for the UK Self-Sponsorship Skilled Worker visa, providing you with valuable insights and guidance.

Unlocking the Potential: The UK Self-Sponsorship Skilled Worker visa offers more than just a work permit. It can be a pathway to settlement, allowing you to establish a stable foundation in the UK. Additionally, dependent partners and children can accompany you on this exciting journey. However, before we dive into the application process, it's essential for your UK business to obtain a Skilled Worker sponsor licence.

Requirements for Self-Sponsorship: To sponsor yourself for a UK Skilled Worker visa, you must satisfy the UK Visas and Immigration with the following criteria:

  1. Age: You must be 18 years or older.
  2. Active and Genuine UK Company: Your UK business should be an established, legitimate entity.
  3. Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence: Your UK company must successfully apply for and obtain a Skilled Worker sponsor licence.
  4. Valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): Your UK company must assign a valid CoS specifically for the job role you intend to undertake.
  5. Genuine Job Offer: The job offer you receive must be a legitimate vacancy.
  6. Skill Level: The job you are being sponsored for must be at an appropriate skill level.
  7. Salary: Your salary should meet or exceed the general salary threshold, the 'going rate' for your occupation, and the minimum hourly rate if applicable.
  8. Immigration Skills Charge: Your sponsor must pay any required Immigration Skills Charge.
  9. English Language Proficiency: You need to demonstrate English language proficiency at a minimum CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0).
  10. Sufficient Funds: You must show that you have enough funds to support yourself without relying on public funds.
  11. Background Checks: If necessary, you may be required to provide a criminal record certificate and a valid TB certificate.

Please note that the specific requirements may vary based on individual circumstances. Seeking advice from an immigration lawyer can provide you with personalised guidance and ensure a smooth application process.

Step-by-Step Application Process: To sponsor yourself for a UK Skilled Worker visa, you'll need to follow these four essential steps:

Step 1: Establish a UK Company: To be eligible for a UK Skilled Worker visa through self-sponsorship, you must either register a new company in the UK or have an existing UK company.

Is It Possible to Register a UK Company From Overseas? The answer is yes! It is possible to register a UK company from overseas. The UK does not require a director of a UK company to be a UK resident or a British citizen. However, non-UK resident directors must meet certain requirements and obligations. If you are unable to fulfill your duties as a non-UK resident director, you may appoint a UK-based representative.

It is recommended to seek guidance from a professional company formation agent who can navigate you through the registration process and ensure compliance with UK laws and regulations. Additionally, ensure compliance with any relevant laws and regulations in your home country regarding overseas company registration.

Step 2: Apply for a UK Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence: Once you have established a UK company, the next crucial step is applying for a Skilled Worker sponsor licence. This licence is granted by the Home Office and requires your UK business to fulfill specific criteria.

Genuine Business Operating Lawfully in the UK: To demonstrate that your business is genuine and operating lawfully in the UK, you must provide specified documents outlined in Appendix A of the sponsor guidance. The exact documents required may vary depending on your application's circumstances, so professional advice is recommended. Start-up businesses trading for less than 18 months typically need to provide documents such as a current corporate bank account proof, HMRC registration as an employer, VAT registration, and more.

Can a Non-UK Resident Open a UK Business Bank Account? While it is possible for non-UK residents to open a business bank account in the UK, the requirements and procedures may vary among banks and individual circumstances. Non-UK residents may need to provide identification documents, proof of address, and proof of income or funding source. Some banks may require a UK address or tax residency. Research different banks' requirements and consult a professional for guidance on opening a business bank account.

Step 3: Carry Out Sponsor Duties: As a licensed sponsor, you are responsible for fulfilling specific duties, including record-keeping, compliance with UK immigration laws, and more. The Home Office evaluates your business's ability to carry out these duties by examining your human resources and recruitment systems. They may also conduct compliance audits. To support your application, comprehensive Human Resources policies and procedures should be in place, including job description analysis, record-keeping templates, and ongoing HR system advice.

Step 4: Genuine Employment That Meets Requirements: In addition to reviewing your company's documentation, the Home Office assesses whether your UK business offers employment that meets the skill level and salary requirements. To support your application, you'll need to provide information about your company's sector, a current hierarchy chart, a list of employees, and details of the job roles you plan to assign CoS for.

Conclusion: Embarking on a journey to establish your business in the UK through self-sponsorship offers limitless possibilities. The UK Self-Sponsorship Skilled Worker visa enables you to work, settle, and build a successful future while being accompanied by your loved ones. By fulfilling the specific requirements and following the application process, you can make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. Seek professional advice, establish your UK company, apply for a Skilled Worker sponsor licence, and demonstrate your genuine employment opportunities. Unlock your potential and start your business adventure in the UK today!