Before Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, the process of coming to work in the UK was quite easy. Major economy, public healthcare, and big cities with attractive companies made the UK a popular choice. Things were especially easy for EEA citizens who didn't need a visa to work in the UK.
However, the rules have changed. Following Brexit, everyone except Irish citizens wanting to work in the UK needs a visa. If you read my recent post, you know there are different types of visas, routes and requirements. Today I'll guide you step-by-step through the process. Why? So you can make your dream of living and working in the UK a reality!
So, you want to work in the UK. First, let's recap mandatory criteria which will give you 50 points.
- you must have English language skills at minimum level B1 (intermediate)
- you must get a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor
- the job offer you got must be at the required RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent) skill level
Are you Skilled Enough to Work in the UK?
Second, what you should do is check whether the job you're after falls under the Skilled Worker route. You can find the full list of eligible occupations for a Skilled Worker visa in Annex E.
If you look at the right-hand side, you can see that each occupation has its own going rate salary. You must earn a minimum of £25,600 to be eligible for a visa. But that's not all. The salary, even if it's over the minimum £25,600, needs to be at least 80% of the going rate for that position (70% for new entrants). That is the only way you will get the extra 20 points you need on top of the mandatory 50 to get a visa.
However, there is another possibility - you can trade characteristics to get more points. For example, if the salary is no less than £20,480 and a minimum 80% (70% for new entrants) of the general threshold you get 0 points. BUT you can then get the needed 20 points if your job is on the Skilled Worker visa shortage occupation list. You get the same amount of points if you're a new entrant to the labour market.
Another option is if you get no less than £23,480 and at least 90% of the going rate for the profession you will get 10 point. Then you can get the remaining 10 points if you have PhD in a subject relevant to the position.
Know Your Sponsor
Want to know if the company you want to apply to is a licensed sponsor? Well, you can! You can look at a register of all worker licensed sponsors prepared and updated by the UK Visas and Immigration department. Don't forget to download the file to see the full list!
The register will give you an idea of the category of workers the company is licensed to sponsor and their sponsorship rating. If you're looking to work in the hospitality sector look at the list of our employers and then search for them within the register. You'll see that plenty of them are appear as licensed sponsors, e.g. Crieff Hydro, Crerar Hotels, Cairn Group, Amaris Hospitality, Apex Hotels and more!
Apply and Work in the UK
There's nothing else to do than to apply and wait for a response. Once you get an official job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor (congratulations!) you can apply for a visa. After your visa arrives you can finally start working in the UK!
What if you lose or quit a sponsored job?
Since you reside in the UK on a Worker Visa you losing or leaving your sponsored job has an immediate effect on you leaving or staying in the UK. If you are able to find another job you will be able to remain in the UK. However, you only have 60 days or until the end of your visa to do that.
You will also have to go through the Skilled Worker visa application once more once you get a job offer. Nevertheless, once you get a job offer you can stay in the UK until a decision on your new Skilled Worker Visa is made. If you don't get a job offer within 60 days or until the end of your visa, you must leave the UK.
If you stay in the UK illegally it's highly likely that you will be refused a visa in your future applications and/or deported from the UK. So, don't risk it if you want to come back and work in the UK and leave before the deadline.
Unfortunately, there is a 1-year cooling-off period to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa. Meaning, if you want to come back to the UK you will need to wait a year before you re-apply or get a different type of visa.
Now you know exactly what to do to come and work in the UK with the new regulations. You're welcome! Hospitality is an amazing industry to be a part of especially if you enjoy an international environment and meeting new people everyday! Luckily for you we have thousands of job offers in many sectors, hospitality included. Have a look at them, check the register for the company and apply! Good luck!