Workers from outside the EEA

For economic migrants who are not EEA or Swiss nationals, the UK applies a points-based system – the exact requirements may change throughout the year, check the UK government’s website:

Essentially, organisations wishing to employ someone (generally Tier 2 workers, as below) who is not a national of an EEA country or Switzerland will need to register as a sponsor for an overseas worker.

Only employers registered with and licensed by the Home Office are ! permitted to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to a named individual, who must then apply for permission to enter the UK. Fines can be up to £10,000 per illegal worker.

The points-based system applies to five levels of applicants:

Tier 1 – highly-skilled, high-value immigrants e.g. exceptionally talented experts or world leaders in their field; people with a minimum £2m to invest in UK business; entrepreneurs with at least £50,000 available to spend on business in the UK; graduates officially endorsed as having a genuine and credible business idea. The Tier 1 (General) category remains closed to new applicants

Tier 2 – skilled workers with a job offer, divided into four categories:

• sportsperson

• minister of religion

• intra-company transfers(covers long-term,short-term,graduate trainees for specialist roles, and skills transfer)

• general–for those offered a skilled job who have a certificate of sponsorship

Tier 3 – low-skilled workers to fill temporary labour shortages remains suspended (the government feels sufficient applicants can be found from the EEA to fill vacancies)

Tier 4 – students, although whether a student can work 20 hours a week, ten hours or not at all, will depend on where they are studying and when they received their Tier 4 status

Tier 5 – temporary workers, with a job offer from a licensed sponsor, divided into five categories (sports or creative people, charity, religious, government authorised exchange, and international agreement). The Youth Mobility Scheme also comes under Tier 5.