UK Employer of Record Services
UK Work Permits & Visas
Employer of Record UK Services
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Find out all about employing in the UK
Do you need a Work Permit or Visa to work in the UK?
You must have a UK work visa or work permit, including for those from the European Economic Area, in order to work in the UK (EEA).
Workers who are coming to the UK as a result of having already accepted a formal job offer from a qualifying UK company with the necessary Licence to sponsor, or if you are being transferred to the UK by your present employer, often need a work permit.
What is the skilled worker visa in the UK?
The most popular type of work visa in the UK is the skilled worker visa. This allows individuals to work in the UK for an approved employer.
There are a number of criteria that must be met in order for employees to be eligible for this type of visa as the employer must be able to provide certificate of sponsorship.
The position must also meet the be included on the list of eligible occupations and a minimum salary threshold.
Effective January 2024, following the new immigration policy updates, the minimum threshold is set to increase to £38,700 per annum.
Applicants must also be able to prove their level of written and spoken English to at least level B1 on the CEFR scale.
The skilled worker visa can be valid for up to 5 years and following this it can then be extended. The visa is subject to continuous employment in the same job role and for the same employer. Should this change, individuals must apply to update their visa.
Other visa routes in the UK include:
- Health and Care-Worker visa
- Graduate visa
- Senior or specialist worker
- Global Talent visa
- Seasonal worker visa (temporary work)
You can view a comprehensive list of UK work visas here.
Can an EOR sponsor a UK employee?
It is extremely difficult for any EOR provider in the UK to sponsor a UK employee.
The sponsor licence holder immigration guidance is as follows:
5.6 If you are an employer of record, you can apply for a sponsor licence but only to sponsor migrant workers who will be directly employed by you in connection with the running of your business. You cannot sponsor a migrant if you will then supply them as labour, to another organisation, regardless of any genuine contractual arrangement between the parties involved.
- have genuine responsibility for deciding all the duties, functions and outcomes, or outputs of the job the migrant is doing
- are responsible for agreeing and paying the migrant’s salary.
As you, the client, will be responsible for deciding all the duties, functions and outcomes, or outputs of the job the migrant is doing, an EOR sponsoring the licence would be illegal.
This makes it obvious that an EOR cannot typically use a sponsor licence to hire employees who will work for another organisation. According to the Immigration Office, a sponsor licence will be cancelled if it is found that the licence is being utilised to provide labour to another business after it has been granted. In the list of grounds for licence revocation, the immigration regulations clearly say:
If an EOR therefore says they can sponsor a UK worker on your behalf, treat this with extreme caution and understand your liabilities for undertaking such a risk.
An individual can apply for a visa up to 3 months before they are due to start their employment.
The application process can be done online, but your identity must be proved.
The length of time depends on if the applicant is based inside or outside of the UK and typically varies from 3 to 8 weeks, provided all supporting documents have been provided.
The application process will vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for.
In the case of the skilled worker visa, both the employee and employer will need to be involved in the application process.
Once an employee has a a job offer from a UK-based company, the employer can then apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship. The employer must have the correct licensing in place in order to do this and the employee must also meet the eligibility criteria provided by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI).
It is important that the job meets the eligibility requirements and minimum salary threshold for a skilled worker visa. You can check if the position is eligible by confirming the job occupation code provided by the UK government website in the eligible occupations list.
In order to work in the UK, you must have the right to work.
There are some visas that do not require a job offer for application; however, the candidate must meet the requirements in order to apply.
These are typically aimed at young academics who are specialists in their field such as Graduate visa, Youth Mobility Scheme visa, High Potential Individual visa and Global Talent visa.
Additionally, there may be more options for applicants with ancestors in the UK.
Following Brexit and the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in December 2020, all EU citizens looking to work in the UK are required to apply through the points-based immigration system and visa route unless they are able to evidence their right to work.
Prior to Brexit, EU workers had freedom of movement and citizens of EU member countries could live and work freely in the UK.
Now, all EU and non-EU citizens must apply under an authorised visa scheme to work in the UK.
Individuals who were living or working in the UK prior to December 2020 had the opportunity to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). Individuals who have approved settled status do not require a work visa.
The UK introduced the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to preserve the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens residing in the UK after Brexit.
Eligible applicants were able to apply for settled or pre-settled status depending on the length of their continuous residence in the UK.
Anyone with settled or pre-settled status under the EUSS has the ability to work in the UK. Employers will verify this via the right to work share code
Irish citizens have the rights to live, work and access public services in the UK under the Common Travel Area arrangement. This means that Irish citizens do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
Wondering if expanding
in the UK is right for you?
Read on or speak to a member of our team now
We are UK EOR experts
We have extensive experience helping businesses expand their workforce in the UK. Take a look at our areas of expertise to find out more:
Learn more about how you can attract and retain staff in the UK with both statutory and enhanced employee benefits
Enhance your understanding when it comes to Statutory Leave in the UK
We deliver a fully managed EOR Service in the UK, including payroll, hr and legal compliance support
Without Agility EOR, our ability to move quickly and scale would be extremely limited. Superb work from A to Z.
Frequently Asked Questions
Payrolling the employees is a key part of the service offered by an employer of record company. The EOR will calculate and remit all taxes, social securities and similar payments, on behalf of both employer and employee. The client will be invoiced in advance by the EOR company, for the total cost of the payroll.
Yes. Our clients are free to dictate the structure of the employees’ remuneration including any bonuses or commissions they wish to offer. In some countries, there is a statutory requirement to provide “bonuses”, for example in the form of Christmas or holiday allowances.
Yes. Agility EOR will calculate what pay is due upon termination of an employee, factoring in such things as any untaken leave entitlements.
We find that most of our clients are in the Tech, IT, Finance and Professional Services industries. However, we have acquired the skills, knowledge and experience to help all industries across the globe.
As a private company, we’re not beholden to shareholders or asset-shredding Private Equity targets. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients. At Agility EOR, our approach is that we never forget that our business is all about people. Our Employer of Record solutions are tailored to each requirement, not a one-size-fits-all tech platform. We do the right thing by our clients and by the laws of each country we operate in. And we believe in openness; if we don’t feel we can offer you the best solution for a specific territory, we’ll say so.
We pride ourselves on our personable-approach so once you enter your new employees details into our dedicated platform, we’ll arrange a call with you to go through the details of the employment contract where together we can review and amend to your requirements. We liaise directly with your employee to build a rapport and obtain the necessary information to hire them compliantly, and set them up ready for their first payroll.
We never stop delivering! Even if you’re employee has been onboarded and is happily working for you and being paid each month, we’re here to partner with you whenever you or your employees need us. Even your ex-employees may need our assistance for tax documents, proof of employment requests etc… Our service never stops!