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3rd Floor Maddox House, 1 Maddox Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 2PZ

Are work permits becoming harder to obtain?

UK businesses benefit from hiring foreign workers, but the government has been seeking to balance concerns around immigration with the benefit that workers under Tier 2 (the visa system for work permits.)

It has been felt that recent immigration rules have made it difficult for new foreign workers to be take on by UK businesses. This is undoubtedly true, recent changes have made it much harder for lower skilled workers to obtain permission to work in the UK.

There are steps, however, that can be taken by employers to ensure that they can recruit who they need from the available work force, regardless of nationality.

Employers that wish to employ persons from outside the European economic area will need a sponsorship licence. There are two types of licence that an employer can apply for, depending on which type of worker they intend to employ. The Tier 2 licence allows an employer to employ long-term permanent staff whilst the Tier 5 licence allows an employer to take on temporary staff on a short-term basis.

It’s very important that an employer ensures that the correct licences are obtained and that applications are made in the correct subcategories.

It should be noted that migrants who already work for the employer enjoy a number of benefits when a company seeks to sponsor them. The largest group to benefit from this are students, who are in the UK with permission to work. International students can work full time for an employer outside of their university term time and can work up to 20 hours per week during their term time.

It should also be noted that staff who are being transferred from abroad from a company which has a joint venture agreement with the UK employer will also find their immigration process relatively easy.

Overall, the picture is not as bleak as might occasionally be made out. If the UK employer is properly licenced, (which Immigration Solicitors and Lawyers can assist with) and the staff member is being used to fill a position which is skilled, then there is no reason why the correct process will lead to anything other than a successful hire.

For those employees who do not have a sponsorship licence, although there are delays in obtaining such a licence, once obtained the position is the same as existing licence holders.

If you are interested in our assistance with hiring foreign workers for your business, please contact a member of our team. At Westkin, we have a wealth of experience in helping businesses with the necessary paperwork and organisation of certificates to hire foreign workers. A member of our team will be happy to help, please get in touch.

Our immigration lawyers are experienced in advising sponsorship licence holders on applying for the correct type of certificate of sponsorship to meet their business needs and challenging the Home Office when they raise questions about the genuineness of the vacancy.

Westkin Associates


5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
United Kingdom
0207 118 4546

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