Hiring International Workers


It is not uncommon for UK employers to make requests, especially for international workers. As an employer, you have the option of employing remote workers depending on the service you need. But if you need the services of non-UK employees to work for you physically, certain requirements need to be met. The requirements may vary based on the specific skill set and the work contract duration.

Firstly, you need to take into consideration that there is no more free movement between the UK and EU anymore due to Brexit. Hence, the UK’s immigration system handles all immigration applicants from other countries the same way.

Here’s something else to keep in mind: it is compulsory for employers seeking to employ international workers to have a sponsorship license. This is particularly important if you want to employ a person with a Tier 2 general worker or a Tier 5 temporary worker visa. A sponsor license is also required for employing religious and sports migrant workers. You must also be registered before you can legally transfer workers from another office to the UK branch/headquarters.

Another important thing to note is that the Tier 3 visa for low skilled and unskilled workers is under suspension in the UK. As a result, you can no longer employ unskilled international workers.

The willing migrant workers need to meet several requirements before they can successfully work with you. Some of these requirements vary per visa.

Skilled Workers

They must have gotten a job offer from a licensed sponsor. The offer must be at least at the level of RQF3. They must be able to produce evidence that they can communicate well at the required English language level. Also, the payment should be not less than £25,600 or be within the standard rate of pay for the role. Those whose payment is less than the stated figure may go ahead with applications based on trading points on some certain characteristics against their pay.

For Transfer of Workers within the Same Company

This route applies to businesses with other branches outside the UK. You may need the services of an employee already working for you in another country in the UK office. In this situation, the worker in question needs to apply through an Intra-Company transfer route. To get their migration request approved, they need to be sponsored by their home office licensed sponsor as an intra-company transfer.

The intending worker must be in a job role equivalent to the skill level of RQF6 or higher. The salary for the job role should not be less than £41,500 or the normal pay range. They must also have a minimum of 12 months of working experience on the overseas branch they were initially working for. If the worker earns more than £73,900, he/she doesn’t need to have up to 12 months of work history in the overseas branch.

The Intra-company transfer route is not permanent once granted. Workers may be assigned to work in the UK more than once. But they can’t stay for more than 5 years within 6 years. Workers that have a salary of over £73,900 can further remain in the UK for 9 years on ten years.

Migrant workers who have to undergo the transfer as part of a graduate training programme can also apply for this route. Although the same requirements apply, the conditions of the salary, experience and length of stay would be different.

To Hire Workers through Other Routes

One of the other route options is through the Youth Mobility Scheme. The scheme allows young individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 years to work in the UK. Migrant workers can also work in the UK by going through the point-based immigration system.

An example of a worker immigration route that requires no sponsorship is through Global Talent. So you can hire these kinds of people without a license. This is because the Global talent route has been put in place to be an attraction to world leaders. It is also meant to bring in individuals showing prospects in some disciplines. The disciplines are mainly science and digital technology, arts, humanities, and engineering.


As an employer looking to hire an international worker, you should be sure that your HR department would be able to carry out the overseas recruitment appropriately based on immigration standards. Alternatively, you could employ the services of a creditable law firm with the needed experience.