Jump to Navigation

Work Permits and Sponsoring Migrant Workers

Work Permits

There are a number of ways that a Company can sponsor non-EEA workers from other countries

The two primary categories of Tier 2 work permits are Tier 2 General and Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT). The key to success is planning ahead and this is an area where professional advice can be of significant benefit. There are 3 main stages to the process:

Sponsor Registration

In order to employ someone from outside the EEA the employer needs to be registered as a Sponsor with the Home Office. This process can be time-consuming if professional assistance is not obtained to ensure it is done correctly.

This is not something that only large Companies can do – any legitimate Company can become a Sponsor. Once registered there are certain obligations that the Home Office will expect you to meet – again, these do not have to be particularly onerous if managed correctly.

Certificate of Sponsorship

This used to be called a Work Permit. Once registered the Sponsor can either issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (Unrestricted categories, including ICT) or request a Certificate of Sponsorship from the Home Office (Restricted) before issuing it to the employee.

Some roles will need to be advertised and the Labour Market Test satisfactorily undertaken. The Labour Market Test and issuing of Certificates of Sponsorship is where many employers make mistakes. Again, professional advice is recommended – rules change on a regular basis and it is vital that these processes are managed and evidenced correctly.

Tier 2 Visa Applications

Once a Certificate of Sponsorship has been issued to the employee an application for either entry clearance or, in certain cases, a switch within the UK to Tier 2, can be made. This can be quite straightforward IF the Certificate of Sponsorship has been issued correctly.


If the ideal candidate you have identified is a non-EEA citizen then you should not be put off. If the role and salary are at the right level then there is every chance that you can employ the person you have identified as being perfect for your Company.

The key to managing this process efficiently and correctly is to get experienced professional assistance at the earliest opportunity. SkillClear UK Visa Services have been our Trusted Partner for UK Visa matters since 2008 and have been providing immigration advice for over 20 years (online since 2001).