Getting a start-up off the ground can be tough; there are a million and one things take into consideration after hitting on the idea you think is going to make it big.
After an initial spurt of growth, you are bound to be looking for employees who can help to deliver the continued growth you need to be successful. Often startups require technical specialities, and this can be somewhat difficult to find locally. Fortunately, the UK visa system is flexible enough to allow you to employ the staff that you need. In this article, we are going to look at the options for those who are focussed on staffing their startup.
Local Skills Gaps Can Hurt Start-Up Growth
While the UK is a well-known technological hub, there are still significant skills gaps. In the technology field especially, it can be tough for startups to find the staff they need. Over the years these gaps have been somewhat reduced by Britain’s membership of the European Union; young technically gifted migrants have moved to the UK to find work, which has fitted in neatly with UK businesses trying to find skilled staff. But with numbers dwindling and Brexit on the horizon, the skills gaps in fields such as technology are likely to increase.
With current skills gaps in mind, the British government has created a number of visas which can help to bring gifted staff to the UK. One of the main ones is the Tier 2 General Visa. This visa allows sponsor licence holding companies to bring in the people they need from outside of the European Union to fill a gap which cannot be filled locally. There are a few other visa options, but the Tier 2 General Visa is by far the most used.
Hiring Skilled Talent From Outside Of The UK
As we discussed, skills gaps in the UK mean it can be tough going for startups to get the technologically gifted staff they need. With most startups being in the technology space, the gaps can really hurt the growth of a new business. As we alluded to, the visa system offers options for those who are looking to bring in staff from outside of the European Union to gain the technical skills required for their business. In this day and age of ultra-competitive markets, the ability to bring in the necessary staff is vital.
The main route for technologically gifted migrants to move to the UK is the Tier 2 General Visa. This visa allows migrants from outside of the European Union the chance to move to the UK to live and work on the basis of having received a job offer from a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. This guarantee of work allows them to enter the country.
Becoming A Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holder
So, now you may be wondering how one becomes a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. The process is relatively straightforward for most business types. Generally, an application will need to be made and you will need to fit a series of eligibility criteria to qualify. As long as your business runs according to guidelines and you’ve never been in trouble with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), applying for the visa is relatively straightforward.
The first step in the process is to become a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. Once this process is complete, you can then begin to start advertising relevant jobs to would be migrant outside of the European Union. For this to happen, you must follow a strict procedure known as the resident labour market test. This test was introduced to make sure candidates are not selected outside of the European Union without due cause.
The resident labour market test is for jobs attracting salaries under £159,600 per year (there’s a different process for those earning over this amount) and ensures domestic workers get a chance to apply for roles before they are given to migrants. It is relatively easy to comply with the test – you need to advertise the role on at least two job boards (one of which has to be the British government’s own) and you will also need to keep a log of reasons why any domestic applicants are not suitable. As long as you follow this process, you are then able to advertise the roles outside of the European Union.
As well as meeting the resident labour market test, you will also need to ensure that you pay a wage of at least £30,000 for the role, unless it is in a so-called “shortage occupation”. Certain jobs are vital to the British economy and therefore have a different set of criteria applied to them.
Getting More Help
Our staff can help you successfully become a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. We can provide everything from advice to lodging applications, and we can even help you to maintain the administrative side of holding a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. While it may seem like there is a lot to take in, our team can help to make the process easy.
If you need more help with a UK visa query then please get in touch. Our team has worked with many businesses over the years to help them to bring in the staff they need to remain competitive. We have a complete understanding of the Tier 2 General Visa route and can help you to use it to your advantage.