Recruiting Overseas Workers (UK Businesses)

A gateway to unlimited success, the global market gives businesses the chance to tap into a wealth of resources, including skilled workers.

If you are recruiting staff from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), our business immigration solicitors can offer advice and guidance for visa applications, sponsor licences and ensure your business remains compliant with the law.

Overseas Recruitment And Sponsor Management

All UK businesses planning to recruit staff from outside the United Kingdom, or from the international population in the UK, require a sponsor licence.

Our immigration experts can prepare and submit the following sponsor licence applications on behalf of your business:

  • Tier 2 (sponsored workers)
  • Tier 4 (students)
  • Tier 5 (temporary workers)

Immigration Services For New And Existing Licence Holders

After identifying your business' objectives, we will take detailed instructions and create a tailored proposal that will enable you to meet your recruitment needs.

For new licence holders, we will provide you with:

  • A comprehensive review of your business structure and recruitment needs followed by a tailored proposal to meet those needs
  • An end-to-end service to secure a licence for you
  • A review of your existing personnel and hierarchy structure and advice on appointing an authorising officer and a key contact
  • A review of your HR systems, record keeping, illegal working prevention and reporting systems, and tailored advice on minimising risk to your business to ensure you have the systems in place to retain your licence and to be prepared for any Home Office compliance inspection
  • Provision of training for your senior management and HR team to enable them to satisfy Home Office compliance and manage the licence on a day-to-day basis

For existing licence holders, we can:

  • Be included as your representatives on your licence and can assist you in managing the licence, leaving you free to run your business
  • Conduct a regular health check of your HR systems to ensure ongoing compliance and a review of sponsored worker files to minimise the risk of a breach of sponsor duties
  • Conduct a regular audit of employee files to ensure illegal working prevention measures are adequate to avoid a civil penalty and are in compliance with right to work checks
  • Test your monitoring and reporting duties as required under the sponsor guidance
  • Provide training for senior management and HR to keep your business up to date with changes to the Immigration Rules
  • Secure an allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship to meet your recruitment needs
  • Review your recruitment process and advise you on shortage occupations and whether you meet the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)
  • Help you to advertise roles that are in line with the RLMT
  • Help you to draft suitable job descriptions to adequately describe the roles in accordance with the Codes of Practice
  • Advise you on a hierarchy structure and salary rates for the proposed roles
  • Assist you with managing your sponsor licence and report changes in your business structure to the Home Office using the Sponsor Management System
  • Prepare and submit your prospective employee’s entry clearance or leave to remain applications

Universities And The Higher Education Sector

The higher education sector is highly competitive when it comes to attracting academically gifted students and recruiting world-class academic staff.

To maintain your standards of excellence, we know that you need to offer an unrivalled immigration service to existing and new international staff and students.

Our immigration department acts for some of the most prestigious higher education institutes in the UK, including Russell Group Universities.

We can:

  • Offer a comprehensive advisory service to your International Office to manage your Tier 4 licence and to help students navigate the immigration system in the UK
  • Provide training and support to your HR team to ensure that you are able to offer a seamless recruitment and visa entry process to your international staff

We also offer a range of services for new and existing sponsor licence holders.

Supporting Your Staff Throughout Brexit

We know that universities are keen to support their existing and prospective European staff members in the wake of Brexit. As part of our Brexit advisory service, we can offer practical seminars and workshops where we will clearly set out what options your staff have at this stage and as Brexit negotiations unfold.

Our services are exclusively tailored to your business' needs – get in touch with one of our experts on 0808 129 3320 to find out what we can do for you.

You can also keep up with the latest Brexit developments by signing up to our newsletter.

NHS, Healthcare Providers And Care Homes

Recruiting expert medical and healthcare professionals from outside of the UK is crucial to ensuring our healthcare sector can offer patients the highest standard of care.

As we work across the healthcare industry, we know how vital staff from overseas are and how important it is for you to maintain and retain your sponsor licence.

Our business immigration team acts in an advisory capacity for a number of local authorities, and have helped nursing and care homes manage their Tier 2 licence, retain and recruit staff, and challenge licence revocation decisions.

We have recently secured the reinstatement of a care home’s licence and the return of vital employees.

Digital, Tech And Manufacturing Companies

Since the EU referendum, digital, tech and manufacturing companies have asked for our advice and guidance on how Brexit could impact their businesses, particularly as many rely on recruiting European workers.

To give you the tools you need to protect your business and workforce, our immigration solicitors run a bespoke Brexit advisory service where we can:

  • Run workshops for your entire workforce, to help you support and retain your European workers
  • Offer a volume application checking service to your business, to help your workers secure their place in the UK
  • Inform you about any future changes to immigration law, helping you to prepare for the changes and resolve any issues that could affect your business
  • Help you successfully navigate through the sponsor system for the Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa categories

We know that the introduction of the Tier 2 immigration skills charge is another concern for many businesses, but we can help you make sense of the complex Immigration Rules.

How Can Simpson Millar's Immigration Solicitors Help My Business?

Known as leaders within one of the most complex areas of the law, our immigration solicitors are highly recommended by the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners. Highly experienced in this area of the law, we are approved by the Home Office as Tier 2 representatives and hold a unique UKVI representative’s number.

We also have a 100% success rate in securing Tier 2 sponsor licences.

We can help you establish and maintain a strong workforce through tailored services, and are experienced in acting for diverse businesses such as:

  • Russell Group Universities
  • Multinational companies
  • Digital companies
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Healthcare providers
  • Small to medium-sized businesses

We can also offer you professional immigration support in Urdu, Punjabi, Polish, Arabic, Italian, French, Kicongo, and Lingala.


Contact our solicitors now to get the immigration advice you need. Complete our no obligation online enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us directly on freephone: 0808 129 3320.


Get In Touch

Emma Brooksbank - Partner | Immigration Law - Leeds

Emma Brooksbank
Partner, Head of Immigration

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