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Dear Kingsley Napley,

I am a founder of an early stage start-up and happily I’m at the point where I need to start growing a team. The problem is I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to hiring a full-time employee! Can I hire migrants part time or on a freelance basis? Do I need a sponsor licence to do that? I’m especially worried given what I am seeing in the news… is it true that the minimum salary for sponsored workers is going to skyrocket?

Yours sincerely,
Commitment Issues


Dear Commitment Issues,

Don’t worry about being scared to commit, it’s a very common problem! Even more so now that the government has announced that they are increasing the minimum annual salary for a sponsored worker by nearly 50% from £26,200 to £38,700. That’s a pretty significant financial commitment!

Good news – there are a number of UK immigration visa categories which allow people to work flexibly without the need to be sponsored. These include:

    • Spouse visa
    • Status under the EU Settlement Scheme
    • Graduate visa
    • High Potential Individual visa
    • Global Talent visa

You can also employ someone who already has a Skilled Worker visa if they will be working for you for less than 20 hours a week and if the role will be in the same occupation type as the job for which they are sponsored.

Although you will still have some duties as an employer (keeping orderly HR records and up to date right to work checks) you won’t have the same onerous duties as a sponsor would. So, if you find a suitable candidate with one of the above visas you can avoid confronting your commitment issues a little while longer!  If you would like more information on becoming a sponsor, our guide for employers is a good place to start.

Yours sincerely,

Kingsley Napley

Contact: level39@kinsleynapley.co.uk

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