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27 March 2024

A guide to the 2024 self sponsorship visa UK

If you want to work in the UK on a visa, you will need a sponsor. Learn about the ways in which you can sponsor yourself to get a worker visa in our guide.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
A woman running a business on a self sponsorship visa UK.

There are many people who want to work in the UK due to the higher quality of life relative to their home countries, or due to specific business opportunities. 

There are even those who are already in the UK on an existing Skilled Worker Visa or another type of visa, and want to make a change and create a business of their own. 

In some cases, people may wish to get a self sponsored Skilled Worker Visa for either an existing business that they own, or set-up their own business. 

This process is not as simple as getting a Skilled Worker Visa after being sponsored by an employer, as you will have more steps to complete prior to sponsoring yourself. 

Read on to learn about how you can sponsor yourself. 

Overview of the self sponsorship visa UK process

First, you will need to set-up a company in the UK and register it with Companies House. If you already have a business in the UK, then you can skip this step. 

Once your business has been registered, you will need to apply for a Sponsor Licence. This allows you to start sponsoring overseas workers who want to work in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa, and also allows you to sponsor yourself. 

After your company has been given a Sponsor Licence, you can then sponsor yourself by issuing yourself a Certificate of Sponsorship. The certificate is a crucial requirement of applying for a Skilled Worker Visa.

Once all of the above is in order, you can then apply for your Skilled Worker Visa through the Government’s website.

Sponsor Licence requirements

We will provide you with a general outline of the requirements you must meet to get a Sponsor Licence. If you want more information, you can either contact us, or visit our previously linked webpage.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Your business must be genuine and operating within UK law; this can be proven with bank statements, HMRC documents, and other company documents; you must provide four documents
  • The business must be offering a real role at the company
  • Salaries must meet the requirements set out in the Skilled Worker Visa route
  • Your business should also comply with Sponsor Licence holder duties, which UK Visas and Immigration will sometimes check

After your company has been given a Sponsor Licence, you can then sponsor yourself by issuing yourself a Certificate of Sponsorship.

Requirements for the Skilled Worker Visa

Once your business has met all of the requirements for the Sponsor Licence and has been granted one, you will then need to meet some personal prerequisites for the Skilled Worker Visa. 

There is no actual self sponsorship visa UK path. Instead, you will have to just apply for a normal Skilled Worker Visa.

The requirements are:

  • Work for an approved employer
  • Applying to do a job on the eligible occupations list
  • Be paid the minimum wage of the job you intend to do
  • Have £1,270 to support yourself if you are applying from overseas; some people are exempt from this
  • Prove your knowledge of English, unless you are applying from certain countries
  • Have a confirmed job offer; you should not have an issue with this as it is essentially a job offer from yourself

To learn more, you can visit our previously linked webpage about the Skilled Worker Visa.

Other issues you should consider

We have covered a few different aspects, and briefly mentioned issues such as proving your business is genuine. Now, we will discuss a few of these additional issues in a bit more detail.

Opening a bank account

As mentioned, you will need to set-up the business yourself for a self sponsorship visa UK.

To do this, you will also need to open a UK bank account. If you are already in the UK from previously being on a Skilled Worker Visa or another visa, then this will not be an issue.

However, if you are applying from overseas, you might encounter some difficulties. Some banks will require that you visit them in-person to set-up your bank account, whilst some will require that you have a UK address to set-up your account. You will need to look around at the different requirements banks have for people not resident in the UK.

Prove that your business is genuine

There may also be some doubts about whether your business is genuine even after you have registered the company and got a bank account. To allay these doubts, you have some options.

For example:

  • Show that your business has begun operating if it is new
  • Provide proof that your company has previously existed and operated overseas
  • Show you have sufficient investment funds

Other visa options

Aside from self sponsorship, there are some other options for working in the UK. 

For example, the Innovator Founder Visa allows you to work in the UK at a business you have created. However, it is not easy to get. Experienced business people can get this visa if they prove that they are forming a business that is a new concept, innovative, has the potential to grow, and is endorsed by an authorised body. 

Additionally, it is possible for people to come to the UK on a Visitor Visa, but continue to do their job remotely. If you are someone who is just looking to visit the UK for less than six months, but want to be able to support yourself, this could be a good option. 

How we can help

If you need help in getting a self sponsored Skilled Worker Visa, our expert immigration team can help you. They can assist you with applying for both a Sponsor Licence, and a Skilled Worker Visa. 

Contact us to arrange a free 10-minute consultation where you can discuss your issues with a team member. After the consultation, if it is determined that we can help you, then you can book a longer paid consultation. This will last either 30 minutes, or an hour. 

The team member who initially talks to you will act as your point of contact in our company, and will deal with your case. You can ask them any questions that you may have. 

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.

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