Hiring from Overseas: 3 Visas you can use and what you need to know about them

Article by Yusuf Coban, Paralegal at Barar & Associates

As of 31st December 2020, free movement between the UK and the European Union has ended. EU citizens now need to obtain a visa if they want to travel to the UK and stay for more than 6 months.

In much the same way as Non-EU citizens, EU nationals must now be granted a visa in order to work in the UK. The changes to immigration law that came into force after Brexit can certainly seem confusing and daunting, but you can rest assured that here at Barar & Associates, we are here to help you.

Barar & Associates is an immigration law firm based in Bank, specialising in all matters concerning UK immigration and nationality law. This includes Innovator/Start-Up Visas, Work Visas, Student Visas, Settlement application, and British naturalisation cases. Our firm is also highly experienced in Administrative Reviews, Appeals, and Judicial reviews.
Our team is made up of English, Mandarin, Cantonese, French and Turkish speakers who are on hand to deal with your UK immigration enquiries.

The perfect employee, fulfilling all the requirements to work at your firm, might currently be living overseas. We know just how challenging it can be to recruit overseas workers since Brexit, and we would be more than happy to assist you
with the entire application process, ensuring it goes as easily, smoothly, and quickly as possible.

In this article, we will present you with 3 different visas that will allow you to recruit from overseas. If you are looking to employ a worker from overseas, your company initially needs to be granted a Sponsor Licence. This will enable your business to recruit migrant workers for a specific job, in an eligible skilled occupation. Once your company is granted a Licence, you will be able to assign a “Certificate of Sponsorship” to the worker that you are looking to recruit. The worker will then be eligible to submit his application for a Skilled Worker Visa (in case of new employment), or an Intra-Company Transfer Visa (in case the worker is being transferred to the UK Branch of the company, from another
branch based overseas).

If you would like to recruit a new worker from overseas for long-term employment, you will need to recruit through the Skilled Worker Visa route

Skilled Worker Visa


With this Visa the employee can:

  • Stay Up to 5 years in the UK;
  • After 5 years, can apply to settle in the UK (Indefinite leave to remain);
  • Bring his partner and children;
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK;
  • Study;
  • Take on additional work in certain circumstances;
  • Do voluntary work.

With this Visa the employee can’t:

  • Apply for public funds;
  • Change jobs or employer unless an application to update the visa is submitted.

The Home Office will revert with a decision for this visa within 3 weeks for an application made from outside the UK and 8 weeks for an application made from inside the UK. Priority visa services may additionally be available depending on where you make your application from.

Alternatively, you could consider employing a worker that is already working within the company but is based in a branch-based overseas. In order to come and work at your UK branch, the employee will need to be granted an Intra-Company Transfer Visa.

Intra-Company Transfer Visa

To be eligible for the Intra-Company Transfer Visa the migrant will need to:

With this Visa the migrant can stay in the UK for whichever is shorter of:

  • The time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days;
  • 5 years;
  • The length of time that takes you to the maximum total stay allowed.

The maximum total stay allowed for an Intra-company Transfer Visa is:

  • 5 years in any 6 year period if you’re paid less than £73,900 a year;
  • 9 years in any 10 year period if you’re paid £73,900 a year or more.

With this visa the employee can:

  • Work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship;
  • Study;
  • Bring his partner and children;
  • Do a second job for up to 20 hours a week that’s either in the same profession and at the same level as your main job or on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list;
  • Do voluntary work;
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK.

With this visa the employee can’t:

  • Apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension;
  • Change jobs (Unless the visa is updated);
  • Apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’).

You will usually receive a decision for this visa within 3 weeks for an application made from outside the UK and 8 weeks if you’re inside the UK.

Finally, you could recruit a migrant to set up a UK branch for your overseas business.
In such a case, the migrant will need to be granted a Representative of an Oversea Business Visa.

Representative of an Oversea Business Visa

To be eligible for this visa the employee must:

  • Be recruited and employed outside the UK by your overseas business that wants to set up either a UK branch or wholly-owned subsidiary in the UK;
  • Hold a senior position within the business or have the authority to make decisions on its behalf;
  • Have the skills, experience, and knowledge for the position you hold.

With this visa the employee can:

  • Work for his employer full time in the UK;
  • Bring his partner and children;
  • Stay for up to 3 years, afterward the employee will be able to extend his visa for 2 more years;
  • After 5 years of continuous residence in the UK the employee may be able to apply to settle permanently.

With this visa the employee can’t:

  • Apply for public funds;
  • Own or control the majority of the overseas business;
  • Stay in the UK if the sole representative arrangement is ended by your employer;
  • Work for any other business;
  • Switch to this visa from any other visa category.

For any further information on the Visas and application process please do not hesitate to contact our member Barar & Associates at: info@bararassociates.com

They would be happy to have a free consultation with you in order to assess your situation and advise you accordingly.