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This page caters for South Africans that have friends in the UK that are calling them to come over and often they say that they can help get a job to work in the UK.
The South African in South Africa is hereafter referred to as “applicant”.
Having friends in the UK is a not a qualifying requirement (meaning that applicants do not qualify to live and work in the UK if they have friends that live there).
Instead, having friends in the UK is a contributing factor (meaning that it helps that the applicant has a support system in the UK) but it is not a reason that they can qualify to live and work in the UK.
IDENTIFY A VISA
The applicants next logical step is to find a visa that they can qualify to live and work in the UK with.
Before the thought crosses your mind, we have put together to address the natural temptation to go over as a visitor and then change intent once there.
If the applicant does not have a UK born grandparent or is in a married like relationship with an EU passport holder, the applicant will need to qualify for a Tier 2 visa.
We have taken the liberty to show all the available UK work permits, for those who want to see what options they have. We have also put together unique working visas (for certain circumstances) to show how the UK visa system works.
The next question we get asked by applicants at this stage in our consultation is “what if my friend in the UK offered me a job?“.
We totally understand, joining friends in the UK is a great opportunity. Working in a first world country has a lot of benefits.
To answer the question of “my friend in the UK is willing to offer me a job”, we need to explain how the visa system operates.
HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS
UK employers need to have registered companies in the UK. With a registered UK company, it means that the owner needs to comply with UK tax system.
This means that if the applicants friend wishes to offer a job, the friend will need to not only pay a fixed salary but they will also have to pay tax on the salary.
The next common hurdle in the case is that the applicants friend (with registered UK company) has to apply for a license with the Department of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to be able to employ non-EU nationals. This license is known as the Tier 2 license.
Here is a look at the current registered UK companies with Tier 2 licenses.
So, at this stage, the applicants friend has a UK registered business and a Tier 2 license (that costs £2000 per year just to). The Tier 2 license simply means that the registered UK company is held legally accountable for the applicants compliance of UK immigration requirements. Therefore, if the applicant was ever to breach their visa conditions, the UK registered company can be fined (for not honouring the visa requirements).
Continuing though, the friend, with UK registered UK company, that holds a valid Tier 2 license, has to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test. This is simply a test to show that no-one in the UK is available to apply for the specific position. Therefore, the friend’s UK company has to advertise the applicants position for 3 weeks (locally in the UK) to complete the Resident Labour Market Test.
Once the Resident Labour Market Test is complete, the friend can request a unique certificate for the position they want to offer the applicant. It is formally known as a “Tier 2 (General) Certificate of Sponsorship”.
What is important to note though, is the minimum salary that the friend has to offer is £25 000 per year.
That concludes the biggest administration hurdles in this case. If the applicant can answer yes to the following questions (all of them), they can consider this approach feasible:
i) Does the friend have a UK registered company?
ii) Does the friend have a registered Tier 2 license?
iii) Is the friend willing and able to offer a fixed salary of £25 000 per year?
iv) Is the friend willing to offer Tier 2 sponsorship?
If the answers to the questions are all “yes”, we can definitely further assist in this case.