This page caters for South Africans that have been offered a job in the UK and are looking to find out what their next step is.
We have also put together content that relates to South Africans that have been offered assistance by friends in the UK and content to help South Africans that have been offered assistance by family in the UK.
Please note that we have put together a separate page for South Africans looking to get a UK job offer.
Now that you have been offered a job in the UK, it is important to note that in 2008 a South African only needed a signed employment contract from a UK employer to qualify for a UK work permit. Hence this fundamental understanding of UK work visas exists.
Then the 2009 economic recession hit and the British government needed to protect it’s citizens from foreign work force. So, the British government revamped their entire visa policy and they implemented a point based visa system (that still exists today).
The UK work permit has now changed to the point based Tier 2 (General) visa.
On a daily basis Move Up receives calls from South Africans saying:
“I have been offered a job in the UK and need to know how to apply for a work visa”.
What the applicants naturally think this means is “The UK job offer entitles me to qualify to live and work in the UK“.
What applicants don’t realize is that the job offer actually says “The UK employer is willing to offer a position subject to the applicant having independent working rights in the UK“.
This means that UK employers are actually saying “We are willing to offer South Africans positions in the UK if they qualify to live and work in the UK (without the need for Tier 2 sponsorship)“.
At this point in our conversation with applicants, they generally remain optimistic with their job offer and insist to find out more about the Tier 2 visa option. We totally understand this and that is why this page has been put together.
TIER 2 (GENERAL) EXPLAINED
To best understand the point based requirement, lets first take a look at how the previous work permit operated (from our experience, we find that if applicants can see the whole picture, they can better understand the process).
The old work permit system had 4 parties involved.
2. UK employer
3. UKVI in Pretoria
In this transaction, the Applicant simply contacted the UK employer (step 1). The employer then offered a position (step 2). The applicant then contacted a visa Representative firm (like Move Up) – (step 3) and together they then worked together to present a case to apply for the work permit (step 4) with Pretoria’s UKVI. The applicant was then awarded the visa (step 5) and would fly across to the UK to begin working (step 6).
Now, the new Tier 2 (General) point based system has 5 parties involved.
2. UK employer
3. UKVI in Pretoria
5. UKVI in UK
As you can see, in the new system, the British government have added another party into the transaction.
In the new transaction, the Applicant makes contact with the UK employer (step 1). The employer then offers a position to the applicant (step 2) – *you are here*. The applicant then needs to request a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (step 3) from the UK employer. The UK employer then has to make sure that their Tier 2 licence with UKVI is in place (some UK employers do not have Tier 2 licenses – which permits them to employ non-EU nationals) – (step 4). With the valid Tier 2 license, the UK employer has to conduct a Resident Market Labour Test (which means that the UK employer has to advertise this position for 3 weeks locally to show that no one in the UK has the applicants skill set) – (step 5).
Then with the Resident Labour Market Test complete, the UK employer then has to apply for a unique Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship for that advertised role with the UKVI in the UK (step 6). The UKVI in the UK then issue a unique Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship number and give it to the employer (step 7). The UK employer then gives the Applicant the Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (step 8). The Applicant then contacts a Representative firm (like Move Up) (step 9) and together they put together a case to apply for the Tier 2 (General) visa (step 10) with Pretoria’s UKVI. The applicant is then awarded the Tier 2 (General) visa (step 11) and flies across to the UK to begin working (step 12).
As you can see, the above “updated” application has twice as many steps involved as the previous system. A lot of the steps are put onto the UK employers side. Which means that they have to pay a lot more, put a lot of time and energy and wait longer for the Applicant to qualify.
With the above in mind, the Tier 2 (General) visa process doesn’t suit small UK companies. Larger Internationally established firms though can afford the time and energy it takes.
OK, so you are in the position where you have been offered a position in the UK. We have some ways to help you determine if your case is feasible.
1. Market Related Salary Research
We recommend to applicant’s in this position to conduct market research. Google search similar roles (to the position you are being offered).
Conducting Market Related Salary Research helps address two important aspects about ones case.
i. How many positions are available? Are their plenty of similar jobs being advertised (by different companies) or are their few?
ii. What is the average wage being offered? How much are UK employers willing to pay?
Understanding the market demand (and supply) as well as the going rate will help applicants to better understand if they are being offered more (or less) than the average wage.
2. Tier 2 (General) Available
After conducting the above research, understanding what you have been offered versus what is currently being offered, the next part of feasibility assistance we recommend is to see what Tier 2 (General) visa means to a UK employer.
For a UK employer to offer Tier 2 sponsorship, they have to offer a position with a minimum salary of £20 800 per year.
With the above in mind, applicants now can realize if their position is above or below the minimum salary required to qualify.
If an applicant is being offered less than the required salary (say £15 000 per year), it means that the UK employer would not only have to go through a lot of administration to offer Tier 2 sponsorship, but that they would need to offer an above market related wage. This would not be a feasible case.
If an applicant is being offered more than the required salary (say £35 000 per year), it means that the UK employer can easily afford the opportunity and the case has stronger feasibility.
In cases where applicants are being offered above market related wage, they can negotiate their rate as a means to encourage the UK employer to consider Tier 2 sponsorship.
3. Employers willingness
Now that the applicant has equipped themselves with understanding, the next logical step is to assess the UK employers willingness.
If the UK employer is not willing to offer sponsorship (because they are held legally responsible for the applicants compliance of immigration requirements), the applicant can try negotiate their salary being offered (most employers are open to the idea of getting skilled workforce at a reduced rate).
The applicant can view a lower rate as a temporary set back for a greater reward (and can always work their salary up again later on).
If however the UK employer is still not willing to budge, the applicants case is not feasible. Without Tier 2 sponsorship, most applicants (without birth or marriage ties to the UK) will not qualify.
We trust you have found this content relevant.
If you are a South African that has received a UK job offer and Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship, we recommend you contact us for further visa assistance.
Applicants can always try our quick and easy online assessment to assess alternative visa offerings.
Alternatively take a look at the UK work permits available below: