Read more about our business immigration service
We cover all aspects of business immigration in this section. Select a card below to read more about that topic.
The new points-based UK immigration system
There have been a number of changes to the UK immigration system. The Tier 2 (General) category was replaced by the Skilled Worker route, the Resident Labour Market Test has been removed and the monthly limit on eligible applicants has been suspended.
Employees must now obtain a total of 70 points to be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa. The minimum skills threshold has also been reduced to NQF Level 3 (A-level standard), with the minimum salary level now at £25,600 or the going rate for the job (as per the applicable Standard Occupational Classification), whichever is higher.
The English language requirement, however, continues to apply. To qualify as a Skilled Worker, applicants must obtain a total of 70 points.
These changes have had a significant impact on processing time and employers can now expect much quicker turnaround times
Apply for a sponsor licence
To employ a worker from outside of the UK, you must first obtain a sponsor licence. This includes workers from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020.
You won’t need a licence to employ workers from Ireland and those with indefinite leave to remain, settled status or pre-settled status.
The licence you will need to apply for will depend on whether you are hiring temporary or long-term employees. A Worker licence is for long-term or permanent job offers and a Temporary licence is for temporary job offers. You can apply for a licence that covers either or both of these tiers.
How to register as a licenced UK visa sponsor
You must apply online, submit all the necessary documents and pay a fee. There are various requirements set by UK Visas and Immigration that must be met in order to gain your sponsor license– we can help ensure that your business satisfies all the criteria.
Talk to the UK visa and immigration experts.
Employ workers on short-term work visas
We can assist and advise on the process of hiring short-term international employees for all your seasonal job roles or temporary contracts. The process is much the same as hiring a long-term employee.
Intra-company transfers to the UK
The Intra-Company Transfer route has replaced the previous Tier 2 (ICT) category, but the requirements remain largely unchanged with just one major difference. A new key benefit to the ICT route is that migrants will now be able to switch into the Skilled Worker route from within the UK (including those in the UK prior to the rule change).
You can employ experienced workers or graduate trainees.
Talk to the UK visa and immigration experts.
Immigration skills charge
You need to pay an additional fee for each non-UK employee you hire. This is called the immigration skills charge, which was introduced in 2016.
You must pay the immigration skills charge if you have workers who are applying from:
- Overseas, to work in the UK for six months or more
- Inside the UK for any length of time
How much it costs
The fee depends on:
- The size of your organisation
- How long the worker will be employed by you
Immigration compliance audits
The Home Office can, at any point, conduct an inspection of your company to make sure you are complying with your immigration duties. This inspection will ensure that the information you provided as part of your sponsor licence application is accurate and that you are able and continue to comply with the duties and responsibilities of a licensed sponsor. You may also receive a visit before a decision on your sponsor licence is made. These visits can be announced or unplanned, so it’s important to always be prepared.
Our knowledge and understanding of the Home Office’s auditing procedures and standards will ensure your company remains compliant. We’ll conduct all the necessary checks and offer advice on where improvements can be made. The Home Office also make a commitment to visit each licenced sponsor at least once during the life cycle of the licence, which is normally four years
Meet your business immigration team
Talk to our experienced consultants, OISC-registered advisers to see how we can help with your business immigration needs.
Lisa studied at Stellenbosch University, where she completed a degree in social work.
She is the administrative assistant for our immigration casework team.
When she’s not helping ensure all our clients’ needs are taken care of, she likes to spend time with her friends, family and children. She’s also quite fond of experimental cooking and going on adventures.
Michaela was born and raised in Cape Town. She attended Wynberg Girls High.
She has previously worked in customer service and as an administrator at a college. During her time with the Immigration team at Sable International, Michaela has worked her way up to her current casework role..
Michaela enjoys spending time with family and friends and relaxing at home.
Sandra joined the firm in 2005 having previously worked with another leading UK visa agency.
She is a level one Registered Adviser in UK Immigration with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.
Her talents lie in producing constructive and helpful solutions for clients with unusual problems. Sandra has been strongly involved with visa audits for UK employers as well as registering her clients for Work Permit applications.
Darren has over 25 years’ experience heading award-winning organisations as well as providing immigration and compliance services to large-scale, multinational businesses.
Having run his own successful immigration practice for over 20 years, Darren possesses a strong commercial mindset and provides an efficient delivery of strategic solutions, while consistently driving value contributing to core business objectives.
Darren joined Sable International in 2020 to bring his wealth of expertise to our business immigration services.
Outside of work, Darren is a “car man”, who makes his annual trip to Le Mans every year.
Saskia graduated from the University of Cape Town with a B. Sc. (Masters) in finance and a sub-major in economics. With a keen interest in the FX market, she joined Sable International’s Cape Town forex team as a forex broker.
With passion, determination and an extensive knowledge of the foreign exchange market, she emigrated to London to head up Sable International's forex business development team in London.
Saskia now runs the UK Sable Forex team, whose core focus is business development, customer relations and client retention.
She loves experiencing new cultures, and travel is at the top of her “spare time list”.
Nicola has over 14 years of immigration experience in private and corporate immigration, with a focus on large-scale, multinational business immigration. She graduated from the University of Wolverhampton with a Bachelor of Law and has worked in the immigration sector since this time.
She joined Sable International as a Senior Consultant and is registered with the OSIC as a level 2 immigration advisor.
Outside of work, she enjoys seeing as much of the world as possible, spending time with friends, family and her two cats. She also plays netball for her local club.
Harshini graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BA (Hons) Criminology degree.
She started working for the Legal Aid Agency in a variety of roles such as debt collecting, HR and manging teams. After taking a sabbatical and travelling across Southeast Asia, she started working at a UK immigration firm in 2018 where she began her career as an immigration advisor.
She's a level 1 Registered Advisor in UK Immigration with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
Simone joined us in 2015 as a British Nationality Advisor.
She has a B.Comm in Industrial and Organisational Psychology. Among other things, Simone has worked as an assistant within a psychology practice and as an administrator at a five-star hotel where she had the opportunity to interact with customers from all corners of the globe on a daily basis. Empathetic and professional, Simone is an avid traveller, who has spent a lot of time exploring Europe.
Sharifa is human rights lawyer dedicated to giving people a voice against discrimination and protecting their rights and freedom. She is a level one Registered Adviser in UK Immigration with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.
Sharifa obtained her LLB (Hons) Law degree from Northumbria University in the UK and her postgraduate diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Westminster. She is proficient in Bengali, Hindi and Urdu.
Sharifa assists our clients with obtaining Tier 2 entry clearance, extensions, settlement, Tier 2 sponsorship licence, British citizenship and other UK immigration applications.
She enjoys socialising, travelling and cooking.
Alexandra joined our immigration division in August 2016 and is a registered adviser with the OISC.
She recently graduated from London South Bank University with first class honours in Law and is studying her Masters in EU Immigration at Oxford University. Her interests lie in immigration law, particularly concerning EU free-movement laws and family settlement applications. She prides herself on achieving positive results and the highest level of satisfaction for her customers.
Nicole joined Sable International as an administrator, bringing with her a strong background in customer relations and various service industries.
Nicole is drawn to people, whether through work or in her spare time, when she plays softball for South Africa. Holding a diploma in project management, Nicole is also in the process of completing her degree in public relations.
Meghan started her career with Sable International in 2008, as part of our customer service department.
From there, she also spent time in our UK tax refunds and forex departments, gaining valuable insight into the overall workings of the business. Meghan’s passion for customer service and personal growth eventually led her to our visa department, where she now works as a UK Immigration Caseworker.
Michael joined Sable International in 2017 and took up a position in our Tax Refunds department. A year later he joined the Immigration department in our Cape Town office.
With a passion for UK immigration and citizenship, he registered with the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) in January 2021. He now works as a Trainee Caseworker and represents and assists clients with their cases.
He enjoys meeting up with friends and family, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Shelley was born and raised in Cape Town. She joined Sable International in 2017 where she started out in the 1st Contact department.
She previously worked in education and has had the opportunity to study Business Management and do a course in Office Administration. Shelley is now studying at a music school and in her spare time attends and performs at gigs. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Christine has a Bachelor of Social Science in Organisational Psychology and Industrial Sociology from the University of Cape Town. She has a strong admin and customer service background.
In her role as an Immigration Caseworker, Christine handles the preparation and submission of British passport and entry clearance visa applications. As an ambitious and strong-willed individual, she prides herself on learning new things to develop herself both personally and professionally.
In her spare time, Christine enjoys gaming, reading or watching a new series.
Ruben grew up in a small town in the Northern Cape. He has a background in hospitality and has worked in some of South Africa’s finest restaurants and hotels.
He previously worked in sales as a sales consultant for a company that specialises in short-term accommodation. At Sable International, Ruben is an Admin Assistant and provides our clients with the best service and assistance.
In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, the outdoors, gardening, meeting up with friends and road trips.
Chanell grew up in the Free State and has been in Cape Town for the past eleven years. She enjoys travelling and has had the opportunity to travel to Iran, Malaysia and Qatar.
Chanell has a National Diploma in Business Management and is in the process of completing her bachelor’s degree in communication science through the University of South Africa.
Outside of work, Chanell enjoys the company of friends and family, a good read and a night out on the town.
Jessica was born and grew up in Cape Town. She attended Westerford High School and thereafter attained a degree in physiotherapy from the University of Cape Town. Her passion for admin brought her to Sable International, where she now works as an Admin Assistant in the visas department.
In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading, binge-watching Netflix, watching live sport and spending time with her family and friends.
Kerry was born in Johannesburg and has lived in Cape Town since she was six months old. She studied at the University of Cape Town, majoring in psychology and organisational psychology. She chose to study these subjects because she always wanted to work with people.
Thereafter, she completed her honours in organisational psychology. She has experience in sales and admin but excels at being organised and helping others stay organised.
Kerry joined Sable International as an Admin Assistant on our immigration team.
She enjoys being out and about with friends and family, cooking, baking and reading.
Gia graduated from the University of Cape Town with degrees in International Relations and Education.
She currently handles the admin for our immigration team as well as the citizenship team.
She is a keen traveller and explorer, with a particular love for exploring destinations that are not too “touristy” yet. When she’s not travelling, she enjoys spending time with friends, family and her dogs.
Chelsea joined Philip Gamble & Partners in 2015 as a Nationality Administrator with a background in administration.
Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, she has travelled extensively throughout the UK and developed an interest in British Nationality. She is organised, optimistic and dedicated. Using her exceptional customer service and administrative skills, Chelsea ensures that all of our clients have the best possible experience.
Maxine joined Sable International in January 2015, as part of our umbrella department.
She then joined the Philip Gamble & Partners’ administration team, where she began learning about British nationality and UK immigration routes. Maxine’s interest in different client’s unique situations led her to become an Immigration Caseworker.
Maxine loves making her clients’ wishes to visit or move to the UK come true and has a strong passion for customer satisfaction. Outside of work, she loves travelling and discovering new places, seeing friends and spending time with family. She is currently studying a BComm in Business Management through UNISA.