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 UK's points-based immigration system

The Tier 2 (General) category was replaced by the Skilled Worker route. Employees must obtain a total of 70 points to be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa. Requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Meeting the minimum skills threshold
  • Meeting the minimum salary level of £25,600 or the going rate for the job (as per the applicable Standard Occupational Classification), whichever is higher
  • Passing the English language requirement

Read more more about points-based immigration.


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.

Read more about UK sponsor licences.

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.

Read more about hiring temporary foreign workers.


The Global Business Mobility route

The Global Mobility route is a collection of visas designed for businesses wishing to establish a presence in the UK, or transfer employees from an overseas branch for specific purposes.

You can employ experienced workers or graduate trainees.

Read more about the Global Business Mobility route.

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

Read more about the immigration skills charge.


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

Read more about immigration audits.


Meet your business immigration team

Talk to our experienced consultants, OISC-registered advisers to see how we can help with your business immigration needs.

  • Darren Faife - Director of Work permits
    Darren Faife
    Managing Director: Business immigration
  • Saskia Johnston: Senior Business Development Manager
    Saskia Johnston
    Service Delivery Manager
  • Pragnesh Vashi-bw
    Pragnesh Vashi
    Business Immigration Consultant
  • Ruben Van Niekerk
    Ruben Van Niekerk
    Admin Assistant
  • Amy Ruiters-bw
    Amy Ruiters
    UK Consultant Support
  • Maxine Furlong
    Maxine Furlong
    Immigration and Nationality Caseworker
  • melissa-king-bw
    Melissa King
    UK Consultant Support
  • Nicola Digby
    Nicola Digby
    Senior Consultant
  • Julian Dearson
    Head of Immigration Compliance
  • Darren Faife
    Managing Director: Business immigration

    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. He is registered with the OISC at level 2 in UK Immigration.

    Outside of work, Darren is a “car man”, who makes his annual trip to Le Mans every year.

  • Saskia Johnston
    Service Delivery Manager

    Saskia graduated from the University of Cape Town with a B. Sc. (Masters) in finance and a sub-major in economics.

    She has a keen interest in financial services and immigration, which led her to join 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.

    More recently, Saskia has joined the Business Immigration team. As a department with a high level of growth forecast, Saskia was the ideal candidate to help drive this business forward. Saskia is a trainee Level 1 adviser in UK Immigration with the OISC.

    Saskia has a passion for exceptional customer service and is now responsible for the Business Immigration team's service delivery. Outside of work, Saskia loves experiencing new cultures and travel is at the top of her "spare time" list.

  • Pragnesh Vashi
    Business Immigration Consultant

    Pragnesh has LLB Law Degree from London South Bank University and a LLM Constitutional, Legal and Political Theory degree from Birkbeck University of London. He is also a trainee Level 1 UK immigration adviser with the OISC.

    Prior to starting at Sable International, he worked at Newland Chase, KPMG and EY, before moving to Reiss Edwards Solicitors to help them develop their Business Immigration Department, guiding them on process and structures as well as managing high profile clients along with several SMEs.

    In his free time he enjoys football, nature walks, spending time with his family, and coffee.

  • Ruben Van Niekerk
    Admin Assistant

    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.

  • Amy Ruiters
    UK Consultant Support

    Amy was born and raised in Cape Town. She studied a BA Humanities degree at Stellenbosch University, majoring in Psychology and Anthropology.

    Thereafter, she completed her honour's degree in Psychology at Stellenbosch University as she is passionate about mental health and recovery. She has experience working in an addiction clinic, where she could be of service to those in need and develop her counselling skills.

    Outside of work, Amy enjoys reading, being out in nature, painting, and spending time with her dog.

  • Maxine Furlong
    Immigration and Nationality Caseworker

    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 and is training as a Level 1 adviser in UK immigration with the OISC.

  • Melissa King
    UK Consultant Support

    Melissa is a culinary trained chef and she has predominantly worked in the hospitality industry. She is passionate about customer service and attention to detail. Prior to joining Sable International, she was a restaurant manager for Chart Farm as well as a part-time events coordinator.

    She is a bubbly, creative person who loves to travel and experience new things. In her free time she enjoys cooking, spending time with family and watching movies.

  • Nicola Digby
    Senior Consultant

    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 UK immigration adviser.

    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.

  • Julian Dearson
    Head of Immigration Compliance

    Julian joined the Home Office, Immigration Department in 1983 where he processed and managed multiple immigration and nationality applications. In 1991 he established Dearson Winyard, a company that went on to be one of the largest and most successful independent immigration advisory firms in the UK. After 26 years of success, the company was sold and Julian has spent the last five years pursuing his own personal ambitions.

    Julian is responsible for establishing and managing an immigration compliance offering for business immigration clients. This includes undertaking compliance audits to evaluate our clients' compliance with the UKVI sponsor licence requirements. Julian has a broad and varied immigration experience, covering both corporate and private client work, including sponsor licence applications.

    Outside of work, Julian spends much of his free time either dog walking or away in his RV with his family.

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Authorised to practise immigration law by the OISC under Registration No F200100004.