Skilled Worker Visa: Your Solution to Finding Work in the UK


In 2016, a majority of the British population voted to leave the European Union. This meant they pulled themselves out of the work mobility agreements that come with being part of the EU and make it easy for Europeans to move freely throughout most of the continent, living or working wherever they please.

After this vote, companies and their workers alike were concerned about the future of British hospitality and uncertain as to what their next move would be.

Brexit went into full effect in January 2020, which meant that foreigners could no longer easily move to the UK. A short two months later, Covid-19 shut down the global hospitality and tourism industry overnight.  

Since then, the UK has been struggling to find enough qualified hospitality professionals to fill their ranks. 

How can you find a job in the UK after Brexit?

While there’s no easy solution to solve this problem, the UK government is starting to take action to make it easier for foreign hospitality workers to come relocate to Britain.

The primary tool the British government is using to do this is by expanding the skilled worker visa program.

They have added certain hospitality jobs to the list of shortage occupations eligible for the visas. This will reduce the fees associated with the application process and make it possible for certain types of hospitality workers from Europe to find jobs in Britain. 

The roles the UK government added to the list of shortage occupations include butchers, bakers, chefs, and management roles. For now, entry level hospitality jobs like waiters, line cooks, and hotel receptionists have been left off.

How do you get a UK skilled worker visa?

If your role is on the list of shortage occupations, like head chef, then you are eligible for a skilled worker visa.

If you find a company that is hiring for that position in the UK, you can reach out to them and ask if they are able and willing to sponsor your visa. 

Depending on the size of the company, they may be willing to cover all the costs associated with the visa process. However, a smaller company may only be able to cover a portion of them.

What are the application costs?

The final price of the UK skilled worker visa changes depending on the terms of each application, like the position you are applying for and the period of time the visa covers.

If you’re applying for a role that’s been added to the shortage occupation list, the fee is £479 if you plan on staying less than three years in the UK and £943 if it’s more than that.

You also need to take into account the healthcare surcharge. It is £624 per year you will be staying and must be paid in advance.

For example, if you are a bar manager and want to accept a two year contract with a company in England, the final tally is £1,727.

The government also requires you to prove that you have at least £1,270 on hand to support yourself when you arrive in the UK.

So, that’s almost £3,000 that you or your potential employer must come up with before you can make the move abroad. (source: The British Government)

That can be a scary figure to consider when trying to decide on your next career move. 

But, if you really want to live and work in the UK, then it could be worth the effort to contact companies with openings and ask them what their policy is regarding skilled working visa sponsorship. 

Over 1,000 of the top hotels and restaurants in the UK are on Hosco and many of them currently have open positions that they are trying to fill. If you are the right fit for the role, they may be able to help you with some or even all of the costs associated with the visa application process. 

To get more detailed information about the skilled worker visa, head over to the British government’s website for the full rundown.

And to stay up-to-date with the freshest jobs, top advice, and dozens of free courses to help you make the most of your hospitality journey, sign up for Hosco today.



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