Self-Sponsorship Route of the Skilled Worker Visa: All You Need to Know

For foreign citizens looking to start a business or branch their existing business to the UK, the Self-Sponsorship route to the Skilled Worker visa is a bit of a hidden secret. If you’re an immigrant looking to start a Britain-based business, here’s everything you need to know. 

What Exactly is Self-Sponsorship?

When talking about visas, Self-Sponsorship refers to the process of applying for a work visa without having a third party UK-based sponsor. This can be a new or existing business.

Unlike Startup and Innovator visas, Skilled Worker Visa doesn’t require you to have an innovative or unique business idea. If you’ve been a successful business owner in your country and you’ve identified an opportunity to expand your operation to the UK, you can take the Self-Sponsorship route. 

Taking the Self-Sponsorship route may also lead to permanent UK residency in a few years. Not only for you but for your family members as well. But more on the benefits later. 

Who is Self-Sponsorship For?

Do you want to own a UK-based business? Do you want to be the one that’s managing it? And you want to work and live in the UK without fear of losing your visa? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then the Self-Sponsorship route is for you. 

The route is basically for anyone that has a profitable business idea, is ready to work hard, and wants to have a sense of freedom while doing it. Who qualifies for the Self-Sponsorship route? Anyone that satisfies the following conditions:

  • The person needs to have skills, qualifications, or experience in the field of business they plan on establishing in the country.
  • They need a business idea that would be profitable in the UK or an existing business. 
  • They also need to have enough resources to support their UK business idea – it depends on the business but £50,000 is advised.
  • Having a person settled in the country to take the responsibilities of Director and Authorising Officer. 
  • They need to take and pass a basic Level B1 English test.

If you meet the requirements listed above, you can take the Self-Sponsorship route.

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What Are the Benefits of Self-Sponsorship?

Let’s say you satisfy all of the conditions for taking the Self-Sponsorship route to the Skilled Worker visa. Why should you do it? It isn’t the only route migrant businesspeople can take. What makes this approach better than the rest?

In short, it allows you to start a company that will function as your sponsor instead of looking for a company to sponsor you. 

While the Innovator Visa requires you to have a minimum investment, the Self-Sponsorship route doesn’t. That makes it perfect for people just starting out. It also allows every person to own 100% of their business and take complete control over their destiny. 

Also the english language requirements are at the basic B1, not the B2 needed for Innovator.

The business model does not need to be unique or innovative. So, no endorsement is needed from an endorsing body, saving all that time and expense. And an endorsement can’t be taken away, because its not needed in the first place.

Moreover, the visa is valid for 4 years, as distinct from Innovator which is 3 years and Startup which is 2 years.

How Can Boardroom Advisors Help?

With the help of a UK professional, your company can be registered in the country, and you can be on your way to getting a Skilled Worker visa. All non-UK residents are also required to appoint a UK-based Director. 

Boardroom Advisors can help you with both. We’ve helped over 100 entrepreneurs secure business visas. We also have over 150 experts that can help you with every aspect of your business – from establishing it to marketing it to the UK public. While many people focus on getting the visa, at the end of the day making your business successful is the most important area to focus on.

So if you’re looking to take the Self-Sponsorship route you will find more information here. Where you can also download our brochure for all the information you need.

Written by: John Courtney

John is highly ranked in the Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs list by City AM and is winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from techSPARK. He has been a Board Director himself for over 40 years and first started placing Non-Executive Directors over 25 years ago. John founded and ran seven of his own businesses including a Management Consultancy for 10 years, a Corporate Finance offering for 10 years and a mid-sized Digital Agency for another 10 years.