KNOWLEDGE BASE UK Hiring And Visa Options

The information on this page was current at the time it was published. Regulations, trends, statistics, and other information are constantly changing. While we strive to update our Knowledge Base, we strongly suggest you use these pages as a general guide and be sure to verify any regulations, statistics, guidelines, or other information that are important to your efforts.


January 31st, 2020 Update: On March 29, 2017, UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, which formally started the process whereby the UK would leave the European Union. The original plan was for the UK to leave the EU on March 29th, 2019 but on October 28th, 2019, the EU agreed to push the extension deadline to January 31, 2020. 

The council agreed to conclude the withdrawal, and it  took effect at midnight on January 31st, 2020. After this date, the UK is no  longer an EU member state. This will obviously shift how business is done in the UK. We will keep updating this page to reflect these changes. 

Learn more about Brexit here. 


Hiring And Visa Options In The UK

Of course, you want to find and hire the best possible people to help you grow your business, and there are different options available to you for expanding your workforce in the United Kingdom. Each has its own considerations, including the employment laws and regulations that cover it. If you want to jump into Employment Law first, you can get an overview of the regulation that will govern your employer-employee relations. The first decision you will need to make is whether to bring your employees from home or hire employees in the UK. Below you will find a discussion and the resources to determine your visa requirements if you decide to bring your workforce (all or part) with you to the UK and the resources to help you hire local talent if you decide not to bring your employees with you.


Bringing your employees with you

For many companies, having someone who has been employed at the home office and transfers that culture and experience to a new foreign office, sets up the office, and hires the first team abroad, is the preferred approach for setting up overseas. Those employees from home can begin to establish the important relationship in the UK and hire people in the UK who will help make the business a success.

Of course, if you are sending or bringing someone from outside the UK, it's very possible you will be required to apply for a visa. We've summarized the possible visas below. If you'd like to get more information on applying for visas in the UK, you'll find it as part of Globig's UK Expansion Plan


Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

If you plan to go to the UK to set up or run a business, you will need a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa.

A Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa is available to you if:

  • you want to set up or run a business in the UK;

  • you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland;

  • you have at least £50,000 in investment funds (held in one or more regulated financial institutions and free to spend on the business in the UK);

  • you meet the English language requirement;

  • are able to support yourself during your stay;

  • are at least 16 years old.

You can find specific information on the application and extension process here


Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

The Representative of an Overseas Business Visa is commonly called the sole representative visa. This is a fairly easy visa to get, but the application timing is important, as explained below. If you want to send an employee to the UK to set up a branch or a wholly owned subsidiary, your employee may be eligible for a Representative of an Overseas Business visa. Your employee can apply for a visa to go to the UK as a representative of an overseas business if he is from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and is the sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary of an overseas parent company. It is important to understand that this visa is only available to one person within the company and only one time. Furthermore, this visa is not available after the company has set up operatiosn in the UK, including an entity or bank account in the UK.

To be eligible for this visa he must:

  • apply from outside the EEA;

  • have enough money to support himself without public assistance; and

  • meet the English requirement (people coming from certain countries are exempt from this requirement).

If going to the UK as a sole representative, he must:

  • be recruited and employed outside the UK by a company whose headquarters and principal place of business are outside the UK;

  • have extensive related industry experience and knowledge;

  • hold a senior position within the company (but not be a major shareholder) and have full authority to make decisions on its behalf;

  • intend to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK, e.g., a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary.




All documents that are not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation.



Family members (defined as husband, wife, partner, and child under 18 years of age) can apply for their own visa and stay in the UK with him. You can find more detailed information in the Representative of an Overseas Business Guide.


Skilled Worker Visa

If you want to send or transfer one of your current employees to the UK, she will need a Skilled Worker Visa.  

A Skilled Worker Visa is available to your employee if:

  • her overseas employer has offered her a role in a UK branch of the company;

  • she is from outside the EEA and Switzerland;

  • she has a certificate of sponsorship reference number;

  • she has an ‘appropriate’ salary; and

  • she has £945 in savings to prove she can support herself (this amount must be in the bank for at least 90 days before she applies for her visa) or her sponsor is fully approved and will certify that she will be supported and accommodated by the company for her first month in the UK.

There are four types of Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Visas:

  1. long-term staff;

  2. short-term staff;

  3. graduate trainee; and

  4. skills transfer.

You can find specific information on the application and extension process here


Hiring Employees from the EU/EEA/ or Switzerland

If you hire or bring employee into the UK from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, as long as they have a valid passport or ID card, they do not need a visa to go to the UK or a work permit to work in the UK, with the exception of newly admitted (to the EU) Croatia. Croatians interested in working in the UK need to apply for a registration certificate.


Hiring Local Talent

In the UK, you have different options for hiring local talent, including: hiring your own employees (full-time, part-time, and fixed-term), hiring through an agency, and hiring freelancers, consultants, and contractors. Your responsibilities as an employee will vary depending on the type of contract you have with your employees. Some of your responsibilities may include:

For more detail about your responsibilities and your employees’ employment rights and entitlements, see the Employment Law section.


Hiring your own employees

Hiring your own employees in a foreign country can be a daunting task. You will want to target the right candidates and not have too narrow a pool of applicants. Consider looking for employees in the following places:

  • local schools or colleges;

  • jobcentres;

  • local newspapers; and

  • online recruitment, such as job websites and social media.

Where do jobseekers look for jobs in the UK? To find employees in the UK, you may need to put yourself in the shoes of the jobseekers. Here are some places to find jobs in the UK.

UK Jobcentres Plus

Newspapers: The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, and London Evening Standard.

EURES (European Employment Service): If you are from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you can look for a job in the UK through the EURES website. EURES is a job portal  that is maintained by the European Commission. It was designed to aid in the principle of free movement within the EEA.

Find a job: A government run job search site for jobs throughout the UK.

Websites: there are many UK-wide job websites on which to advertise your positions.


Recruitment agencies

You can use a recruitment agency to help you hire permanent or temporary employees in the UK. Many recruitment agencies specialize in a particular industry or sector, such as IT, finance, retail, etc. Recruitment agencies are generally well connected. If you use a recruitment agency, some of the responsibilities you have under UK law may be transferred to the agency.

Review the Agency Workers Regulation 2010 for more detailed information about the regulations surrounding the use of and Agency and agency workers. Agency Central is an online recruitment agency directory.


Freelancers, consultants, and contractors

In the UK you are permitted to hire freelancers, consultants, and contractors. In general, freelancers, consultants, and contractors are not entitled to the same rights as other employees and workers and are responsible for looking after their own taxes and National Insurance Contributions.


Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

Representatives of an Overseas Business Guide

Skilled Worker Visa

Agency Workers Regulation 2010

KNOWLEDGE BASE UK Hiring And Visa Options