How Can I Find a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsorship Employer?

How Can I Find a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsorship Employer?

If you are from outside of the EEA/EU and are looking to work in the UK, you will likely already know that you will need to secure a position with an employer who can assign you a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).  Unfortunately, not all UK employers are Tier 2 or 5 sponsor license holders.  This is because employers must prove they can meet the strict requirements of the UK Home Office before they are granted permission to sponsor.

How can I find a Tier 2 Sponsoring Employer?

The UK Home Office maintains a publicly available ‘Register of Sponsors Licensed Under the Points-based System ’ which can be used to find all employers with a tier 2 or tier 5 sponsor license.  At the time of writing (30th March 2020), there are 31,208 sponsoring UK employers across all sectors.  The register provides the following details of each sponsor:

  • Organisation name
  • Location
  • Tier / Sub-tier
  • Rating

The vast majority of sponsoring employers are licensed to issue CoS’s to tier 2 (general) workers, and all but nine are A-rated.  Most businesses offer tier 2 sponsorship, a smaller number offer tier 5 sponsorship, and some provide both. 

There is a wide mix of employers offering:

Long-term (Tier 2) visa types:

Temporary (Tier 5) visa types:

  • Charity Worker visas
  • Creative and Sporting visas
  • International Agreement visas
  • Religious Worker visas
  • Seasonal Worker Visas

How can I increase my chances of securing tier 2 or 5 sponsorship from an employer?

There are several ways in which you can boost your chances of securing a tier 2 or 5 work permit from a sponsoring employer. 

Shortage Occupation List (SOL)

Firstly, if your occupation is included within the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), your chances of success are automatically higher.  In the current context of Coronavirus, and with Brexit still looming on the horizon, it is highly likely that this list will only keep increasing. 

Find jobs in high demand

Regardless of the economic and political climate, there are always professions in high demand, even if not included in the SOL.  At present, there is a desperate need for temporary workers to pick fruit and vegetables across the UK.  Other industries are struggling too.  In manufacturing, for example, the UK is experiencing its biggest worker shortage in 30 years, and 70&#x o;f service sector businesses are struggling to find skilled people.  Furthermore, the shortage of healthcare professionals is now at acute levels. 

All of this means that there is no lack of work for those who are keen to find it, whether skilled, less skilled work, temporary, or long-term. 

Seek a specialist international recruitment agency

There are many recruitment agencies who can help you find employment in the UK.  Some specialise in sourcing staff for UK businesses (e.g. seasonal agricultural, hospitality, and healthcare workers).  Others work with domestic and international clients to fill specific roles.  A recruiter will help to sell your services, skills, and suitability to businesses in the UK, which reduces the amount of work you will need to do to secure an interview.

Recruitment agencies are highly adept at helping their candidates polish their CV’s, covering letters, and interview skills.  It is this inside knowledge that can make a considerable difference when securing a new role in the UK.

Apply early for graduate positions

Each year, hundreds of companies across the UK recruit a new intake of graduates.  The recruitment process can, especially for large companies, commence-up to a year before starting, hence it is vital to apply early.  By making early enquiries, you can ensure you are as prepared as possible, and that you fulfil any additional requirements required by UK companies seeking international graduates.  This may include specific language certification, work experience, documentation (and translations). 

A great resource to help international graduates find work in the UK is GradVault.  The GradVault website helps applicants narrow down prospective employers.  Their software uses a traffic light system, showing those who are actively sponsoring and hiring in green, those in doubt in yellow, and those not hiring in red.  This means you can focus your efforts on applying where your CV has the best chance of being reviewed and considered.

Use online job searches

Online job databases have made the job of finding a new role easier than ever.  Rather than guessing who may be recruiting, use websites such as,, and (just some of the very many).  Many roles being advertised are pre-fixed with the words “tier 2 sponsorship”, or other similar terms.  By using advanced searches, you may be able to find a number of suitable vacancies for employers who already recruitment from outside of the EEA/EU.  When applying, your enquiry may be dealt with by the hiring company themselves, or through a recruitment agency. 

Use social media to your advantage

Social media platforms such as Linkedin provide another very useful way to find suitable vacancies.  They also provide an invaluable tool for finding who to target when putting together your application.  By making sure your own Linkedin profile and CV is fully up to date and as professional and polished as possible, you may be able to attract the attention of individuals seeking candidates with your skills. 

Final words

There is no lack of jobs in the UK, whether you are looking for a temporary position, something for a couple of years, or your goal is to live here permanently.  Don’t be put off by the government’s seemingly hostile approach to people coming to the UK to work.  This country has a proud heritage of encouraging people from across the globe for immigration, and whatever some politicians may say, this will always continue.  The UK is a vibrant and exciting place to work and you can be sure of a warm welcome.


Related page: Use this tool to find companies with a valid sponsor licence 

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