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How to Secure A Tier 2 Sponsorship Business Analyst Job in the UK (everything you need to know)

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The UK is a global hub for technology and innovation, offering a wealth of opportunities for skilled professionals. For international students transitioning from a Tier 4 student visa to a Tier 2 (General) work visa, the prospect of starting a tech career here is incredibly appealing. However, this transition can be complex. 

This guide aims to break down the transition process, providing clear, actionable steps to secure Tier 2 sponsorship and kickstart your tech career in the UK. From understanding the visa requirements to identifying potential employers and preparing your application, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make this transition as smooth as possible. 

Whether you’re finishing your degree or planning your next career move, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools to navigate the UK’s visa landscape and seize the opportunities in the thriving tech sector. 

The Job Market

The UK job market is dynamic and competitive, particularly in the technology sector, where demand for skilled professionals often outstrips supply. The Shortage Occupation List highlights roles experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, including:

  • Software developers
  • Cyber security experts
  • Business Analysts
  • IT Project Managers
  • Data analysts

This scarcity creates significant opportunities for international students and professionals, making it easier to secure Tier 2 sponsorship from employers eager to fill these critical roles. Leveraging the demand for these skills can be a strategic advantage for those looking to build a career in the UK's vibrant tech industry.

Which Tech Job Is Right For You

Before diving into the application process, it's essential to know which tech job suits you best based on your personality and experience. Here’s a comparative overview: 

Job Role Pre-requisites Personality Profile Salary Range (Junior) Salary Range (Mid-Level) Salary Range (Senior) Job Stability 
Data Analyst 6 months of office-based experience Enjoys working with computers, good communication skills £25k £45k £70k+ High. Essential for data-driven decisions 
Business Analyst 6 months of office-based experience Excellent communication skills £30k £50k £70k+ High. Crucial for organisational changes 
Project Manager 1 year of management experience in a supervisory role Natural leader, strong communication skills £40k £60k £100k+ High. Needed for managing changes 
Cyber Security Specialist CYSA+, 2 years of experience Technical skills, strong communication abilities £30k £55k £80k+ Very high. Rising demand due to threats 
Software Developer Strong portfolio of previous software development Problem solver, technically proficient, ideally Computer Science background £30k £45k £70k+ Moderate to high. Consistent demand 
IT Tester ISTQB Certifications, 1 year of testing experience Proficient with computers, great attention to detail £25k £40k £60k+ Moderate. Often short-term projects 

Based on our analysis, business analysis and data analysis are two of the easiest fields to enter that also offer sponsorship opportunities. These roles typically do not require formal certifications and only demand about six months of office-based experience to make a successful transition. 

The Sponsorship Strategy 

To transition from a Tier 4 visa to a Tier 2 visa, there are two primary strategies to secure a job:

  1. Apply During Your Final Months of Study: As your degree program nears completion, you can work up to 40 hours per week for a three-month period. During this time, focus on applying to government-based companies, which often have a higher likelihood of offering sponsorship. However, this approach can be challenging due to the tight timeframe and the limited UK work experience you might have at this stage.
  2. Obtain a Post-Study Work Visa: This visa extension provides an additional two years of full work rights in the UK. This period allows you to gain valuable UK work experience and secure a position as a business analyst or data analyst without immediate sponsorship. The recommended strategy here is to excel in your role and take on senior responsibilities. Approximately four months before your visa expires, approach your management team to request sponsorship. By demonstrating your value and commitment, you significantly increase the chances of the company retaining you through sponsorship, especially if you become indispensable to the team.

Tier 2 skilled worker visa to Tier 2 skilled worker visa

Most students who have approached us come from the healthcare industry and are on Tier 2 skilled worker visas. Transitioning into a tech-based job to earn a higher salary requires securing another Tier 2 skilled worker visa with a different company. 

Strategy  for Transitioning: 

  1. Identify Common Skills: Transition your existing healthcare experience by identifying common skills related to data or implementing change. Focus on the transferable skills that can be applied to business analysis or data analysis.
  2. Use ChatGPT: Leverage ChatGPT to translate your existing experience into relevant business analysis or data analysis experience. Highlight your transferable skills and accomplishments in a way that aligns with industry-specific terminology.
  3. Create an Interview Script: Take it a step further by using ChatGPT to create an interview script. This script should help you align your story with your CV, ensuring consistency and relevance during interviews.

Challenges with both strategies: 

While these approaches can be effective, translating your experiences on your CV can be challenging if you have limited understanding of the new job role. Therefore, it's crucial to research and understand the key responsibilities and requirements of business analysis and data analysis positions to accurately reflect your skills and experiences. 

At Transform Learning Academy, we not only provide industry-recognized certifications to boost your confidence but also offer 3 to 6 months of UK work experience to enhance your CV and provide job placement support using our sponsorship strategy. 

Eligibility Criteria for Transitioning to a Tier 2 Visa 

Basic Requirements 

  1. Completion of a Degree or Eligible Course: 
    • Must have successfully completed a degree or an eligible course at a recognized UK educational institution. 
    • The degree/course must be recognized by the UK NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre) as equivalent to a UK degree. 
  2. Job Offer from a Licensed Tier 2 Sponsor: 
    • Must have a valid job offer from an employer who is a licensed Tier 2 sponsor. 
    • The job offer should be in alignment with the UK’s skill and salary thresholds for Tier 2 visas. 
  3. Meeting Salary and Skill Level Requirements: 
    • The job offered must meet the minimum salary requirement set by the Home Office for Tier 2 visas. This amount may vary depending on the specific role and industry. 
    • The job must be classified as a skilled occupation, typically requiring a minimum of a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience in the relevant field. 

Which Companies have a great track record in providing sponsorship jobs?

Here are some of the top companies in the UK known for providing Tier 2 visa sponsorship jobs: 

Private Companies Government-Based Organizations 
Google UK Home Office 
Amazon UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) 
Microsoft UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) 
IBM UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) 
Facebook (Meta) UK Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) 
Deloitte UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) 
PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) UK Department for Business and Trade (DBT) 
KPMG UK Department for Education (DfE) 
EY (Ernst & Young) UK National Health Service (NHS) 
Barclays UK Metropolitan Police Service 
Rolls-Royce UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) 
BAE Systems Environment Agency 
Siemens UK Public Health England (PHE) 
GKN Aerospace Office for National Statistics (ONS) 
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) 
AstraZeneca Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) 
Pfizer UK Local Councils (e.g., Manchester City Council, Birmingham City Council) 
Unilever UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) 
Procter & Gamble (P&G) UK Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) 
BP (British Petroleum) Ofcom (Office of Communications) 
Shell UK Care Quality Commission (CQC) 
HSBC UK Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Tesco Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) 
BT Group Universities and Higher Education Institutions (e.g., University of Oxford, University of Cambridge) 

These companies are known for their strong sponsorship track record and offer a wide range of roles across various industries. They also provide excellent career growth opportunities and are reputed for their work culture and employee benefits. 

Here is a register of all the licensed tier 2 companies that can sponsor workers in the UK under Tier 2.

However a lot of the companies on this list are SME companies which may not provide sponsorship in tech based jobs. 

Challenges you may face transitioning into tech:

While the information above provides a clear pathway to apply for sponsorship jobs, there are several challenges you may encounter when transitioning into a Tier 2 sponsorship tech job:

Lack of Relevant UK Work Experience

Cultural Adaptation: Many companies prefer candidates who have demonstrated an ability to adapt to the UK work culture and style. This includes understanding workplace norms, communication styles, and the general business environment. 

Local Industry Knowledge: Having specific knowledge of the UK tech industry, including regulatory requirements, market trends, and customer preferences, can be a significant advantage.

Competition with Local Candidates

Highly Competitive Market: The UK tech job market is highly competitive, with many qualified local candidates. Employers may favour candidates who are already familiar with the local industry and have established professional networks.

Preference for Local Candidates: Some employers may have a preference for local candidates due to the perceived lower risk and fewer administrative hurdles compared to sponsoring an international employee.

Visa Sponsorship Process:

Complex and Time-Consuming: The Tier 2 visa sponsorship process can be complex and time-consuming for both the employer and the candidate. This includes obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), meeting salary thresholds, and ensuring all documentation is in order.

Cost Implications: The costs associated with visa sponsorship, including application fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), can be substantial. Some employers may be reluctant to bear these additional costs.

Adaptation to New Technologies and Practices

Keeping Up with Technological Advancements: The tech industry evolves rapidly, and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and best practices is crucial. This might require additional training or certification courses.

Different Tech Stack: Companies in the UK might use different technologies or methodologies compared to those you are familiar with, necessitating a period of adjustment and learning.

Networking and Professional Connections

Lack of Local References: Employers often seek references from previous employers. Having UK-based references can be advantageous, so building relationships with local professionals who can vouch for your skills and work ethic is important.

Soft Skills and Communication

Communication Skills: Effective communication is key in any job, but there might be differences in communication styles, accents and expectations in the UK. Understanding and adapting to these nuances is important.

Cultural Differences: Being aware of and sensitive to cultural differences in the workplace can help in building rapport with colleagues and fitting into the company culture.

Securing the Sponsorship

Securing sponsorship for a Tier 2 visa involves understanding the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), navigating the visa application process, and potentially leveraging the Post-Study Work Visa (Graduate Route). Below is a detailed guide to help you through these steps:

Understanding the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

1.What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?

- A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a digital document issued by a licensed Tier 2 sponsor (your employer) that confirms your job offer and employment details. It is a crucial component of your Tier 2 visa application.

- The CoS contains information about the job, including salary, job title, and work location. It also confirms that the employer has met all the necessary requirements to hire a non-UK worker.

2. Types of CoS 

Defined CoS: For applicants applying from outside the UK.- Undefined CoS: For applicants already in the UK who are extending their visa or switching to a Tier 2 visa from another visa category.

3. Obtaining a CoS 

Your prospective employer must apply for a CoS on your behalf. They must provide evidence that the job meets the necessary salary and skill level requirements.- The employer must also demonstrate that they have conducted a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT), if applicable, to prove that no suitable resident workers are available for the job.

Visa Application Process

1. Completing the Online Application:

Once you have received your CoS, you can proceed with your Tier 2 visa application. The application is completed online through the UK government’s official visa and immigration website.- You will need to provide personal details, information about your job offer, and your CoS reference number.

2. Biometrics Appointment 

After submitting your application, you will need to attend a biometrics appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph. This can be done at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) if you are applying from outside the UK or at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) centre if you are applying from within the UK.- You may also be required to submit additional documentation, such as your passport, proof of qualifications, and proof of maintenance funds.The costs associated with the Tier 2 sponsorship process for employers can be substantial, covering various fees and charges. Here is a breakdown of the main fees that employers may incur:

Understanding Tier 2 Sponsorship Costs for Employers and How you can take advantage knowing this.

1. Sponsor License Application Fee

  • Small or Charitable Sponsors: £536
  • Medium or Large Sponsors: £1,476
  • This fee is paid when an employer applies for a sponsor license, which is necessary to sponsor employees under the Tier 2 visa category.

2. Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Fee

  • Cost per Certificate: £199
  • This fee is paid each time an employer issues a Certificate of Sponsorship to a prospective employee.

3. Immigration Skills Charge

  • Small or Charitable Sponsors: £364 for the first 12 months, plus £182 for each additional 6 months.
  • Medium or Large Sponsors: £1,000 for the first 12 months, plus £500 for each additional 6 months.
  • This charge applies for each sponsored worker and is intended to help fund training for UK residents.

4. Legal and Administrative Costs

  • Legal Fees: Varies depending on the complexity of the case and the legal firm used. Approx £800.
  • Administrative Costs*: Costs associated with the internal administration of the sponsorship process, including HR and compliance management.

Fees for Sponsored Employees

While these are not direct costs to the employer, they are important to be aware of as part of the overall sponsorship process:

  1. Visa Application Fee
    • Standard Visa Application Fee: £610 to £1,408 (varies depending on the length of stay and type of visa)
    • This fee is typically paid by the employee, but some employers choose to cover this cost as part of the employment package.
  2. Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
    • Cost per Year: £624 per year of visa duration
    • This surcharge is usually paid by the employee, but again, some employers may choose to cover this cost.

Summary

Employers sponsoring a Tier 2 visa must be prepared for several significant costs, including the sponsor licence application fee, the Certificate of Sponsorship fee, and the Immigration Skills Charge. Additionally, there may be costs related to legal and administrative expenses. While employees typically cover visa application fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge, some employers choose to include these as part of their employment offer. Understanding these costs is crucial for employers to budget effectively and ensure compliance with UK immigration regulations.

Understanding the costs associated with the Tier 2 visa application can give you a strategic advantage during negotiations. If you encounter employers hesitant to provide sponsorship due to these expenses, consider offering to subsidise part of the visa application costs. This gesture can make you a more attractive candidate and demonstrate your commitment to securing UK sponsorship, potentially easing the employer's financial burden and increasing your chances of obtaining the sponsorship.

Conclusion

Securing Tier 2 sponsorship involves understanding the visa process, identifying potential employers, and effectively presenting your skills. The journey can be challenging, with obstacles such as adapting to the UK work culture, facing stiff competition from local candidates, and navigating the complexities of the sponsorship process.

However, with determination and the right approach, you can successfully navigate these challenges and start your tech career in the UK. Utilising the Transform Learning Academy platform can significantly enhance your chances of securing sponsorship. Here’s how:

1. Industry-Recognized Certifications: By gaining certifications that are highly valued in the tech industry, you can make yourself a more attractive candidate to potential employers. Transform Learning Academy offers courses and certifications that are recognized and respected in the UK job market.

2. UK Work Experience: The platform provides opportunities to gain relevant UK work experience, which is crucial for demonstrating your ability to adapt to the UK work culture and environment. This experience can set you apart from other international candidates.

3. Correct Sponsorship Strategy: Transform Learning Academy guides you in developing a targeted sponsorship strategy. This includes identifying employers with a high track record of providing sponsorship jobs and tailoring your applications to meet their specific requirements.

By leveraging the resources and support provided by Transform Learning Academy, you can overcome the challenges associated with securing Tier 2 sponsorship and successfully launch your tech career in the UK. With the right strategy, certifications, and experience, you can achieve your professional goals and thrive in the competitive UK job market.

Book a Career Strategy Call: Speak with our team to learn how we can help you choose the right programme for you. Visit our website to schedule your call today. 

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