Immigration update: What can employers do to recruit Ukrainians?

With the ongoing conflict in Ukraine we have been receiving enquiries from employers and others keen to support Ukrainian nationals in coming to the UK. Some want to know what visa options are available.



Please note that this area of immigration law is changing rapidly so please check the UK Government links below for the latest information.

New Humanitarian Sponsored Visa Route

The UK Government has announced that a new humanitarian sponsored visa route will be introduced for those who do not have family ties in the UK. Full details of this new scheme are yet to be published. Employers who are interested in knowing more about this scheme can register here:

Family Route

There is also a new route for Ukrainians who have family in the UK. Details are here:

Skilled Worker route

For those who do not qualify for that family route, employers in Scotland may still be able to recruit Ukrainian nationals if they have relevant job vacancies through the Skilled Worker route.

Employers who already have a sponsor licence are in a good position to sponsor Ukrainian workers. The first steps is to check if the job role is suitable for sponsorship (see below).

If it is and the person meets the other eligibility criteria, you can sponsor the role in question. You can apply for a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (if the person is applying from outside of the UK) and assigning that to them using the online sponsor management system.

If you do not currently have a sponsor licence, you may wish to consider applying for one but the process will take longer. The licence application process involves an online application form and submitting a set of supporting documents to UKVI. Applications are typically processed within 8 weeks from submission of the required documents.

TalentScotland can provide further information about this process and regularly hold webinars on applying for a sponsor licence. Please contact us at or visit our website

How to check if a job is eligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker route?

If you have vacancies for skilled roles which fall under the list of eligible occupations, and you would be paying at least £25,600, £10.10 per hour and the going rate for that role, you could potentially sponsor an individual from Ukraine to come to the UK to work for you in that role. There are certain situations where you can pay less than these minimum requirements, such as where the individual is a 'New Entrant' (for example they are under 26) or if they have a PhD or a PhD in a STEM subject or where the job is on the shortage occupation list.

In some cases a role with a salary of £20,480 may be eligible for sponsorship. Employers should check the detailed rules on minimum salary requirements.

The job must be a medium or highly skilled job in order to be suitable for sponsorship. The employer should check the list of suitable jobs which is available below. English language and maintenance requirements also apply. Skilled Worker visa: going rates for eligible occupation codes

Certificates of Sponsorship

Applications for defined certificates of sponsorship (for those applying from outside the UK) are usually processed within a couple of working days. Once created, they can be assigned to the eligible workers you wish to sponsor.

The Skilled Worker visa application

Once the certificate of sponsorship has been issued, the Ukrainian national can apply for their visa (assuming they meet the eligibility criteria).

For details of the timescales/ current process please check online as these are subject to change.

Is there anything else employers can do to assist?

Some UK employers have indicated that they are expediting their recruitment processes for suitable Ukrainian nationals so that they can sponsor them to work in the UK under the Skilled Worker route. Some have offered to pay additional relocation packages. These are additional measures you could consider.

If a Ukrainian national is already in the UK, can I employ them?

There are special concessions in place to allow Ukrainians already in the UK with a visa to extend their visa or to switch into another immigration route, even if their visa does not normally permit this. Therefore, someone in the UK under a visit visa or other short term work visa, should be able to switch into the Skilled Worker route or another visa route provided that they meet the requirements of it. Right to work checks should be carried out. More information on the UK Government website

Further information

  • If you would like further information on sponsor licences or the skilled worker route, please contact us at or visit at our website to see how we can help.
  • For further information on becoming a sponsor, please see here.
  • For further information on the Skilled Worker route (including eligibility), see here.
  • Please follow this link to see the UK government's guidance on the UK visa support available for Ukrainian nationals.
  • For the latest updates from the UK government, please follow this link.

This information was correct as at the date it was published but please note that this area is changing quickly so please check the Government website for the latest details.