UK Work Visas for Ghanaians (Employer Guide)

Ghanaians who want to work in the UK can apply for a UK work visa if the employer and employee meet the eligibility requirements. The UK employer, referred to as the sponsor, must have a certificate of sponsorship for work visas that requires one.

To learn more about UK work visas for Ghanaians, their eligibility requirements, and processes, please contact Total Law at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online. We are ready to provide the appropriate guidance you desire.

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    Do Ghanaians Need a Visa to Work in the UK?

    Ghanaians require a visa to work in the UK whether they intend to stay for more than six months or less. The type of work visa Ghanaians need depends on the work they plan to do in the UK and their qualifications.

    Our immigration lawyers can help your business legally hire and bring Ghanaians to work in the UK. Contact Us

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      The Different UK Work Visas for Ghanaians

      Different work visas are available to Ghanaians who desire to work in the UK:

      Skilled Worker Visa

      The skilled worker visa is available to Ghanaians who want to work and live in the UK for at least five years. The applicant should be trained in a skilled trade such as carpentry or have a university degree.

      You must be a certified UK employer to offer jobs to an intending employee applying for a skilled worker visa. As a UK employer or business owner, you must have a certificate of sponsorship (COS) to hire a Ghanaian on a skilled worker visa.

      The COS is an electronic record. The job you intend to employ a worker must be listed as an eligible occupation on the Home Office’s list. The job description for a skilled worker should be stated on the COS. You will need to be able to pay your workers a minimum salary, as declared by the Home Office.

      One advantage of a skilled worker visa is that your employees can apply for ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in the UK after five years of getting this visa, thereby gaining long-term access to them if they choose to remain with your company.

      Global Business Mobility Visas

      Global business mobility visas are available to Ghanaians whose employer has a business branch in the UK and to Ghanaian employers willing to expand their business into the UK. Employers must ensure that the worker they wish to send to the UK is employed in the Ghana office.

      There are five visas in this category. They are:

      • Senior or Specialist Worker visa – This visa is available to Ghanaians who are temporarily relocating to a UK branch of a Ghanaian company as a specialist or senior manager
      • Graduate Trainee visa – This visa is available to Ghanaians who can work in the UK in a position related to a graduate programme leading to a managerial or specialist role
      • Service Supplier visa -This visa is available to Ghanaians with a contract to provide services covered by one of the UK’s international trade agreements
      • Secondment Worker visa– This visa is available to Ghanaians temporarily transferred to the UK for business purposes in a different organisation
      • UK Expansion Worker visa -This visa is available to Ghanaians who want to open a company branch in the UK

      Scale-up Worker Visa

      If your UK business is growing fast, you can employ Ghanaians for at least six months as long as the job is eligible and approved by the UK government.

      You are required to have a sponsorship certificate. Also, to be an eligible employer, you must be a scale-up worker approved by a UK endorsing body.

      Here are the requirements to qualify for endorsement by a UK endorsing body:

      • Your business growth rate must have increased by an average of 20 per cent within three years
      • You must employ at least ten people who are paid through PAYE
      • Your company must be financially stable and conducting business within the United Kingdom
      • You must have less than four years of His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) footprint
      • You must pay people fairly for jobs comparable to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF 6)

      UK Ancestry Visa

      As a UK employer, you do not need to provide a certificate of sponsorship for your employee on this type of visa. As a member of the Commonwealth, Ghanaians are eligible for this visa as long as any of their parent or grandparents were born in the UK.

      Ghanaians are not required to have a job offer to be granted a UK ancestry visa. They can become self-employed in the UK. For Ghanaians who want to be an employer in the UK, a business plan is required to apply for a UK ancestry visa.

      Temporary Work Visas

      Ghanaians can work in the UK for a predetermined time with the UK Temporary Worker Visa. However, temporary work visas require a sponsor certificate from an eligible UK employer, and each has its eligibility requirements.

      Here are the types of temporary work visas:

      • Charity Worker visa – Available to Ghanaians who want to work voluntarily in the UK without pay
      • Government Authorised Exchange visa – This visa is available to Ghanaians who desire to research, participate in a program, or gain work experience
      • International Agreement Worker visa – This visa is available to Ghanaians who agree to perform tasks within five years under a treaty or international law
      • A Creative Worker visa – Available to Ghanaian actors, dancers, musicians, or creative workers
      • A Religious Worker – This visa is available to Ghanaians who want to do religious work (non-pastoral role) in the UK
      • Seasonal Worker visa – This visa is available to Ghanaians who want to work in poultry or horticulture in the UK

      High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa

      As a UK employer, you are not required to provide your potential Ghanaian employee with a certificate of sponsorship because they can be granted this visa before getting a job offer.

      To be granted this visa, your employee must have graduated from an eligible global university within the last five years.

      Ghanaians on this work visa can only work for the duration of their visa unless they decide to switch to another visa. They can also become self-employed when they get to the UK.

      Health and Care Worker Visa

      Ghanaian medical professionals can visit or stay in the UK on a Health and Care Worker visa if the NHS employs them, one of its suppliers, or in adult social care.

      As a UK employer, you must provide your Ghanaian employee with a copy of a valid certificate of sponsorship to be granted a health and care worker visa.

      Suppose your Ghanaian employee chooses to continue working with your company. In that case, you will have long-term access to them because they can apply for permanent residency after the five-year validity of this visa.

      Global Talent Visa

      Global talent visa is available to Ghanaians who desire to be potential leaders or are already leaders in the UK. This visa is available to Ghanaians 18 years and older in a specific field.

      This field includes:

      • Academics or Research
      • The arts and Culture
      • Digital Technology

      UK employers do not need a certificate of sponsorship or a job offer for Ghanaians to be granted this visa. However, eligible Ghanaians must prove they are endorsed as leaders or potential leaders or have won an eligible award.

      A Ghanaian on this visa can choose to be self-employed throughout its five-year validity. As a UK employer, you can employ Ghanaians on this visa if your business falls under the required field.

      International Sportsperson Visa

      The international sports visa permits Ghanaian sportspersons and coaches to work in the UK under sponsorship to advance their sport to the highest level.

      As an employer, you are to give your employee the certificate of sponsorship reference number to be used within three months. If you will financially support your Ghanaian employee, it must be indicated on the COS.

      Minister of Religion Visa (T2)

      The minister of religion visa (T2) is available to Ghanaians 18 years or older who want to become religious missionaries or ministers of religion in the UK. You must be a licensed sponsor in the UK to sponsor a Ghanaian on this visa.

      Innovator Founder Visa

      The innovator founder visa is available to Ghanaians who want to start a unique business in the UK and is approved by a UK endorsing body. The UK endorsing body will check if the business is scalable, new and unique.

      The innovator founder visa is valid for three years and does not require a certificate of sponsorship or a job offer from a UK company. However, an endorsing body must assess your business after one year to ensure it is growing.

      The endorsing body can withdraw your endorsement if your company does not meet the requirements. In that case, your visa becomes invalid. If granted this visa, you become an employer in the UK and can apply to live permanently after 3-5 years.

      UK Work Visa Requirements and Application Process for Employers Bringing Ghanaians to the UK


      Here are the requirements:

      • Ensure you conform to the UK minimum wage and working time laws. If you do not, your employee’s visa may be denied, and your sponsor licence may be revoked
      • Ensure you meet other visa requirements, such as an endorsement letter for an international sportsperson visa
      • Ensure that you sponsor Ghanaians within the age limit for each visa as the home office approves
      • Ensure that the Ghanaian you want to employ possess the abilities, credentials, or professional skills required for their positions, and retain copies of the documentation attesting to this
      • Inform UKVI if any of your sponsored workers fail to adhere to the terms of their visa
      • A sponsor licence should be issued if required for the visa
      • The vacant positions for which you want to employ a worker must be on the list of eligible occupations on the Home Office website

      Application Process

      The first step is to apply for a sponsor licence if the visa requires it. You must be free of criminal convictions related to immigration, money laundering, or fraud to be eligible for a sponsor licence.

      Also, if your sponsor license has been cancelled within the last year, you will not be eligible for one. Applying for a licence means that you will need to designate individuals within your company to oversee the sponsorship procedure.

      You can apply for the sponsor licence with your supporting documents via the home office website and pay the required fee. If you are eligible to sponsor a Ghanaian, you will receive a licence with an A or provisional rating.

      It is essential to state that not all UK work visas require an ATAS certificate. If your intending Ghanaian employee requires an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, you must inform them of the requirement so they can apply for it and send you a copy.

      The following visas require an ATAS certificate:

      • A Skilled Worker visa
      • A Scale-up Worker visa
      • A Government Exchange visa
      • An International Agreement visa
      • And Global Business Mobility visas

      Send your intending employee the job offer and the COS reference number and wait for their arrival in the UK. You should also provide them the necessary support to settle in the UK.

      Get in touch with our immigration experts for assistance with obtaining UK work visas for your employees. Contact Us

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        UK Work Visa Requirements for Your Ghanaian Employees

        Your employee must meet the requirements to apply for a UK work visa. Each UK work visa has its eligibility requirements. The basic requirements for your employee to come to the UK on a work visa are:

        • Proof that they can understand, write and speak English
        • Their Biometric residence permit
        • A reference number. This number is written on the COS
        • Information on the job’s annual salary, title, and occupation code
        • A confirmed job offer from you
        • A unique Ettis reference number
        • A certificate from any country they have previously lived in
        • A valid Ghanaian passport. This passport should have blank pages on it
        • They must prove that they have £1270 to financially sponsor themselves. This proof is unnecessary if you will take care of their finances. In that case, it must be categorically stated on the certificate of sponsorship
        • A criminal record certificate, if requested
        • A tuberculosis test result. This test can be taken in Ghana
        • An ATAS certificate, if necessary
        • Healthcare surcharge fee
        • Their travel history within the last five years
        • An endorsement letter from the sports governing body for an international sportsperson visa

        Family Reunification

        All work visas, except the seasonal worker visa, allow foreign workers to travel with their partners and dependent children. Each family member travelling with your employee must apply online and pay the visa and healthcare surcharge fees where applicable.

        To be granted a visa, the applicant must show proof of a genuine relationship with each family member, such as marriage certificates, adoption papers, or birth certificates. When the family members arrive in the UK, they can choose to study or work.

        Family together, doing an activity

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Applying for a UK work visa can be complex and confusing for both the sponsor and the applicants. It is advisable to contact an immigration lawyer to navigate the complexity and give the required support.

        Total Law immigration lawyers are experts in immigration matters. We have experience guiding employers on sponsorship obligations and Ghanaians who want to apply for a work visa.

        Begin your visa application by calling us right away. You may reach us by phone at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or by utilising the online chat feature to speak with one of our customer service representatives. We are available seven days a week for communication.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  A sponsor licence costs £536 for small or charity sponsors and £1,476 for medium-sized or large sponsors. Applying for both sponsor licences is £536 or £1,476, depending on your business’s size and charitable status.

                  It lasts for four years after you have been rated and if you have available positions for sponsorship. Your license can be invalid or lost if you do not conform to sponsorship requirements.

                  After the application and visa interview, your employee’s visa will be processed in three weeks. However, if there are more visa applications to attend to, it could take a bit longer.