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Recruit further education (FE) teachers from overseas

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How #FE providers can hire teachers who are not UK or Irish nationals.

The right to work in the UK

All applicants must have the right to work in the UK.

Check an applicant’s right to work

You can use the Checking a job applicant’s right to work service if the applicant has given you a share code.

Recruit by becoming a visa sponsor

You need a sponsor licence to hire a teacher from overseas on a Skilled Worker visa.

You can check if you are already a licensed sponsor. You can become a licensed sponsor by following the step-by-step UK visa sponsorship for employers guidance. This guidance covers further information about being a sponsor, including your responsibilities.

Skilled Worker visa

Overseas FE teachers can apply for a Skilled Worker visa under the following conditions:

  • you as the employer are a licensed Home Office employer sponsor and have offered the overseas teacher a teaching job
  • the overseas teacher can speak, read, write and understand English
  • your role pays at least £20,480 or the relevant minimum rate for FE teachers in England, whichever is higher – if you work part time, pro-rata rates will apply as long as you earn at least £20,480 a year

More information is available about minimum rates for FE teachers and salary thresholds for Skilled Worker applicants.

EU Settlement Scheme

Citizens of the EEA or Switzerland might be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living, working and studying in the UK without applying for a visa.

The deadline for most people to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021.

Citizens of the EEA or Switzerland, and their family members, can still apply if they or a family member were living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

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They must also either:

  • meet one of the criteria for a later deadline to apply
  • have ‘reasonable grounds’ for not applying by 30 June 2021

More information is available about the eligibility criteria for later applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Applications to the EU Settlement Scheme can also be made by those who already have pre-settled status and are applying for settled status.

Recruit without being a visa sponsor

You can recruit applicants if they have any of the following:

You can find out more about the various documents that can be accepted when checking a job applicant’s right to work.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Global travel, including to the UK, may be affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Overseas nationals should check their country’s advice as well as the UK’s advice to keep up to date with travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements on arrival in the UK.

The UK government has also published guidance about what to do if you need a visa to travel to the UK and has a COVID-19 immigration helpline which can be emailed at [email protected].

Further information is available for those affected by changes to UK immigration and borders due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Safeguarding checks

Candidates from overseas must undergo the same checks as all other staff in FE settings, including obtaining an enhanced DBS certificate with barred list information. This still applies even if the candidate has never been to the UK.

When recruiting teachers from overseas, follow the below steps.

  1. Follow part 3 of Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) statutory guidance, which sets out the safer recruitment checks FE providers must/should conduct.
  2. Make any further appropriate checks you think are appropriate so that relevant events that occurred outside of the UK can be considered – the Home Office provides guidance on criminal records checks for overseas applicants.
  3. Carry out additional checks for teaching roles, which may include information about their past conduct, for example, by checking documents issued by overseas teaching authorities. You should also consider this evidence together with other information which you have obtained through other safer employment checks.
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