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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


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    Default Contracting/Umbrella Companies that provide Sponsorship?

    Hi All,

    While this is not solely a contracting question (there is an immigration flavour to it) I am hoping somebody could point me in the right direction.

    I'm a Canadian citizen, looking to move to the London area to work in the spring of 2010. Of course, the pesky problem of a needing a valid 'work permit' to do so came up. The best way to do so, if you don't qualify for the Tier 1 General (or don't want to pay the large 2800 pound fee with it) appears to be the sponsorship route - find an employer over in the UK that's willing to sponsor you. From many forums that I've found, one of the better ways of doing so is to find a contracting company that is willing to do so. The upside for them is that they take a cut of my income, the upside for me is that I get to work in the UK for a bit.

    I found a website that specializes in obtaining work permits for people in my situation - they get me the work permit, I work for their contracting company as a contractor/freelancer, everybody is happy . They even promised a 74% net salary retention rate - which made me wonder how low taxes are over there. The payment structure that they provided soon explained why - unfamiliar terms like PAYE and EBT were provided (with the caption of 'Potential Benefits' beside the EBT payout). A quick search of this site explained to me why EBT's are a very, very, very bad idea (hat's off to Malvolio and his excellent blog about it).

    So, I won't be going through that route. I still want to come over and work in the UK, but I rather not break any tax laws or get stiffed my paycheck. So my question is (after my long preamble): Does anybody know of any contracting/umbrella companies that sponsor contractors in the UK - and do so in a legimate non-EBT fashion?

    Any and all comments or answers would be appreciated. Thank you very much for you time

    Dupes

  2. #2

    Dirty kapitalist spekulant

    DiscoStu's Avatar
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    Default

    The market's crap, rates are low and there are hundreds of local candidates currently on the bench. I wouldn't bother.

    HTH
    ǝןqqıʍ

  3. #3

    More time posting than coding

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    Option 1
    Form, or continue to operate using a Canadian company. Apply for a visa to send your employee overseas to work for a client. Much easier to get than a full work permit for a single bloke who wants to come here job hunting.

    Option 2
    Burn cash paying some work permit agent to 'get you a visa'. They can't manufacture facts. If you don't meet the criteria, you still won't get a visa, and you'll be even poorer as a result. If you lie to obtain a visa, you'll get deported after spending some time in a small room with no handle on the inside

    Option 3

    Marry a UK Citizen. Wait an eternity while you convince UK Immigration you are really in love and it's a real marriage. Obtain a right to remain status. Go contracting. OK, so I threw this in for fun

    Problems
    1. Need a client/job/contract/confirmed offer in advance of visa. Must be able to prove real client and not a visa scam
    2. To work via an Umbrella company you will need a work permit in advance.
    3. UK and European market is very depressed, and full of talented souls without the visa baggage. i.e. much easier for an agent to place.
    4. Rates are down, contracts are short, and budgets vanish. If the gig ends, the visa may not be transferable to another contract.
    5. UK Tax man is very hot on avoidance, so anything other than a UK Company, or 'reputable' Umbrella will see you on the wrong side of him.

    As to your main question

    Quote Originally Posted by Dupes View Post
    Does anybody know of any contracting/umbrella companies that sponsor contractors in the UK
    Umbrellas are set up to enable UK Citizens to accept contracts without having to form their own company, and to avoid IR35 legislation aimed at stopping contractors evading personal tax and SS liabilities. Search the forums for IR35 and many related topics etc.

    They have a very healthy market without complicating things trying to sponsor the odd chap who fancies a change of life in Blighty.

    Also consider that they don't actually advertise for staff. You go to them when you have secured a contract. They then offer you a service to manage your earned income.

    It is the agency who does the head hunting, and it is they who will send you for interview. They will not be interested in anyone who needs a visa or work permit. Too much hassle, and as I mentioned earlier, the market is flush with locals eager for their next role.

    There is the odd exception, often mentioned in these forums, where an agent may state 'applications welcomed from those that need a work permit' or words to that effect. This usually means, 'the rate stinks so we are recruiting from places where they'll work for peanuts'.

    .
    I am not an expert, just someone who has experienced things first hand. If you need expert advice then seek out a qualified expert. My opinions are just that, my opinions. I could be wrong, and laws change, so trust nothing I say

  4. #4

    Nervous Newbie


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    Thanks for the replies DiscoStu and nodric - much appreciated

    After looking at the options nodric provided, I had the following thoughts

    Option 1 - Probably the best option, but not viable for me at the moment.

    Option 2 - Sounds expensive and illegal. Spending time in a small room followed by deportation is not something I really want to add to my 'things to do' list.

    Option 3 - This is by far my favorite option , but I don't think my fiancee would approve

    The provided options and subsequent problems (work permit/visa issues, depressed market and large pool of awaiting prospects) leads to a disappointing conclusion that its not very likely. The one thing going for me is that I am a specialist in my field with a large amount of experience - so I don't think that I would have that many competitors - but in the end, it doesn't look like it will be enough. Ah well.

    Anyone want to participate in a 'Contractor Exchange Program'?

    Thanks again for the replies - have a good one!

  5. #5

    Nervous Newbie


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    Dupes - how old are you? If you are under 31 and do not have dependents you qualify for a 2 year visa under the youth mobility program. Once you arrive you can find a contract (this worked for me).

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