I’m a non-UK national, what are my visa options?

Any teacher who is not a British National wishing to work in England will require a visa. To gain entry for work in the UK, the majority of our candidates qualify for one of these three main visa categories:

  1. Tier 5 – Youth Mobility 
  2. UK Ancestry visa
  3. Skilled Worker visa

If you're married to a British citizen, but not a British passport holder yourself, you may be eligible for a “joining a settled person” visa.

I'm based overseas and require a Skilled Worker visa. What's the process?

Hourglass has good relationships with many of the schools who are licensed to sponsor international teachers. If you require a Skilled Worker visa, you will need to gain an offer of employment from one of these schools. When you have accepted your offer, the school will apply for and then assign a Certificate of Sponsorship. The sponsored teacher can then apply for their visa on the basis of this sponsorship.

Do I qualify as a teacher of a shortage subject?

The shortage occupation list specifies the occupations where employers face a shortage of suitable labour. The occupations on the list are given special dispensation within the immigration rules. These are designed to make it easier for employers to access migrant labour to fill vacancies in those areas of identified shortage.

The shortage occupation list may be relevant for international teachers applying for a Skilled Worker visa.


My partner is also registered with Hourglass. Do we both need Skilled Worker sponsorship?

Not necessarily, but this is up to you.

Your partner may qualify as your dependant. We can help you find out if this is the case.

If your partner is deemed your dependant, there is no need for you both to seek sponsorship.

I have a partner but we are not married. Can they accompany me to the UK as a dependant?

In the Immigration Rules, the term ‘partner’ includes an applicant’s spouse, civil partner, fiancé/proposed civil partner or a person living with the applicant in a relationship akin to marriage.

A partner as defined above can be a dependant on your visa if you can provide sufficient evidence in line with UKVI criteria.

Dependants are not permitted on Tier 5 visas so this does not apply to the Youth Mobility Scheme.

What are visa maintenance funds?

Maintenance funds are a requirement of certain visa applications and proof that entrants to the UK have enough money to support themselves and any dependants upon arrival.

Maintenance funds are met by evidencing that a certain amount of money has been held in an account for a minimum of 90 days. UKVI specify how maintenance funds must be evidenced.

For a Youth Mobility visa application, the maintenance fund requirement is £1,890.

For a Certificate of Sponsorship visa application, the maintenance fund requirement is:

For the sponsored worker = £945
For dependants = £630 per person