A UK-based organisation willing to employ a non-EU or non-EEA visa applicant in the UK on a Tier 2 visa must hold the relevant Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. A Sponsorship Licence is also required for educational institutions recruiting students from oversea. Without one, UK companies cannot transfer existing employees to the UK, extend an existing work visa or apply for permission to employ anybody from outside of the EEA.
Currently, the requirement to hold a sponsor licence only applies to employers wishing to employ nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). However, with the introduction of a new set of post-Brexit immigration rules due to be implemented on 1st January 2021, all employers who wish to employ EU nationals will need to apply for a sponsor licence.
Important action for employers:
Non- resident EU nationals who are entering the UK from the beginning of January 2021 will need permission to work. It is essential that you apply for a sponsor licence now should you wish to employ EU nationals from 1st January 2021 without experiencing a delay.
How do I apply for a sponsorship licence:
The application form is completed online and you will be required to send documents to the Home Office in support of the application within five working days of submission.
What documents do I need to prepare to send in support of the application:
The documents that a business should send to the Home Office include:
The Sponsorship Licence is valid for 4 years and may be downgraded, suspended or even withdrawn by the Home Office should the company not meet its responsibilities as a sponsor.
Once a Sponsorship Licence has been granted, the company will be issued with a licence rating. This enables the employer to begin assigning Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) which are required as part of each non-EEA individual’s Immigration Application under Tier 2 of the points-based system.
Persons Involved in the Sponsorship Process
A prospective sponsor must allocate responsibilities to ‘key personnel’ in its staff in the following four roles: authorising officer; level 1 user; level 2 user and key contact. These roles can be filled by the same person or by different staff members.
To allow for immediate employment to take place, the employer should obtain either a ‘restricted’ or ‘unrestricted’ Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS):
Once a CoS has been issued, the prospective employee may then apply for a visa to join the company or may then apply for leave to take up employment with the company from within the UK.
Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Renewal
Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Renewal falls due every 4 years. Should an organisation employ sponsored migrants, they must renew their Sponsorship License prior to expiration, even if they do not intend to sponsor any further new migrants.
Key points about renewing a Sponsorship License:
Compliance visits from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are common when reviewing renewal applications. Visits may or may not be announced, and the attending Home Office Compliance Officer has the right to request access to records. Information which they may request access to will be in order to verify that the employer has been keeping and maintaining appropriate records pertaining to compliance, record keeping and reporting.
It is essential that companies can produce such documentation on request and be prepared for the potential of an inspection visit as part of their preparation to submit a Sponsorship License Renewal Application.
Resident Labour Market Test
Subject to the exceptions set out below, if a registered employer want to sponsor a migrant from outside the EEA the employer will have to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test and show that no suitable qualified resident worker can fill the job.
In order to conduct the Resident Labour Market Test the sponsor will have to properly advertise the position for a minimum of 28 calendar days in Jobcentre Plus (with certain limited exceptions) and by using one other method stated in the relevant codes of practice (unless there is no code of practice for the job). There are certain requirements in respect of the advertisements which have to be met.
The employer does not need to undertake a Resident Labour Market Test if:
We can advise and represent our clients throughout this procedure.
What services we can offer?
We can advise on the procedure for applying for a sponsor licence
For further information and free assessment please contact us.
Our caseworkers at Alpha Shindara Legal have identified a lot of failings of the Home Office immigration system as we deal with Immigration cases every day. We have undertaken
distressing, urgent and sometimes emotive immigration cases.
When we begin to make a case often times the Home Office’s approach is to leave urgent enquiries unanswered for months and when they answer, devastating mistakes are commonplace. Immigrants who have submitted a charged application deserves better treatment in the UK.
Applicants are made to wait several months for a decision on their application. Families which comprise parents and their children in active education. The parents are often prevented from working and children unable to proceed to higher education during very long waiting period, only for them to find out that their application has been rejected and for them to have to go through very expensive appeal process.
Following rejections, people have been driven to homelessness after the Home Office have decided they had no access to public funds and there is no legal help further their case through the court, especially following a long period of being unable to work and unable to
earn a living.
Reports have revealed that there is backlog of cases at the Home Office and that Home Office resources are overstretched, there are not enough caseworkers and there seems to be a high turnover of staff members.
The official line from the Home Office is that “This case is complex and falls out of our normal service standards”
Data reveals that Home Office in the past 4 years have turned away over 2,000 gay and bi asylum applications. The Home Office officials turned down genuine asylum applications and advised them to go home and “act discreetly” or even suggested religion can cure them. Government need to enact an immediate moratorium on deporting or detaining any asylum seekers.
As independent inquiry is needed, so that everyone else will provide evidence to that inquiry. The recommendation from such an inquiry should be used to enact changes to ensure the asylum system is fair to all LGBT and other asylum seekers in the future. Case workers should be provided with dedicated training and guidance to handle claims based on sexual orientation.
The Home Office should work collaboratively with a diverse range of organisation specialising in LGBT human rights protection and have developed with them a wide-ranging Equality Action Plan which is regularly reviewed by our Strategic Engagement Group of partners.
Home Office staff should stop making arbitrary decisions on the basis of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic views. Claimants should be given opportunities to disclose information relevant to their claims before a decision is taken, even where that information may be sensitive or difficult to
disclose. The Home Office should adopt transparent bespoke guidance for immigration and asylum decision makers on gender identity and expression issues raised in asylum claims.
The current Home Office system is not transparent. We therefore recommend better training with transparency. Without transparency we cannot guarantee that training is put into practice. The government must deal with the ‘Hostile Environment Policy’. The Home Office staff operates under the direction of a government that has created a ‘Hostile Environment’ for Immigrants and Refugee. Government policy under the ‘Hostile Environment framework’ combines cruelty and
It is the government target to cut the number of immigrants granted residence in the UK. Officials are therefore under huge pressure to meet these targets and consequently they treat every immigration application and asylum application with disbelief assuming they are fake and frauds.
MP David Lammy told the Home Office officials in no uncertain terms that their organisation is plagued by chronic mismanagement and ineptitude. The Home Office appears to be dysfunctional to be effectively held accountable by MPs. If your MP is unable to effectively hold the Home office to account who can. The concept of reasoned argument and consultation does not exist. The Home Office has no interest in the argument put forward. They just wish to proceed with their own policy. Home Office interpreters are a major problem with no training on sexual orientations and gender identity issues.
Many are originally from the Homophobic countries that LGBT refugees have fled from. They share the anti-LGBT attitudes of their homelands. They are biased and unfit to interpret for LGBT applicants. The current system of Immigration in the UK is not fit for purpose. The entire Immigration system needs a massive overhaul. It is far too complex and too lengthy. The complex system allows abusers on all sides.
NEW IMMIGRATION SYSTEM
From 1 January 2021, free movement will end and the UK will introduce a point based immigration system. The new system will treat EU citizens equally and transform the way in
which all immigrants come to the UK to work.
Under the new point based immigration system, points are assigned for specific skills, qualifications salaries and shortage occupations. Visas are then awarded for those who gain
enough points. The point based system will provide simple, effective and flexible arrangements for skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK through an employer-led system. This represent a significant change for employers in the UK who will need to adapt.
CHANGES TO TIER (1) VISA CATEGORY
The UK government has made changes to Tier (1) visa category, the changes include the following:
The proposed changes have taken effect on March 29, 2019. Applications under the existing Tier 1(Graduate Entrepreneur route has ended on July 5 2019.
THE START UP VISA
THE INNOVATOR VISA
THE INVESTOR VISA
The above proposal do not affect the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category.
The changes should broaden the scope for overseas entrepreneurs to start a business in the United Kingdom with reduced or no prior funding. The changes would also place the role of assessing the viability of any proposed business on new endorsing bodies, rather than Home Office officials. By contrast, the changes require prospective Tier 1 Investors to demonstrate the source of their funds over a much longer period. The changes should also encourage direct investment in the UK companies rather than via government bonds.