Home Office Update: Changes to Tier 2 & Tier 5 Sponsor Guidance

The Home Office Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules: HC535 were published recently and are now in force. The changes have brought further reform for the Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsor guidance. This brings with it confirmations of practices already implemented by the Home Office but also new criteria for Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsors. 

Tier 2 & Tier 5: Reform

The changes that have been implemented are as follows:

  • Employers and businesses looking to sponsor migrants must now implement a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for all of their potential migrant employees if they are likely to have contact with children in their day to day work. The DBS check then has to remain with the applicant’s file and is now an additional document as per Appendix D of the immigration rules.
  • Appendix D of the Immigration Rules now also requires a sponsor to keep evidence of their migrant employee’s qualification and reference documentation.
  • Sponsors must now advise the Home Office where a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) has been granted to a family member of an employee of the Sponsor’s organisation.
  • An Authorising Officer (AO) must now have a clear system plan to implement monthly checks on any CoS which has been assigned.
  • If a migrant employee has made an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) but the Sponsor’s licence is in a period of suspension the ILR application will be refused immediately if the Sponsor’s licence is later revoked.
  • Where a sponsor fails to renew their licence the Home Office no longer permits a 20 day grace period within which Sponsors can make a new application. This means all migrant employees who have been sponsored by such an organisation will be left without leave, as their leave to remain will be curtailed simultaneously with the expiry of the Sponsor licence.

Changes Affecting Sponsors Only

  • If a Sponsor’s owner has changed and a new Sponsor Licence is required, migrant employees will not have to make a further application to declare this change in circumstance.
  • If a Sponsor is found to have advertised a false vacancy then a Sponsor’s licence may be suspended until the Home Office has completed its’ investigations.
  • If the Home Office conducts an audit or compliance visit, then the Home Office may take photographic evidence of the Sponsor’s premises.

Obtaining a UK Sponsorship licence is far from a straightforward process involving referencing not only the immigration rules but also supplementary guidance notes. Together with ensuring that the bundle of supporting documents meets the Home Office’s stringent requirements and properly evidences the application. For this reason it is usual for a professional employer to instruct expert immigration sponsorship solicitors to manage this process.

UK Immigration Advice for Tier 2 & Tier 5 Visa Applicants

Our team of solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your Tier 2 & Tier 5 application by providing you with advice from our leading team of barristers before your matter even reaches the Home Office. Our expert immigration solicitors provide business clients with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the sponsor licence process. We ensure that we help you achieve and maintain an A rated sponsor licence and provide ongoing compliance checks to ensure you are aware of your duties as a Home Office registered sponsor.

If you have instructed legal representatives and you are unhappy with their conduct you can contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 02071830570 for a telephone assessment.

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