Submitting a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application as a UK Employer

Employers who are established in the UK can submit a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application and sponsor non-EEA workers to work with them in the UK. Tier 2 employers must be aware of the difficulties submitting a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application as the Home Office will only grant such applications where employers can demonstrate that there is a genuine vacancy that cannot be filled with a suitably qualified or skilled settled worker (British or EU worker). Employers must also be aware of the Immigration Skills Charge and the Resident Labour Market Test. A failure to consider these factors is likely to result in a failed Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application. Our Immigration team has proven the method of submitting successful Tier 2 Sponsor Licence applications and also offer bespoke services in relation to Tier 2 Sponsorship.   

What is a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application?

The Tier 2 Sponsorship route is the primary route for non-EEA workers who wish to work in the UK. A Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application allows UK employers to employ non-EEA national workers in the UK.  The Tier Sponsorship route is based on a fundamental principle which is to allow the best and most talented workers from around the world with an opportunity to show off their skills in the UK.  The Tier 2 Sponsorship route benefits both the public and private sector businesses and assists in filling the gap in the UK employment market.

What are the requirements of a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application?

To apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence you must apply online once you have collated the requisite documents for the application. Tier 2 Employers must only apply once they are able to show that they meet the requirements for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.  There are 5 main things which must be considered when applying for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.

  • Employers must be able to show that their business is genuine and operating lawfully in the UK. The Home Office expects employers to provide a specific list of documents to assist them to determine the credibility of the application. The Home Office will be assessing the business structure, relevant accreditations/permissions, insurances and would expect to see tax being paid etc.;
  • The Home Office will look at the history and background of the employer to ensure that the employer is honest, dependable and reliable.
  • In particular, the Home Office will be scrutinizing the Human Resources department as employers are required to carry out compliance duties once their Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is granted. Once the employer is granted the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence a member of staff must be assigned as key contact and act as an authorising officer;
  • The Home Office will also assess whether the employer is offering genuine employment that meets the required skill level and appropriate salary. The skills threshold for sponsored employment that the role being offered must Regulated Qualifications Framework Level 6 or above; and
  • Employers must have conducted the Resident Labour Market Test prior to applying for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.

A failure to meet any of the above requirements will lead to a refused application.

On average the Home Office review a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application within 8 to 12 weeks. In some circumstances, the Home Office can also decide to conduct an onsite visit to see the business. This is usually when the application is lacking key information or when the Home Office have reasons to doubt the credibility of the business.

What is the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) in a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application?

The purpose of the Tier 2 Resident Labour Market Test is to protect skilled and settled workers in the UK. To meet the Resident Labour Market Test requirement employers must advertise the job role to workers in the UK on two different platforms for 28 days. One of the platforms must be “Find a Job” which has replaced the former Universal Job Match. By conducting the Resident Labour Market Test employers can show the Home Office that no suitable candidate has come forward for the job role from the UK or EU. Employers may be exempt from conducting the Resident Labour Market Test where the job falls under the Shortage of Occupation list in accordance with Appendix K of the Immigration Rules. There are also a number of other scenarios where an employer may be exempt from the test.

What is the Immigration Skills Charge in a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application?

On 6 April 2017, the UK Government introduced a new Immigration Skills Charge for Tier 2 visa applications. A Tier 2 Sponsor Licenced employer must pay the charge under the Immigration Skills Charge Regulations 2017.  The charge must be paid each time a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence employer sponsors a worker from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The charge is payable at the same time the employer pays to assign the Certificate of Sponsorship to a Tier 2 worker. Employers must note that this fee must be paid by them directly and should not be passed onto the Tier 2 worker.  The fee for the Immigration Skills Charge would largely depend on the size of the organisation and length of employment stated on the certificate of sponsorship. The current Immigration Skills Charge fee is £1000 per year. Tier 2 Employers who have charitable status may be subject to a smaller charge of £364 per person per year.

Tier 2 Sponsor Licence employers may not have to pay the Immigration Skills Charge where:

  • A Tier 2 worker is applying for a visa from outside the UK for less than 6 months;
  • A Tier 2 worker is applying to extend their visa and was initially granted entry clearance before 6 April 2017;
  • A Tier 2 worker is applying as a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer graduate trainee;
  • A Tier 4 Student is applying to switch into a Tier 2 work visa;
  • A Tier 2 worker is required to do a specified PhD level job listed in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules.

Tier 2 employers are not required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge for dependent family members applying with the main Tier 2 worker.

Using Legal Representation to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to make an application for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application under the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject UK Visa applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful Tier 2 Sponsor Licence applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess possible UK Visa routes and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570

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