With current development in UK immigration laws, many business owners are eager to learn more about different options available in order to bring in international talents from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to continue to meet business needs and growth (employers of Croatian nationals may also need to be a valid Sponsor Licence holder). One of the options that may be available to some business owners is to obtain a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence which enables them to employ a highly skilled non-EEA worker on a long term basis. We briefly outline below how businesses can obtain a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.Legal advice on Sponsor Licence applications from LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors
UK Tier 2 Sponsor Licence: What is it?
In order for UK business employers to be able to employ skilled workers from outside the EEA, they will need to be holders of a valid Sponsor Licence. This include unpaid work such as running a charity. You must note that sponsoring someone to be your employee in the UK does not necessarily mean that they will most certainly be allowed to work in the UK. Their right to work in the UK will be dependent on numerous factors and on the outcome of their immigration Leave to Remain or Entry Clearance applications.
Types of UK Tier 2 Sponsor Licence
There are several different types of Tier 2 sub-categories, listed as below:
- General – this is for most skilled jobs. In order to sponsor a non-EEA national to work under this route, there are numerous requirements that have to be met;
- Intra-Company Transfer – this is for multinational companies to transfer employees to the UK for a fixed period of time;
- Minister of Religion;
- Sportsperson – this is for elite sportsperson and coaches who have an international standing who wish to work in the UK.
There are several requirements that businesses must meet in order to be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence such as;
- Not have (a) any unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences and certain crimes, and (b) any history in non-compliance with sponsorship duties;
- Show that you are a genuine and legitimate business;
- Proof that you intend to hire a worker for a ‘genuine vacancy’; and
- Show that you are capable and will continue to comply with sponsor duties.
You must be able to demonstrate that you are suitable to be granted with a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence and that you have the necessary resources in place to take on the responsibility of sponsoring foreign workers.
UK Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Application Need-to-knows
You must apply for a Sponsor Licence online and you must apply for the correct type of licence in order to be successful in your application. For instance, if you wish to sponsor a worker under the Tier 2 (General) route, you must ensure that the job you are offering is of a suitable skill level and has a corresponding appropriate salary. The minimum skill level of the job must be at NQF level 6 as stated in the codes of practice. Furthermore, the job must pay an appropriate salary in relation to the job title, job description, and the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes.
After you have submitted the application online, you must then provide with the Home Office all the supporting documents within a restricted time limit via post. Different types of businesses will be required to provide different documentary evidence. As a general rule, you must provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate that you run a legitimate and genuine business.
You will be expected to provide evidence that your company is registered with the applicable and necessary regulatory bodies. You will further be expected to provide documents such as Employer’s Liability Insurance cover, proof of VAT registration, financial accounts of the company, and numerous documents depending on the type of business that you run.
Businesses and Employers Immigration Compliance Duties
Prior to granting the Sponsor Licence, the Home Office may carry out checks to verify documents or may visit your business premises, where necessary.
After you have been granted a Sponsor Licence, you may begin to issue Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) to your prospective employees. With the CoS in hand, your employee may then apply for a corresponding work visa with the sponsorship you provided.
Businesses also need to be aware that obtaining the Sponsor Licence imposes ongoing compliance duties in relation to record keeping and reporting. As such employers must keep records and ensure that they do not fall short immigration law requirements and must co-operate with the Home Office where necessary. Failure to keep up to date with sponsors’ duties may result in a penalty fine, a downgrade of your sponsor licence rating, or even a suspension or revocation of your sponsor licence.
Successful Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Applications
A Sponsor Licence application can be complicated at times as the Home Office have imposed highly specific requirements for applicants to meet. Our expert immigration solicitors will provide you with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the Sponsor Licence process. We ensure that we assist you to achieve and maintain an A-rated Sponsor status and provide ongoing compliance checks to ensure you are aware of your duties as a registered Sponsor.
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through your UK Sponsorship Licence application process step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law. Please always call us for a telephone case assessment even if you wish to consider other advisers. Our Immigration Experts are able to give specialist legal information and advice in this area of law. 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 02071830570 on for a telephone case assessment.