This week we received the wonderful news that our client (“the Company”) was granted a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. The Company is now an A-rated Sponsor on the Home Office’s official Register of Sponsors and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (“CoS”) to a migrant worker. LEXVISA provides a full service for our Tier 2 Sponsor Licence applicants; from providing a detailed and bespoke documents list, a thorough document review, legal representations, form preparation as well as a mock compliance interview, in order to ensure the application has the greatest chance of success and make sure the applicant as prepared and supported as possible every step of the way.
The Case for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence
The Company is a software development company in London which specialises in business to business sales, marketing and development. The Company had a job vacancy and after conducting the Resident Labour Market Test (“RLMT”), determined that there was no suitable settled candidate for the position. The Company decided to employ an American national who had previously worked for them as a contractor and had all the mandatory skills, knowledge and experience for the role.
The Company provided us with the necessary supporting documents which demonstrated amongst other things that it was a genuine business with a genuine vacancy and we were able to prepare a strong sponsor licence application. After the application and supporting documents were submitted to the Home Office, our specialist business immigration solicitor visited the Company’s business premises in order to conduct a mock Home Office compliance visit and prepare the Company for what to expect when this happens. We met with the Key Contact and provided her with detailed feedback regarding the visit, which she said was very useful.
Within a month of the submission, the Company’s Sponsor Licence application was granted by the Home Office. The Sponsor Licence is valid for 4 years, however, the Sponsor Licence can be revoked if the Company fails to meet all of the continuing duties as a sponsor.
What are the main requirements for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence?
The Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application is an online form and the necessary original supporting documents must be sent to the Home Office within 5 days of the submission of the online form. Tier 2 employers must only apply for the Sponsor Licence once they are able to show that they meet the requirements for the application. We list below some of the main points which should be considered when applying for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence:
- The business must be genuine and operating lawfully in the UK. The Home Office expects employers to provide the necessary documents listed in Appendix A;
- The business must be able to meet the eligibility and suitability requirements;
- The relevant SOC code must be selected; and
- The business must have conducted the RLMT prior to applying for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, unless exempt (i.e. the job is a Shortage Occupation).
The Home Office aims to make a decision on Tier 2 Sponsor Licence applications within 8 to 12 weeks, however in some circumstances, it may take longer; usually when the genuineness of the business and the need for a migrant worker is questioned.
Mock Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Compliance Visit by LEXVISA
The Home Office may conduct a compliance visit before the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is decided, and once the sponsored business is sponsoring migrant workers. This is in order to ensure that the Sponsor Licence holder is compliant with the Home Office’s regulations.
Our business immigration solicitors are fully aware of a Tier 2 Sponsor’s duties and through experience are able to highlight the common mistakes made by businesses which may lead to their Tier 2 Sponsor Licence not being granted, or being suspended or revoked. Our immigration team can be instructed to carry out regular mock audits to ensure that Tier 2 Sponsors are compliant with:
- Record keeping duties – we can check that all the employee records and documents are correct and up to date and that the HR system is robust enough to cope with the Home Office’s stringent requirements and checks.
- Reporting duties – (for businesses who already have a Sponsor Licence) we can check if the Sponsor Licence holder is aware of what information or events they are required to report to the Home Office using the Sponsor Management System (“SMS”) and whether they have been doing so.
- Immigration law – we can check what systems and processes the business has in place to ensure that they are compliant with the current immigration laws. This includes ensuring that the business is employing migrants who are appropriately qualified, registered or experienced to do the job and whether there is a genuine vacancy to employ the migrant worker.
- Genuine vacancy – while carrying out our mock compliance visits, we can interview the key contract/migrant workers to establish whether there is a genuine vacancy and establish whether they are fulfilling their role in accordance with the appropriate SOC code and whether they are being paid the appropriate salary.
Following the mock Tier 2 Sponsor Licence compliance visit to the Sponsor’s business premises, our specialist Immigration Team will provide detailed feedback, which will include recommendations to ensure compliance with all the sponsorship duties. Our experience shows that most businesses do not have robust HR systems and procedures in place to be Home Office compliant, and all of our Tier 2 Sponsor clients have found our immigration compliance service invaluable in being prepared for actual UKVI Compliance Checks.
Using Legal Representation to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence
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 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 Applications
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 or complete our contact form.