Employers wishing to employ non-EEA migrants must obtain a sponsorship licence before they can sponsor a migrant. The sponsorship licence system allows businesses to recruit skilled workers from non-European Economic Areas by giving them a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). Over the course of the last 12 months, government statistics published by the Home Office, show there was a 5% rise in the number of visas granted related to work. The increase was largely accounted for by higher number of visas issued for skilled workers (Tier 2) and for Youth Mobility and Temporary Workers (Tier 5) who had been given a COS.
Tier 2 Skilled Workers & Tier 5 Youth Mobility & Temporary Workers
A certificate of sponsorship must be obtained by the applicant from an employer as part of the application process for visas and extensions.
From September 2012 to September 2013, there were 14% more sponsored visa applications from skilled workers than the previous 12 months (from 40,397 to 46,132). The majority of the 46,132 applications were related to the following sectors:
- Information and Communication (19,410, up 12%);
- Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (8,267, up 12%);
- Financial and Insurance Activities (5,785, up 10%);
- Education (2,670, up 46%); and
- Manufacturing (2,490, up 6%).
In the same period, there were 10% more sponsored visa applications from youth mobility and temporary workers than the previous 12 months, which increased from 39,164 to 43,228. The majority of these applications were related to the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation field which were up by 7% (30,690) and Education, which were up by 9% (4,499) sectors.
Obtaining a UK Sponsorship Licence
As a sponsor, employers will need to provide evidence to the Home Office that they are suitable and eligible to become a sponsor. They will need to prove that they are a genuine employer based in and working lawfully in the UK and that they are able to comply with employment and immigration law and good practice, among other requirements. The Home Office will carry out appropriate checks before deciding whether to grant the sponsorship licence. Once a sponsorship licence is approves, the sponsor will appear on the public register of sponsors which can be found on the Home Office’s website.
UK Sponsorship Licence Solicitors & Work Visas for Foreign Workers
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 this issue is 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.
There is currently no appeal process against any decision made by the Home Office with respect to Sponsorship Licences, so any problems against any decision made by the Home Office would involve costly and lengthy legal action for Sponsors.
It is therefore imperative that you instruct professional solicitors who specialise in obtaining sponsorship licences and will guide your business step by step through the process involved in not only obtaining a sponsorship licence but also complying with ongoing requirements vis a vis sponsorship duties.
If you wish to obtain a visa to work in the UK, our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the 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 consultation even if you wish to consider other advisers.