Why do all businesses need to understand the complexities of the UK Sponsor Licence System?
Do you want to hire a global talent pool? You must understand that access to an international pool of talent is a deceptively simple plan. One must apply for a Sponsor Licence to hire the high skilled migrants overseas. A UK Sponsor Licence is the best way to fill the gap of domestic skills shortage. This is a permission granted by the Home Office to an employer to hire overseas skilled nationals under the Tier 2 points-based system. Employers must apply to the Home Office in order to evidence their ability to meet the strict requirements of being a sponsor.
However, as said earlier, that the process is deceptively simple and the UK businesses must understand the complexities involved in the process of obtaining a UK Sponsor Licence. Being a business-critical step, a company cannot afford to have Sponsor Licence Refusal since there is no right to appeal against the refusal. If refused subject to the cooling-off period then one can reapply for a Sponsor Licence only after six months.
The application must reflect that the company is lawfully operating and has an effective HR system in place, offering genuine employment that satisfies the skills and salary thresholds, and appointed qualified key personnel. But an employer must understand that there are other elements that require your attention.
Key Points to consider before applying for a Sponsor Licence
- The employer must outline strategy while considering long-term recruitment goals that uniformly cover for the duration of licence’s strategy.
- The employer must be familiar with the right class of Certificate of Sponsorship i.e. the restricted and unrestricted certificate of Sponsorship. Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship is mainly for prospective employees who are based outside the UK and intend to work in the UK for roles that pay less than £159,600 a year. Generally, the Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship is for those employees who are already in the UK and intend to work in a skilled role, including the role that pays an annual income of £159,600 or more. This class of certificate of Sponsorship is also suitable for inward investment post.
- The employer must estimate the number of Tier 2 certificates required before requesting it to the Home Office.
- As soon as the Restricted CoS is granted by the Home Office, the employer must assign the CoS to the individuals within 3 months. The Tier 2 applicants will use the reference number to apply for entry permission from the Home Office.
Resident Labour Market Test
The employers must undertake the resident labour market to safeguard the settled workforce by advertising the role or position to give settled workers an opportunity to apply. He or she must ensure that the Resident Labour Market Test has been completed in accordance with the guidance. The test must demonstrate that no settled worker was available to fill the role or position. The employer also needs to consider if the job is exempted from RLMT.
From 1st January 2021, RLMT shall be abolished.
Appointing Key Personnel
The online sponsor application will require the employer to define certain responsibilities to members of the company’s staff who will closely access the Sponsor Management System (SMS). These people will be called as key personnel.
- Authorising Officer
The Authorising Officer will be senior personnel who will be responsible for the recruitment of all migrants. He or she will ensure that all the compliance duties are properly met.
- Key Contact
The Key Contact will act as the main contact between the prospective sponsor licence holder and the Home Office. He or She will be responsible for Sponsor Licence Application, the documents sent, and the payment.
- Level 1 User
The Level 1 user must be responsible to perform day-to-day sponsorship activities by using Sponsor Licence Management.
- Level 2 User
The Level 2 User must employ SMS in order to assign CoS to workers.
Collating Supporting Documents
The employer must meet evidential requirements by collating and submitting documents. While some of the documents are mandatory to submit to the Home Office. However, a qualified UK Immigration Solicitor will recommend providing further documents to the Home Office in order to demonstrate comprehensively that the company meets the compliance duties properly.
Preparation for Tier 2 Compliance Inspection Visit
On-site Visit will be conducted by UKVI where sponsored migrants will be carrying out the employment duties. The main purpose of UKVI inspection will be to examine the employer’s ability to fulfil sponsorship duties. There will be an audit of the company’s HR Operations and identify weaknesses and omissions if any. On the basis of an on-site visa, the UKVI will make a decision whether or not to grant a sponsor licence.
Role of an Immigration Lawyer
As explained earlier, a sponsor licence must meet a number of compliance duties as per the required standards set by the Home Office specifically in the areas of keeping up-to-date records, tracking employee attendance, and working closely with the Home Office. These activities must be carefully performed where an experienced and qualified team of UK Immigration lawyers can prove to be useful for the company that wishes to recruit high skilled migrants overseas.
Need to know more about the UK Sponsor Licence System? We can help.
A Y & J Solicitors is a multi-award winning UK Immigration firm with a decade of experience recommended by Legal 500 based in Central London. Get in touch with our qualified lawyers for further information about our immigration services. Please email us at [email protected] or Whatsapp us on +44 7448 5656 70.