To a non-business owner you would think it would be simple. If a business needs to recruit migrant workers because it cannot fill its job vacancies with UK workers then it should be able to do so with the minimum of fuss and expense.
On the 24 May 2019, UK Visas and Immigration
published the Sponsorship transparency data on Immigration
sponsorship activities for the first quarter of 2019. Whilst the Sponsor licence
application statistics make fascinating reading for the top London immigration solicitors
the bottom line is that, without expert legal advice, applying for a Sponsor licence
remains a time consuming and frustrating process for UK business owners.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
The business immigration
team at OTS Solicitors are experts in applying for Tier 2
Sponsor Licences. Clients range from multinationals to start-ups with the specialist Sponsor licence
team having substantial experience in sorting out the paperwork required for each type of Sponsor licence
The dedicated Sponsor licence
team at OTS Solicitors will take all the hassle out of applying for a Sponsor licence
, leaving HR directors and business owners free to concentrate on the daily grind of operating a successful business and leaving them to focus their efforts on the company recruitment and business needs.
The short answer to the question “who needs to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor licence
?” is any employer who wants to recruit non-EEA
nationals to work in the UK.
A Tier 2 Sponsor licence
from the Home Office authorises the employer to recruit non EEA
nationals provided that the employer complies with the conditions and responsibilities imposed by the Home Office under the Sponsor licence
An employer can elect to manage the Sponsor licence
themselves or use a Sponsor licence
management service. Whichever option is chosen doing the preparation work first is a vital first step in the Sponsor licence
• General Tier 2
visas - the job must meet Home Office job suitability criteria; and
• Intra-Company Transfer visas - for multinational companies who want to transfer employees
to work in the UK.
Applying for a Sponsor licence
can seem a bit daunting. That is because when a business owner reads about the duties and responsibilities of a Sponsor licence
holder it can feel as if the Home Office are subcontracting the role of Immigration
control to the Sponsor licence
Applying for a Sponsor licence – the requirements
In order for an employer to secure a Sponsor licence
, they must be able to prove that:
• They are a genuine trading business entity;
• The business is based in the UK;
• The business is a legitimate business and operates within UK law;
• The business has conducted a resident labour market test and failed to recruit the workers needed from the resident UK Employment
market. The best London immigration solicitors
say that the majority of rejected Sponsor licence
applications fail because the Home Office is not satisfied that the Resident Labour Market Test has been conducted appropriately. Specialist Immigration
solicitors can conduct and approve the Resident Labour Market Test to avoid the Sponsor licence
application being rejected for failure to meet the stringent Resident Labour Market Test criteria set by the Home Office;
• The business key personnel does not have a history of Immigration
non-compliance or any relevant criminal convictions;
• The business will be offering Employment
migrant workers that is genuine work and work that is in accordance with Tier 2
visa skill levels and rates of pay.
Once a business has the correct personnel and procedures in place and everything is properly documented the Sponsor licence
application can be submitted to the Home Office.
Getting the paperwork right is just as vital as making sure that the business applies for the correct Sponsor licence
to meet its future recruitment needs and can prove that it has the people in place to manage the Sponsor licence
to meet Home Office Sponsor licence
duties and responsibilities.
Sponsor licence applications and compliance visits
After an application has been submitted to the Home Office for a Sponsor licence
the UK Visas and Immigration
department can arrange a compliance visit. A site visit involves the Home Office attending the business premises and assessing whether or not to grant the Sponsor licence
. If a mock audit has been carried out prior to the submission of the Sponsor licence
application then the procedures should be in place to satisfy the Home Office caseworkers during their compliance visit.
• Checking that overseas employees
have the right qualifications to do the work they have been employed to do and to keep copies of the paperwork evidencing their skills and qualifications; and
• Limit the Certificates of Sponsorship to migrant employees
who will be carrying out a job that is suitable for a Sponsor licence
• Inform UK Visas and Immigration
(UKVI) if overseas employees
who have a Certificate of Sponsorship and Tier 2
visa are not complying with the conditions on their visa;
• Monitor migrant employees
to check their Immigration
status and continued right to work information and keep copies of the right to work documents as well as a copy of the employee’s passport;
• Track and record attendance of Tier 2
• Maintain contact details for migrant workers and report issues to the UK Visas and Immigration
, for example, a migrant employee not coming to work;
• If there are significant changes in the business then they must be reported to UKVI, for example, if the company merges or is taken over or changes the nature of its business. The company must report any significant changes in circumstances within 10 working days.
What happens once a Sponsor licence application is granted?
When the Home Office approves a Sponsor licence
, they will give the business an A-rated Sponsor licence
. This licence allows the business to begin assigning Certificates of Sponsorship to non-EEA
migrant workers provided that the company has suitable jobs available.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
Central London based OTS Solicitors specialise in business immigration
law. The business immigration
team at OTS Solicitors have substantial expertise in securing Sponsor Licences for businesses; from start-up firms to multinationals companies.
The legal directory of leading UK lawyers, The Legal 500, recognises OTS Solicitors expert advice on business immigration
. In addition, OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration
As well as applying for Sponsor Licences the business immigration
team at OTS Solicitors can conduct and approve the Resident Labour Market Test, advise on the management of Sponsor Licences, provide full Sponsor licence
management services or advise in situations where a company is facing a potential downgrading from A rating to B rating or other Sponsor licence
For more information on Sponsor Licences or any other aspect of business immigration law please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London business immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.