OTS Solicitors and a year of Sponsor Licence success stories

By Oshin Shahiean, managing partner at OTS Solicitors

With low unemployment figures and businesses worried about the post Brexit recruitment of migrant workers, Sponsor Licences are in the news.

OTS Solicitors have had another highly successful year in applying for Sponsor Licences and managing Sponsor Licences for business owners. The success of OTS Solicitors was recognised by inclusion in the leading legal directory, Legal 500, for expertise in business immigration law.

Prior to submitting their company’s first application for a Sponsor Licence, many company directors and HR professionals assume that the Sponsor Licence application process is straightforward. The top London immigration solicitors will tell you that a Sponsor Licence is not always easy to secure, especially when a business owner is under a tight time pressure in order to recruit a specialist migrant worker, and therefore needs to get the application right the first-time round.

One example of OTS Solicitors working to deadlines involved an application by a global geoscience services company with highly specialised expertise in geoscience imaging. The company needed to transfer a long-term employee from their Russian branch to work as a geophysicist in their UK office. The problem was that without a Sponsor Licence, the employee could not transfer to the UK to assist with the UK research and the field of expertise was so specialist no other recruit would suffice. Within five weeks of the Sponsor Licence application submission to the Home Office the application was approved. The Sponsor Licence was followed by an application on behalf of the employee for an entry clearance visa.

The best London immigration solicitors will tell you that it may not take as long as five weeks to secure a Sponsor Licence. It all depends on the complexity of the application and the supporting documentation.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

OTS Solicitors advise on all aspects of business immigration and have substantial expertise in securing Sponsor Licences. As experts in business immigration, OTS Solicitors make the process of applying for a Sponsor Licence as straightforward as possible so you can get on with business. That is because at OTS Solicitors we recognise that a delay in obtaining a Sponsor Licence or a Sponsor Licence refusal can have a massive impact on some businesses and their profitability.

For advice on applying for a Sponsor Licence 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 immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.

Who needs a Sponsor Licence?

The top London immigration solicitors believe that there will be a massive surge in applications for Sponsor Licences after Brexit. That is because companies are already finding it difficult to recruit suitable UK staff to fill vacancies. That is down to low unemployment statistics combined with the reduction in EEA migrant workers deciding to come to the UK after the Brexit referendum.

In order to employ a skilled non-EEA worker, UK employers currently have to obtain a Sponsor Licence. If Brexit takes place then employers will need a Sponsor Licence to employ new skilled EEA staff who arrive in the UK after Brexit. That is because the government is committed to the end of free movement and thus the rules and procedures relating to the employment of migrant workers from EEA and non-EEA workers will eventually follow the same path.

Sponsor Licence refusals

The best London immigration solicitors will tell you that fifteen percent of current Sponsor Licence applications are refused. Often the refusal is because the applicant has not fully understood the information required by the Home Office. Alternatively, the applicant may not have realised the extent of the supporting documentation needed to support the Sponsor Licence application or how precisely worded the documents needs to be.

Sponsor Licence applications can be rejected for many reasons. The best London immigration solicitors advise business owners to get expert legal advice to secure a Sponsor Licence as without help companies risk repeated Sponsor Licence refusals.

OTS Solicitors recently helped a company after their application for a Sponsor Licence application had been refused. Immigration solicitors reviewed the original application and supporting paperwork and spotted that there were various procedural issues with the application. The application needed to be resubmitted in the correct format, and, most importantly, work needed to be undertaken on the resident labour market test information prepared by the company. OTS Solicitors secured the Sponsor Licence within a month. Sponsor Licence management services were then provided with OTS Solicitors being authorised users on the company sponsorship management system. That means OTS Solicitors business immigration solicitors are able to help the company employ skilled non-EEA migrants from abroad.

Sponsor Licence planning

It can come as a surprise to some companies that applying for a Sponsor Licence involves a great deal of business planning. Many companies are helped in the planning stage by a trusted advisor such as a business consultant, accountant or top London Immigration solicitor or a combination of outside skills.

The type of Sponsor Licence required depends on the nature of the business and the categories of migrant non-EEA workers the company needs to recruit, namely:

Tier 2 workers: Skilled workers with long-term job offers;
• Tier 5 workers: Skilled temporary workers.

Sponsor Licences and working with top London immigration solicitors

The best London immigration solicitors advise business owners who need to apply for a Sponsor Licence to find Immigration lawyers they can work with. The Immigration solicitors should:

• Guide them through the application process; and
• Review the specialist documentation necessary to support the application; and
• Work with the HR professionals and become Sponsor Licence authorised users so the company is able to efficiently employ migrant workers and comply with the rules relating to Sponsor Licence reporting to avoid the Sponsor Licence being downgraded or revoked.

The best London immigration solicitors advise that every Sponsor Licence application is different, with a need to focus on the specific sector requirements of the company applicant.

For example, OTS Solicitors advised a creative art and film company in relation to a Sponsorship Licence application with a view to obtaining a Tier 2 visa for a migrant worker using the creative sector exception for Tier 2 (general) migrants. This exception allows for artists (amongst others) to enter the UK without having to meet the Level 6 skill set of Regulated Qualifications Framework. The Sponsor Licence application was urgent, as the specialist creative project could not proceed without the skills of the specialist migrant worker due to his unique skill set as a graphic artist. Within three weeks, the vital Sponsor Licence was secured.

The emphasis, when working with a company on a Sponsor Licence application, should be teamwork to make sure the company paperwork is Home Office compliant. Depending on whether or not the company elects to use a Sponsor Licence management service, it is also vital that the company and the Sponsor Licence authorised users have the knowledge, skills and in-house or outsourced resources to comply with Home Office reporting and auditing requirements.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

OTS Solicitors advise on all aspects of business immigration and have substantial expertise in applying for Sponsor Licences for employer companies and advising on the management of Sponsor Licences and the downgrading and revocation of Sponsor Licences.

If a company prefers to manage their Sponsor Licence, OTS Solicitors can provide bespoke training services for business owners and HR professionals to help them understand the detailed regulations surrounding reporting and auditing of the Sponsor Licence.

The legal directory of leading UK lawyers, Legal 500, recognises OTS Solicitors expert advice on business immigration. The firm is ranked for business immigration services. In addition, OTS Solicitors has Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.

For more information on Sponsor Licence applications, Sponsor Licence management services 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.


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