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Sponsorship Licences and Hiring Temporary Workers

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Many UK employers don’t realise that if they want to hire a temporary worker from overseas, they need a Home Office issued sponsor licence to do so. If your business already has a sponsor licence to hire skilled migrant workers on skilled worker visas or intra company transfer visas you will need to get your sponsor licence extended to cover your business being able to sponsor temporary workers. That can be frustrating as if your business needs to recruit  temporary workers it is normally because there is an urgent need for short term staff.

UK Online and London Based Sponsorship Licence Lawyers and Immigration Solicitors 

For advice on Sponsorship Licences or on any aspect of immigration law or employment law call the expert London immigration and employment lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Temporary worker visas    

The Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) visa is the official name for the temporary worker visa. Importantly the temporary worker visa only enables very specific categories of overseas based temporary workers to enter the UK. Many UK employers had hoped that their recruitment needs could be met, at least on a short-term basis, through sponsoring temporary workers because of the lack of free flow of EU nationals with the end of free movement .

The Tier 5 temporary worker visa categories are:

  • Seasonal workers.
  • Charity workers.
  • Creative and sporting workers.
  • Religious workers.
  • Workers under international agreements and government authorised exchange workers.

Sponsorship Licences and temporary workers

You can only sponsor a temporary worker if you have a Home Office issued sponsor licence with an A rating. The process is similar to sponsoring a skilled worker visa or intra company transfer visa applicant. Your company will need to issue the temporary workers with certificates of sponsorship to enable them to apply to the Home Office for their temporary worker visa.

Temporary worker visa length

A crucial point in helping a UK employer decide whether recruiting workers on temporary worker visas is the best option to meet their recruitment needs is to understand how long the temporary worker will be able to work for the business. After all, your company may not want to go to the trouble and expense of recruiting a temporary worker if the visa is too short a period to justify the outlay.

The temporary worker visa can be granted for a period of between six to twenty-four months, depending on the type of Tier 5 category.

Temporary worker visa eligibility criteria

Most temporary worker visa applicants will need to meet the following general eligibility criteria:

  • They have been allocated a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer with a Tier 5 Sponsorship Licence.
  • There is a genuine temporary worker job.
  • They meet the financial requirement.
  • If required, depending on their country of residence, they have a tuberculosis certificate.

The temporary seasonal worker visa

The temporary worker visa for seasonal workers isn’t as helpful for UK employers as many hoped for. That is because the immigration rules define and limit the meaning of ‘seasonal worker’. The visa is limited to workers coming to the UK to work in the edible horticulture sector. The temporary workers have to secure the work via an approved scheme operator.

Edible horticulture includes soft fruit, orchard fruit, mushrooms, vines and field vegetables. Accordingly, the seasonal worker category of the temporary worker visa is very limited. It does not, for example, allow a UK employer to temporarily employ a seasonal hospitality worker or summer season construction worker.

Sponsorship Licence lawyers say that the seasonal visa is for a maximum of six months in any twelve-month period. The visa cannot be extended. It therefore is very much a temporary visa but with the seasonal worker category the visa applicant doesn’t need to produce a tuberculosis certificate or prove that there is a genuine job.

Time to change the temporary worker visa?

Sponsorship Licence lawyers and some trade organisations have called for significant extensions to the seasonal  temporary worker visa given the current UK low unemployment rates and the recruitment crisis in some sectors. For example, the hospitality industry, the construction industry and within the transport industry. Some of these sectors historically relied on a summer influx of EU national workers. That workforce dried up with the end of free movement  for EU nationals on the 31 December 2020. As some hotels and restaurants can't open full time because of a lack of cleaners, serving and other staff and as supply chain issues threatening Christmas products arriving in UK supermarkets because of the severe shortage of HGV drivers, UK bosses are looking to Sponsorship Licence lawyers to find the answers to their business recruitment needs.

If your UK business has temporary or permanent recruitment needs and you are not able to recruit sufficient UK based workers then Sponsorship Licence lawyers can look at your sponsor licence options, including whether the ability to hire a Tier 2  skilled worker visa or intra company transfer visa holder or a Tier 5 temporary worker visa holder would best meet any pressing recruitment needs.

UK Online and London Based Sponsorship Licence lawyers and Immigration Solicitors 

For advice on applying for a sponsor licence or for help with any aspect of immigration law or employment law call the experts and specialist lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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