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A brief guide to Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence

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Before recruiting talented staff from overseas, companies must be registered with the Home Office and bear a valid Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor Licence. Employers need to be fully aware that sponsor licences are followed by strict compliance obligations, which if not met, can result in a problematic scenarios.

The point-based system was put in place to meet a growing need of employers to find talented professionals that are not available in the United Kingdom and European Union. In a range of sectors, such as agriculture, tech, hospitality and finance, the ability to recruit talent from outside the EEA is a necessity to meet British market demands. For that reason, a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is a high priority for companies that are seeking to trade in key sectors of British economy.

Once a company is granted with a licence, it becomes registered with the Home Office as a sponsor and can begin to issue Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) to NON-EU skilled staff subject to meeting the requirements.

Managing the legal side of sponsorship duties and responsibilities can be quite complex and daunting for companies.  Therefore, it is sensible to engage immigration experts who you can rely on to help manage your sponsor licence duties and responsibilities and keep you up to date with any changes to relevant regulations.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

A successful application for a Tier 2 licence involves evidencing the following:

  1. Your company is a legally operating business in the UK;
  2. Key personnel have been appointed, and they are of good character and dependable;
  3. Your HR systems can manage all sponsorship duties;
  4. Your business is offering employment positions suitable for Tier 2 skill requirements, which are genuine positions and meet minimum salary guidelines;

STEPS TO APPLY FOR A TIER 2 SPONSOR LICENCE

The first step when applying for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is to fill in the online application form, gather the required documents and send a bundle to the Home Office. It might be the case that one of the Home Office’s officials visits the company to examine its HR systems and check your business can meet its compliance requirements. We can provide mock audits of HR policies and procedures prior to the application for the licence, identifying any weaknesses and putting in place an action plan to rectify them.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

The required document list is extensive and depends on whether the company is a public body, start-up, franchise or SME.  Documents may include:

  1. If you are a food business, proof you are registered with and approved by a food authority;
  2. Start-ups must provide evidence of their corporate bank account;
  3. Proof you have employer’s liability insurance of at least £5 million from an authorised insurer;
  4. Proof of listing on the London Stock Exchange

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE APPLICATION IS REFUSED

In the event of an unsuccessful application for a licence, in most of the cases, there is a 6-month cooling-off where the company will not be able to apply again. It is very important that all steps and compliance are taken before the application is submitted.

There is no right of appeal against a refusal of a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. The only option, should a company wish to challenge the decision, is via judicial review.

 

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