To sponsor a person under the Points Based System, a company must hold a valid sponsorship licence. Without a sponsorship licence it is impossible to transfer existing employees to the UK, apply for extension or even to apply to employ someone who is outside of the European Economic Area.
Once granted, a sponsorship licence allows you to make an application to employ a person (or continue to employ a person).
Various monitoring duties are expected to be followed and reported to the Home Office visa the SMS system. Any and all changes no matter the scope and size need to reported.
We can help you make a successful application.
Companies in the UK that wish to employ skilled workers from outside the European Union (or more precisely the EEA and Switzerland) must apply for a sponsorship licence.
To receive a licence, the applicant cannot have:
UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) may conduct an announced (or usually an unannounced) visit to inspect your place of business. The purpose of this visit is to see if you are trustworthy and capable of carrying out your duties.
The licence you need depends on whether the workers you want to fill your jobs are:
Tier 2 - Skilled workers with long-term job offer
Tier 5 - skilled temporary workers
It is possible to acquire both.
This Tier is for skilled workers who you want to employ for a long-term or even permanently. It is split into:
This Tier is for skilled workers who you want to employ on a temporary basis. It is split into:
You will need to appoint people within your business to manage the sponsorship process when you apply for a licence.
The main tool for this is the Sponsorship Management System (SMS)
The relevant roles are:
The mentioned roles can be filled with just one person (or different people if you prefer).
It is also possible to appoint an optional level 2 user once you have your licence. This is an SMS user with more restricted access than a level 1 (for instance, they will not be able to withdraw a certificate of sponsorship).
You and your staffed will be checked whether anyone is suitable for these roles. You may not receive your licence if anyone involved with this licence has:
You and your staff must be:
You must have at least one level 1 user who is your employee. You can have other level 1 or level 2 users employed by third-party organisation contracted to provide you with HR services. Your level 2 user can be a temporary member of staff supplied by an agency.
You can also allocate any of the roles to a UK-based legal representative. Apart from the authorising officer role. Your representative must be qualified to give immigration advice or services.
To apply for a Sponsorship Licence you will need to provide at least 4 documents - unless:
Documents must be originals or certified copies.
You will get a n A-rated licence if your application is approved.
However, it is possible that your rating may be downgraded to a B-rating at a later stage if you do not meet your sponsorship duties.
In the event it does happen, you will not be able to issue new certificates of sponsorship until you have made improvements and upgraded back to an A-rating.
You will still be able to issue certificates to workers you already employ who wish to extend, or who are switching from a Work Permit.
You will be offered an "action plan" so you can get your A-rating back (£1476). If you choose to not go with an action plan, you will lose your licence.
If you obtain 2 B-rating in 4 years, you will be at risk of losing your licence.
You will not be allowed to appeal, but you can reapply. Furthermore, depending on the circumstances you might need to wait a certain period before you can reapply.
Before employing a migrant worker, you may need to advertise the position first, unless it is on the shortage occupation list. This is known as the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT).
You will need to conduct this for the following categories:
You will need to place 2 different advertisements. One must be in jobcentre and the second can be in a newspaper, internet site and etc. (as long as it is freely accessible)
Each advert must run in the UK for 28 days in most cases, either continuously or in 2 stages. Each advert has to run for a total of 28 days and neither stage can be lees than 7 days.
You will need to show evidence on why you did not find a suitable British or European worker.
You must have HR systems in place that let you:
You must report any significant changes in your own circumstances within 20 working days, for example if you:
You must make sure that foreign workers who are under 18 have suitable care arrangements for their:
How long is the sponsorship valid?
If you are not downgraded or your licence is being revoked, it will be valid for 4 years. After that it must be extended.
Can I employ Tier 4 students with this licence?
Tier 4 students are given the right to work part-time (20hours) they will not need a Tier 2 sponsor.
My licence was downgraded what should I do?
You will be issued an "action plan", you must send a response to the Home Office within 10 days or your licence will be revoked.
I require both Tier 2 and Tier 5 licences can I apply for both?
Yes, you require for both type of licences if you need to do so.
What is a licence rating?
There are two type of licences: A-rating (the one you get if there are no problems, or a B-rating (indicating that issues must be addressed)
When can I employ a migrant worker?
If his job description is not on the shortage list you will need to pass the RLMT which is essentially a 28 days advertisement for the position.
I have received applicants for a job position from European and British citizens. How can I turn them down?
You can turn them down but it has to be a good reason to do so. As you may be required to accept someone who is not a migrant worker.
EXTENSION extensions after 4 years
EMPLOYMENT employ non-European skilled workers
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