Domestic skill shortages have been felt lately which has encouraged employers in Britain to look for the Global Talent market to meet their recruitment needs. However, employing a skilled non-EEA worker involves a number of challenges which include applying for a sponsor license. With a high refusal rate, employers struggle to get the application process right.
- The concept of Sponsor License
A sponsor license is a permission granted by the Home Office to an employer (UK based organization) to employ skilled Non-EEA workers under the Tier 2 visa route. Employers must make a Sponsor License application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to evidence their eligibility and that they meet the requirements for the sponsors. The applicant must provide evidence that the organisation is operating lawfully in the UK with effective HR and recruitment systems. Also, need to provide supportive documents to prove that genuine employment is offered that meets the Tier 2 skill level. The organisation has also appointed key personnel who are dependable and honest.
- Points to consider before applying for a Sponsor License
- The applicant needs to check if the business is eligible for the Tier 2 employer sponsor license.
- The applicant must ascertain the type of workers needed by the business.
- The applicant needs to consider the two options available for tier 2 certificate of sponsorship-the restricted CoS and the unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
- The applicant also needs to decide the Sponsorship Management System (SMS).
- Appointing Key Personnel
A tier 2 employer sponsor license holder must nominate individuals within the organisation to manage the immigration relation functions.
- Authorising Officer: A senior and competent person who will be responsible for the activities related to the Sponsorship Management System (SMS).
- Key Contact: The organisation’s main point of contact with UKVI
- Level 1 user: Level 1 is responsible for day-to-day sponsorship activities using the SMS
Please note that these nominated individuals are subject to a background check by UKVI.
- Compile your application & supporting documentation
The application of sponsor licence consists of 4 parts surrounding business information, the justification for applying for Tier 2 Sponsor license, supporting documents, and the nomination of key personnel. Typically, the business needs to inform about the location, the total number of workers, and information in regard to registration with HMRC. There are other mandatory documents that depend on the nature of the business but generally, a prospective tier 2 employer sponsor license is expected to provide documents that would already be in their possession in the ordinary course of business. For instance, bank statements, tenancy agreement or commercial property, VAT Certificate, Unaudited Account, etc.
These supporting documents must be sent within five days of the initial application. Failure to submit required documents may result in rejection of your application. Hence, the applicant of tier 2 employer sponsor license must be ready with all the necessary evidence and documentation by the time of making an application.
- Prepare for a UKVI Inspection
The main objective of UKVI inspection is to examine if the organisation has adequate HR systems in place in order to meet sponsor guidance tier 2 and also to assess whether or not to grant the license. An audit of HR operation is the key consideration that can undoubtedly impact license application.
- Resident Labour Market Test
The Resident Labour Market Test primarily involves the prospective employer to ensure that the role has been advertised for atleast 28 days in two advertising portals. It requires the employer to certify that the opportunity was already offered to British Citizens, UK based EEA residents, and settled migrants before accessing the global market. However, there are certain circumstances where it is not necessary to undertake Resident Labour Market Test such as the position already appeared on the Home Office’s Shortage Occupation List, salary package exceeds £155,300 or above, and Ph.D. level role.
- How does an immigration firm help with tier 2 employer sponsor license?
An experienced immigration firm helps to streamline a full employer sponsor license application right from conducting an initial assessment to training staff on compliance duties and responsibilities. Still unsure about the Tier 2 employer sponsor license? Look no further than A Y & J which provides advice on all immigration matters and applications.