Immigration Sponsorship

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Eemployer sponsorship licences

The UK is a diverse country with a number of businesses requiring highly skilled workers.

In order for a UK business or company to employ non EEA nationals it must have the legal authority to do so. The way in which an employer is able to do this is by obtaining a licence under the Points Based System.

As a company wanting to employ non EEA nationals if you do not have a sponsor licence you will not be able to lawfully hire new workers from outside of the EU.

Legal and procedural requirements for a Sponsorship Licence

In order to obtain a sponsorship licence a business must satisfy the following conditions:-

  • It must be a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK.
  • Offer genuine employment that meets the Tier 2 (General) skill level and appropriate rates of pay.
  • Key staff named on the sponsor application are honest, dependable and reliable.
  • Demonstrate awareness of and capability to carry out visa sponsorship duties such as having sound Human Resources and Recruitment policies, systems and practices in place

Sponsor Licence Application

The way to apply for a sponsorship licence is to complete an online application and to include evidence of being able to meet the necessary requirements to satisfy the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI ) that you will comply with your legal duties.

It is so important that you are able to evidence your ability to meet the requirements because once the initial application has been made you only have 5 days in which to provide the supporting evidence.

If your application is late or important supporting documents are insufficient or incomplete, at the very least, your application will be delayed or, worst still, rejected. Consequently, it’s vital that you get everything right first time.

Potential compliance visits to immigration sponsors

Once the application has been lodged and all the supporting evidence has been submitted your company may then be subject to a compliance visit from UK Visas and Immigration, who will assess whether or not to grant the licence. This is a daunting experience because the entire application and the outcome of the application can depend on this visit.

Whilst the UKVI do not always visit an applicant it is so important to be prepared. To be prepared in this event of a visit from UKVI, companies will be required to provide documentation that proves the legal eligibility of the proposed worker to work BEFORE being employed by a UK company and copies of this information must also be retained by the employer on file.

How can immigration solicitors help?

We can assist you by drafting and compiling evidence for the application, guiding you and your team on how to satisfy the application process and thereafter,checking your HR systems and procedures to get them in order in case you may get a UKVI visit, advising staff on legal and practical duties and responsibilities.

How long does a Sponsorship Licence last and how can it be renewed?

Sponsor licences are granted for an initial period of 4 years and those companies who wish to continue to sponsor migrant workers are now required to renew their licence.

Companies have to submit a Tier 2 licence renewal application via the Online Sponsor Management System. Renewal applications can be submitted at least 3 months prior to licence expiry and appropriate fee paid with sponsor declaration.

There may be a further compliance visit so it is imperative that you ensure you continue to meet your duties and maintain systems and records including ongoing compliance checks on staff and reporting migrant activity to the Home Office.

Let our immigration lawyers help you get it right

We are experienced in these types of applications, able to advise you on all the necessary documents and evidential requirements that can be vital to a stress-free and successful application.