If you are a UK employer and you are looking to employ a foreign worker, you will need to meet different requirements depending on their nationality and skill-set as well as the contract length.

If you are employing someone on a Tier 2 General Worker Visa or a Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa, you must hold a Sponsorship Licence. You must also be registered to sponsor employees to transfer a worker to the UK from an overseas office. If you are hiring a non-EEA foreign worker who is in the UK with a Tier 1 Exceptionally Talented Visa, you will not be required to hold a Sponsorship Licence. It is important to bear in mind when hiring foreign workers that the Tier 3 Visa has been suspended. As a result, you can no longer hire unskilled migrant workers in the UK. 

For those intending to hire religious workers or sportspeople, a Sponsor Licence will be necessary to sponsor their applications for entry clearance.

Our lawyers offer high-quality advice on the employing foreign workers’ process. We can assist with applications for Sponsorship Licences and ensure that your company’s HR methods are functioning properly. We can also help you appeal if you have received a Civil Penalty or had your Sponsor Licence revoked. Get in touch with us now on 0333 363 8577 or use our online contact form for answers to all your questions about hiring foreign workers.

FAQs

How do I employ foreign workers?

If you are a UK business looking to employ foreign workers from outside the EEA or Switzerland there are requirements that you will need to meet before you can hire foreign workers legally. You and your business must:

  • not have any criminal convictions such as immigration offences, fraud or money laundering;
  • not have a history of failing to carry out sponsorship duties; and
  • have a system in place that monitors sponsored employees.

The Home Office will review your application and they may want to visit your business before your Sponsor Licence is granted. There are also a number of supporting documents that you will need to provide prior to being approved by the UKVI.

These are important requirements to follow to ensure you do not hire any workers illegally.

How can I sponsor a visa once I have been granted my Sponsorship Licence?

Once you have successfully applied for your licence you will be added to the published Register of Sponsors held by the Home Office and you can issue the Certificate of Sponsorship to any prospective employees.

This is not a physical document but a unique reference number recording details of the employee and the position they hold which will allow them to make their Tier 2 application.

What are my sponsorship duties under the Points-Based System?

You will have a number of sponsorship duties as an employer of foreign workers in the UK.

You must obtain a Sponsor Licence before you can employ skilled workers under Tier 2 & Tier 5.

You must issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to each prospective or existing Tier 2 migrant worker so they can apply for a new visa or extension of their stay.

You must use the Sponsorship Management System to fulfil your record-keeping and reporting duties so as to monitor your worker’s compliance with their immigration conditions and report any breaches eg, absenteeism.

Failure to fulfil these responsibilities may result in your Sponsor Licence being suspended or revoked.

How can IAS help?

We have a range of immigration consultancy services which can help you understand your duties and options as an employer of foreign workers.

Our services include:

  • taking detailed instructions from you to determine your next steps;
  • providing you with tailored advice on the various options open to you;
  • collating the required documentation required to support your application;
  • professionally completing all the required application forms;
  • producing a Letter of Representation to accompany your application. This encapsulates information about your case and its merits as well as references to relevant UK immigration laws in support of your application;
  • assisting you with the RLMT if required and identify the correct SOC code and salary;
  • ensuring all recruitment processes are followed.

More information on...

Sponsorship Licences Tier 2 Work Visas Tier 5 Temporary Work Visas Illegally Employing Workers Sponsorship Duties

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