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Sponsor Licence Genuine Vacancy: A Guide For Sponsors

It is important when recruiting workers from overseas that you meet the requirements for the role to be a genuine vacancy. Failure to do so can have a significant impact on a business.

Having a lawyer or legal advisor to help you through the recruitment process can remove stress and reduce potential consequences. Contact one of our legal team at IAS today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 and we can get you started.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS for Your Sponsor Licence Needs

    Our dedicated UK corporate immigration lawyers deliver our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach suited to fit each business client that we work with.

    We can assist you in getting a UK Sponsor Licence, generating a certificate of sponsorship, and applying for a work visa for your employee. Whether this is your first application, your initial application was refused, or you were found to not be compliant in the past, we can help.

    With a successful track record, IAS eases the process for you so you can focus on other parts of your business. Here are more things you enjoy by working with us:

    Our lawyers will assess your Sponsor Licence case 1-1 to understand its unique aspects.

    We provide customised guidance for Sponsor Licence applications to increase chances of approval.

    We assist with maintaining compliance with the UK government’s rules for employing overseas workers.

    Our team offers detailed assistance in making any critical changes to the sponsor management system.

    Regardless of what your business immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    Sponsor Licence Genuine Vacancy Overview

    If a business or organisation is looking to recruit workers from overseas then it is vital for them to understand the immigration laws around the concept of a genuine vacancy.

    Anyone with a Sponsor Licence must ensure they only recruit migrant workers for legitimate jobs that are needed. In addition, the role must require the skills, experience and qualifications that are advertised.

    It is illegal for firms to falsely advertise a role as this could result in potential abuse of the Home Office laws on UK immigration. By ensuring that workers are only employed in genuine jobs, it offers protection to prevent the exploitation of foreign workers.

    If you are unclear if your advertised job roles meet the Skilled Worker genuine vacancy requirement you should seek advice from an immigration expert to ensure that you are not neglecting your duties as a Sponsor Licence holder.

    How Does The Home Office Assess A Job Vacancy?

    Home Office officials will use a number of factors to assess whether an advertised role is a genuine vacancy. It is vital that businesses consider this when recruiting workers from the UK and overseas.

    A key part of the process is the job description. Details of what the job will involve need to be clear and accurate. Recruiters need to ensure information is provided on what duties will be involved, what the required qualifications and the level of experience.

    Businesses should also ensure the salary offered is in line with the current market going rate and meets the minimum salary requirements.

    Sponsor Licence holders must also ensure they can demonstrate the role is essential for its operations and has not been created as a means of facilitating illegal immigration. The job must be in an appropriate location and that there is a genuine need for that role.

    It is also essential that an employer has an open and fair recruitment process. However, the vacancy no longer has to be advertised in accordance with the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) requirements. This requirement was removed in January 2021 and replaced with the immigration points system.

    What Was The Resident Labour Market Test?

    The RLMT was a compulsory step for employers to show that they had attempted to fulfil a role with a worker who was already settled in the UK before recruiting a person from overseas.

    Although there is no longer a requirement to carry out the RLMT, it is still essential for firms to ensure they can show they recruited a worker to a genuine vacancy if planning to recruit workers via the Skilled Worker, Global Business Mobility and Scale-up pathways.

    This can be done in a number of ways such as:

    • Advertise the role in a way that is accessible to UK-based workers
    • Ensure the job advertisement contains a clear, detailed and accurate job description
    • The vacancy must be advertised for a minimum period. This is usually 28 days but it is dependent on the type of role.
    • Use appropriate recruitment channels to ensure the advertisement is seen by relevant interested parties. Employers should aim to use at least two appropriate methods such as trade magazines or recruitment agencies.
    • Keep appropriate records of how many applications were received, how the shortlisting process was conducted and reasons why applicants were rejected.
    • Ensure a fair and open selection process
    • Offer the role to a non-settled worker as long as they meet all the necessary visa requirements and there are no suitable settled workers available for the position.

    It is important to consult with an immigration expert to understand the current requirements for the specific immigration visa category you are recruiting workers under.

    Our immigration team specializes with sponsor licences and all immigration matters regarding employment. Reach out to us for help today.

    How Should Businesses And Employers Demonstrate the Genuineness of a Vacancy?

    Businesses and employers are required to provide evidence to demonstrate the genuineness of a vacancy and this can be done by providing the following documents:

    • Copies of job advertisements and details how where and how long they were posted for
    • Detailed job descriptions outlining the responsibilities, qualifications, and experience necessary for the position.
    • Salary information confirming the amount offered is competitive and the appropriate market rate
    • Recruitment records detailing the process including information on how many applicants in total, the number of interviews conducted and the reason for choosing the overseas candidate for the role.
    • A statement of why the role is vital to the business and how it will benefit the company as a whole.
    • Confirmation that no settled workers were suitable for the role.

    IAS can provide support in ensuring you submit the correct documentation to the Home Office to prove you have recruited an overseas worker to a genuine vacancy.

    Get in touch today if you have any questions regarding compliance with UK immigration laws.

    Home Office Compliance Visits To Be Aware Of

    Businesses and organisations should be aware that the Home Office is entitled to make compliance visits to ensure immigration laws are being followed. The Home Office does not have to give notice of a visit and these inspections are a crucial way of taking illegal migration and modern slavery.

    It is important that you are prepared for a compliance visit and understand the consequences if you fail to follow the UK immigration laws.

    If a business is subjected to a compliance visit they should be prepared for the following:

    • Officials may want to review documents and evidence related to any job vacancies that have been advertised and ensure there was a legitimate need for the positions to be filled by sponsored workers.
    • The importance of being honest and transparent as any attempts to provide false information can have serious consequences, including visa refusals, Sponsor License revocation and possible criminal charges.

    The consequences of non-compliance can be far-reaching. If discrepancies or irregularities are identified, it can lead to serious repercussions for both the employer and the sponsored employees.

    Employers may face financial penalties and be banned from sponsoring migrants in the future. In addition, sponsored employees may face visa curtailment, loss of their right to work in the UK, or be forced to leave the country.

    How Can IAS Help You?

    Recruiting workers can be a challenging process and it is important to ensure that you follow both employment and immigration laws when doing so.

    The consequences of not following the correct procedures can have a financial and reputational impact on businesses and organisations. Therefore, it is vital to ensure you have the correct information and support when making recruitment decisions.

    Consulting with our experts will ensure you do not make mistakes and prevent you from wasting time and resources or even facing severe penalties.

    At IAS we offer a Sponsorship Compliance Mock Audit service that is invaluable in helping you comply with workplace laws. Our experienced team can highlight any potential problems and ensure you are ready for a compliance visit from the Home Office. Call IAS on 0333 305 9375 to book a mock audit.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you are a UK employer with a Sponsor Licence then the Sponsor Licence number will be on your Sponsor Licence Certificate, which is issued to you by the UK Home Office. This certificate contains important details about your sponsorship status, including your Sponsor Licence Number, the category you are licensed under, and the expiry date of your licence.

    To check the status of your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) you should contact your sponsoring employer or their designated representative, as they are responsible for generating and managing the CoS.

    As a Skilled Worker Visa holder if you lose your job then it may have a significant impact on your immigration status and right to remain in the UK.

    In most cases, your visa will remain valid for up to 60 days after termination of your employment. You can seek another job in this time, but you will need to obtain a new CoS from your new employer.

    If you are unable to secure a new job within the grace period, you may need to leave the UK before your visa expires to avoid overstaying.

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