Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Application
A Tier 2 Sponsor Licence allows you to hire any skilled, non-EU workers on a permanent basis. To meet the requirements for a Tier 2 Visa, employees must be offered a minimum salary of £30,000 pro rata, so you should bear this in mind when applying for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.
If you are hoping to make an application to become a visa sponsor, you must decide whether you want to apply for a Tier 2 only or Tier 2 & Tier 5 licence. There are certain requirements which you need to consider when beginning the application process. For example, you must put forward three members of your staff to fulfill the key roles for the Sponsor Management System (SMS). This is an online tool which is used once you have acquired your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. It is used to manage all areas of a business’ Work Visa sponsorship. When making an application, you must also be able to prove that you are a genuine business with a legitimate need for non-domestic talent. Your business must also have no previous immigration breaches or history of employing illegal workers. When you have received your licence, you can offer jobs to overseas workers who match the jobs. Unless the job is a shortage occupation, you must advertise the role to domestic talent for at least 28 days before offering to an individual who is overseas.
How can IAS help me apply for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence?
The Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application process can be complex. Our professional corporate immigration lawyers can assist you through the entire process of hiring foreign workers. As part of our services, you will be paired with a lawyer who closely matches your needs and has extensive experience in the area of Sponsor Licences. They will work with you closely to assess your needs and act accordingly; drawing up a comprehensive plan of action. They will then take charge of your application process, liaise with the Home Office on your behalf and write a detailed Letter of Representation to accompany your application. They will also perform a practice audit on your company to ensure you are fulfilling your Tier 2 sponsorship duties and prepare you for an unscheduled drop-in from the Home Office. To arrange your consultation, call us on 0333 414 9244, or make an enquiry using our online form.
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The Sponsor Licence application supporting documents include the following:
- Information stating the jobs you want to fill, including job titles, duties, salary, position within staff hierarchy and skill-level
- Information of any migrants you have already identified for roles including full name, date of birth, nationality, current job title, and previous payslips
Depending on the complexity of your application for a Sponsorship Licence, you may need to provide more information about your business, such as your company number and proof of your profit and function.
A Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence lasts for four years, after which it expires. If you do not renew a Sponsor Licence before it expires, it will become invalid. You can apply for a renewal two-three months before a current licence expires and this is advisable to ensure processing times are accounted for.
A Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence can take between two and three months to process. When applying, it is worth anticipating a the longest waiting, so if positions need to be filled, make the application with at least three months to spare. A business’ size and structure can impact the time taken for a licence to be granted. For example, if the organisation has more than 1,000 employees and multiple offices, the Sponsor Licence application process will likely take longer.
A Tier 2 application for sponsorship may be refused if one of your staff members– particularly those put forward as representatives — have any previous immigration breaches. This includes if staff members have failed to meet their Sponsor Licence duties in the past. A Tier 2 Sponsor Licence refusal can also happen if applicants knowingly submit false information to the Home Office, for example, if they say they are a ‘small business’ rather than a ‘large’ one.
You must have a Sponsor Licence in order to legally hire foreign workers who are from outside the EEA. If you recruit anyone from outside this area who does not have a Tier 2 Visa, you will fail to meet your duties as a sponsor. This could result in receiving a penalty from the Home Office in the form of either a fine, licence suspension or imprisonment.
Sponsor Licence guidance
You need to meet certain duties if you want to be able to employ Tier 2 employees. When you have acquired your Sponsorship Licence, you need to keep an up-to-date record of all staff members on a Tier 2 Work Visa. This includes records of all absences, holiday and salary/role changes. When taking foreign workers on, you must also ensure that there are they have each been assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). According to the Sponsor Licence guidance provided by UKVI, all Tier 2 employees must work in the role named on their (CoS) and fulfill the duties of that role. There must be no variations in this.