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To employ any workers from outside the EEA, you will need to hold a Sponsor Licence. Applying for a Sponsor Licence can be a long and complex process. You will need to provide detailed information on your business and why you need to employ workers from overseas.
Holding a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor Licence is essential to employing foreign workers legally. Once it has been granted, your business will be expected to comply with the Home Office guidelines throughout your time as a UK sponsor.
The lawyers at IAS are experienced in providing Tier 5 and Tier 2 Sponsor Guidance. We will help you every step of the way and ensure that your business is set up to uphold your duties correctly. Get in touch today on 0333 363 8577 or using our online enquiry form for Tier 5 or Tier 2 Guidance tailored to you.
Before applying for a Tier 2 Licence, you will need to ensure that the duties outlined by the Home Office are carried out.
Once your Sponsor Licence has been granted, you will need to maintain such duties as:
The duties of a Tier 5 employer are similar to those for a Tier 2 employer and include:
Sponsoring an employee requires a substantial amount of evidence. This is so the Home Office knows you are a genuine employer and that this position needs the expertise and skill of the overseas employee.
For the Sponsor Licence application, you will need to present documents that show the different positions in your company. This is known as a ‘Hierarchy Chart.’ You will need to show where the role you are hiring for fits into this chart.
You will need to file a document that states exactly what the job role in question will entail, what their salary will be and for how long you will need them.
Other evidence you will need to submit include:
There is an extensive list of documents you can provide. For more advice, contact IAS today.
The Tier 2 Visa is for long-term skilled workers and can be granted for up to five years, the Tier 5 Visa is for short-term, temporary workers and lasts for up to one year. Deciding which is right for you will depend on the nature of the role you are looking to fill.
For a person in the UK with an Exceptional Talent Visa, you will not need a Sponsor Licence before taking them on at your company. However, you will need to keep a record of their details and employment activity.
The Sponsor Licence system works on a two-tiered system that presents Sponsor Holders as either A-grade or B-grade.
With the A-grade Sponsor Licence, your company will be placed on the register of sponsors on the government website. The A-grade is evidence that you meet all the requirements for sponsoring employees to come to the UK and work in your business.
Throughout your time as a sponsor, you must present records as and when the UKVI comes to inspect. If you are found not to have met the sponsor duties, your A-grade will become a B-grade and your Sponsor Licence will be suspended.
B-grades can be reverted back to A-grades. This is done by following an ‘Action Plan’ laid out by the UK Visa and Immigration office.
A company can only have two B-grades in the four years a Sponsor Licence is valid for. If issues do not improve after the second Action Plan, the UKVI will revoke your licence. You could face fines and possible criminal charges if you choose to employ any more workers from outside the EEA after losing your licence.
You can renew your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, provided you:
You can apply to renew your Sponsor Licence as many times as it takes to satisfy the Home Office. However, if you do not meet these requirements once your current licence has expired, you will need to make a fresh application.
More information on Sponsor Licence renewal.
After putting in the work for a Sponsor Licence application it can feel disappointing to receive a rejection. This can be especially disappointing for any workers you were interested in hiring as well.
You are no longer able to appeal a rejection of a Sponsor Licence application. You can, however, make amendments, or ‘fix mistakes’, to your current application.
Reasons a Sponsor Licence application can be refused:
If your rejection letter states that you were not approved for any of these reasons, you will be subject to a six-month ‘cooling off period’. This time is for you to reassess your application and work out any other reasons you may have been rejected. You could also use this time to seek professional Tier 2 Sponsor guidance.
You may have had your Sponsor Licence refused because you failed the ‘genuine business test’. This is a recent system used by the Home Office to assess visas/immigration matters. The test looks at how genuine the company’s need for a foreign worker is. The Home Office will ask questions about how necessary the role is and what worth the employee’s input will have.
The Home Office is now placing a limit on the number of Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship issued to UK employers each year. Because of this, it is crucial that an application for a CoS is completed to the highest standard. IAS has a range of Immigration Consultancy services to ensure you are not employing foreign workers illegally.
To assist with your Sponsor Licence application, we will:
To maintain your A-grade licence rating, we will:
Call us on 0333 363 8577 or use our online enquiry form for personalised Tier 2 Sponsor Licence guidance from one of our expert lawyers.
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All information on this page has been reviewed by an OISC accredited immigration adviser and was