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Tier 2 sponsorship licence Application
As a UK based company currently looking to hire a non-EU Migrant, your organisation will need to go through the process of applying for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. This is often a complicated process as you will need to provide specified documentary evidence to demonstrate that your company is genuinely trading and that you have a genuine vacancy which cannot be filled by a settled worker in the UK. In order to successfully apply for this licence you will also need to demonstrate that you had adequate HR methods in place to monitor and track migrant activity.
What is the Tier 2 sponsorship licence process?
It allows you to employ and retain non EEA migrants to work for your company.
When do I need to apply for a Tier 2 sponsorship licence?
It depends on your individual circumstances, usually employers apply a few months before they are looking to hire the necessary staff.
How long does it successfully take to obtain a Tier 2 sponsorship licence?
We advise clients that it will usually take 2-3 months for a Tier 2 sponsorship licence to be considered and approved. The time taken to consider applications is determined by the structure and size of the organisation as well as other administrative factors.
What factors will the home office consider when considering my application for a sponsorship licence?
The home office will take the following factors into consideration when assessing the merits of your application:
- You must prove that you are a genuine organisation for example: you are a corporation, limited-liability partnership, a sole trader or a limited company.
- You must be operating legally in the UK, for e.g. you must have the relevant accreditation, paying the relevant taxes and have the relevant insurance in place.
- You must demonstrate that the key personnel named on the Tier 2 sponsorship licence are honest, dependable and reliable for e.g., by not having a history of immigration violations.
- You must demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of the Tier 2 sponsorship licence to adhere to the obligations imposed by the home office.
- You must be able to nominate a member of staff to fulfil the following roles:
- Authorising Officer;
- Key Contact; and
- Level 1 User.
- You must have robust HR systems in place to ensure that you are able to monitor and track your non EEA migrant worker activity
- You must ensure that you are seeking to fill a genuine vacancy at the appropriate level and that the worker is paid in line with the appropriate salary requirements.
Process of applying for a sponsorship licence application
- The employer will need to complete the on-line application via the government web portal
- Gather relevant supporting documents as outlined in Appendix A of the published home office guidance and submit these within five working days of the submission of the initial application to the home office.
- Provide a detailed explanation as to why you require a sponsorship licence
- Ensure that you have existing HR systems in place to demonstrate that you understand and are able to comply with your obligations as a licenced Tier 2 Sponsor.
- Ensure that you are well prepared for a pre-licence compliance visit; a home office official may turn up to inspect your office premises and also speak to you further about your sponsorship licence application.
What level do you need to employ a Tier 2 worker?
If you would like to sponsor migrants under the Tier 2 (General) Visa route, you will need to demonstrate that the position you are seeking to fill is at NQF Level 6 or above as stipulated in Appendix J: codes of practice for skilled workers of the home office published guidance.
Single or Multiple Tier 2 Sponsorship Licences
If your company has several branch offices in the UK, you may opt to apply for a licence as a single entity covering all associated branches under one umbrella or apply for a separate Licence for each location.
How long is the Tier 2 sponsorship licence valid?
Meeting with the Subjective Test under Tier 2 sponsorship licence
This is an additional requirement prospective Tier 2 sponsorship licence employers will need to meet. As an employer you will need to demonstrate that the vacancy you are seeking genuinely exists and that this has not been created to allow someone the opportunity to regularise their immigration status unfairly.
What is the resident labour market test?
In some occasions the sponsor will need to demonstrate that they have attempted to source the position from within the UK in the manner set out in the home office published guidance. In such instances the employer will need to advertise the position on UK government's Jobcentre Plus Universal Job match website and one other relevant portal for a minimum of 28 days. The sponsor will need to establish that there are no suitable settled workers already living in the UK who can fill the position before they can offer the position to the non-settled UK worker.
What is the immigration skills charge?
As a Tier 2 sponsorship licence holder you may be liable to pay an immigration skills charge if your applying to sponsor a non EEA worker for six months or more under the Tier 2 (General) or Tier 2(Intra-company Transfer) route. The charge is set at £1,000 per employee per year, and a reduced rate of £364 for small or charitable organisations.
You are exempt from this charge if you are seeking to sponsor:
a Tier 4 student switching to a Tier 2 Visa
when seeking to employ a non-EEA migrant at a PhD-level job. Or
You seek to sponsor a migrant on a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Graduate Trainee visa
How can OTS Solicitors assist?
We are an award-winning niche Immigration law firm comprising of highly regarded immigration solicitors, we provide a solution based approach to meet with client needs and expectations, and we can assist with the following work:
- Advise on the most suitable structure of licence to apply for i.e. single or multiple;
- Advise on whether it is necessary to meet with the Resident Market Test;
- Advise on whether your existing HR systems are adequate for you to meet you’re your obligations as a Tier 2 Sponsorship licenced employer;
- Assisting with the drafting the Tier 2 sponsorship licence application online;
- Assisting with the collation of supporting documentation to support the sponsorship licence application;
- Provide Tier 2 sponsorship licence training to authorising officer, key contact and level 1 users;
- Advise on how to apply and assign an unrestricted or restricted certificate of sponsorship; and
- Advising on the genuine vacancy requirement in accordance with the published policy guidance.