Tier 2 Sponsor Licence
Are you looking to sponsor migrants to work in the UK? Employers need a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence if they intend to fill a gap in the workforce by hiring migrants from outside the UK in roles which cannot be filled by the resident labour market (UK/EEA nationals or settled migrants). Once a sponsor licence is obtained, certificates of sponsorship must be applied for and then issued to the intended non UK/EEA/settled workers.
We will manage the entire Tier 2 process for you, from applying for the licence itself to assisting with immigration audits, managing the online sponsor management system and assisting the individuals with their visa applications. We also assist the sponsor with their HR systems to ensure they are compliant from an immigration perspective.
There are two different categories of Sponsor Licence:
- Tier 2 General: this is for sponsors intending to recruit new hires or transfer staff without 12 months service within the Group; and
- Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer: this is used for transferring existing overseas employees with 12 months’ service (unless the annual salary will be £73,900 or more) from a company within the group of companies to work in the UK subsidiary.Under the Tier 2 General Licence, there are two types of certificate:‘Restricted’ Certificates are for migrants who will be earning an annual salary of less than £159,600. There is a cap created by UK Visas and Immigration on the number of certificates awarded each month and there is a mandatory job advertising requirement.‘Unrestricted’ Certificates are not subject to any cap and are for migrants who will be earning an annual salary of more than £159,600. There is no advertising requirement.
Under the Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer category, the most relevant is:
‘Long-Term Staff’ visa which is for staff who are to be transferred to the UK company for twelve months or more up to five years. This can be extended to 9 years if the migrant’s annual salary is £120,000 at the time of extension.
The role offered must be at a certain skill level, and the employee must have 12 months’ service with the overseas company and a minimum guaranteed salary level. The 12 months’ service requirement is waived if the annual salary is £73,900 or more.
Under the current immigration rules only Tier 2 General visa may lead to settlement in the UK. Tier 2 ICT visas do NOT lead to settlement.
The company submitting the application must appoint an Authorising Officer who is responsible for policing the requirements of UK Visas and Immigration. This role and the requirements for it are often overlooked until later on in the application process, which can then lead to unfortunate delays in submitting the application.
Representative and Key Contact
We are able to act as the Representative on your behalf, enabling us to assist with pre-licencing audits that occur. We can also be appointed as Key Contact, who acts as the main contact between the company and UK Visas and Immigration.
Level 1 User
The Level 1 User will undertake your day-to-day sponsorship activities using the sponsor management system and can assign certificates of sponsorship. You must appoint someone from your company to take this position who is permanently based in the UK. Once the licence is granted, we can also be appointed as Level 1 User to help with this role.
For more information about Tier 2 Sponsor applications and how we can guide you through the process, please contact us.