Tier 2 Sponsor Licence
Are you looking to sponsor an overseas person to work for you in the UK? Employers need a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence if they intend to fill a gap in the workforce by hiring people from outside the UK in vacant roles which must be genuine. An attempt must have been made to recruit locally. Once a sponsor licence is obtained, a certificate of sponsorship must be applied for and then issued to the intended visa applicant.
The rules changed on 1 January 2021 so that now EU nationals along with nationals from the rest of the world wanting to start living and working in the UK need to be sponsored. The sponsor rules have been made simpler. Note that Irish nationals do not need a work visa and nor do EU nationals who already lived in the UK by 31 December 2020 and have EU Settlement Scheme registration.
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 visa that can be granted under the Sponsor Licence:
- Tier 2 Skilled Worker: 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 (an exception is where the annual salary will be £73,900 or more) from a company within the group of companies to work in the UK subsidiary. English language is not a precondition.
Under the rules, minimum salary levels apply and only the Tier 2 Skilled Worker visa can lead to settlement in the UK. Tier 2 ICT visas do NOT count for settlement. Two more significant changes are that it is now possible to switch in country from ICT to Skilled Worker visa and there is no longer a “cooling off” period.
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.