Tier 2 Sponsor Licence

If your organisation wishes to hire from overseas and the candidate is not an EEA national, you will need to obtain Sponsorship Licence. This will allow you to hire internationally and to attract the best and the brightest the world has to offer for your team.

The process of applying for and then maintaining a sponsor license is an ongoing commitment for your business. You will need to be aware of the rules and regulations surrounding the sponsorship licence and sponsoring of an international worker. There are numerous duties that a sponsor licence holder needs to discharge of. By engaging RVS Solicitors, you can focus on running your organisation while we take care Sponsor Licence matters on your behalf.

We understand that your ability to recruit talent from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) is vital to ensure your business can operate and expand.  And because Brexit is placing pressure on the ease of recruiting staff from the EU, the ability to sponsor non-EEA nationals has never been more valuable to British businesses.

Business sectors including finance, tech (and fintech), education, engineering, construction, hospitality, and retail are all heavily reliant on the recruitment of skilled staff.  As such, it is essential that sponsoring employers not only have the necessary Tier 2 Sponsor License, but they maintain it. Any interruption in the ability to recruit talent due to non-compliance with Sponsor Licence duties and responsibilities can have significant implications for day to day business operations.

To maintain compliance, Sponsor Licence holders must meet strict Home Office obligations.  A breach of compliance can result in your Sponsor Licence being downgraded, suspended and/or revoked.  In addition, organisations can face large fines and prison sentences may be handed down to owners and those in senior positions. This is why it is absolutely vital for your business to remain on top of its sponsorship duties, as well as relevant immigration rules.

Our expertise:

Our experts in Sponsorship License

Frequently Asked Questions

How can we help with Sponsor Licence applications and compliance?

The process of applying for and then maintaining a sponsor license is a continued commitment for your business. Our business immigration team is ideally placed to help you with all your needs throughout this complex journey. Our specialist sponsorship licence lawyers have worked with wide range of businesses, from small to large, operating in diverse areas.

Our friendly team of immigration lawyers will help you at each stage of obtaining and then holding a Sponsorship Licence. We will guide you through the application process and then ensure that you are able to maintain the licence. To this end we will assist you in the following:

  • Guide you in respect of what type of Sponsorship Licence you require and who the key personal should be;
  • Explaining the evidential requirements to you and helping you collate it
  • Assisting you with the online application
  • Advising you whether the position you wish to hire for is suitable for sponsorship and if so, under which category
  • Advising you on whether Resident Labour Market Test is required or not in each particular case. If RLMT is required, we will also assist with carrying it out.
  • Auditing your HR system as well as internal policies and procedures in place to ensure that you meet the Home Office requirements and expectations for Sponsor Licence holders
  • Training your relevant personal on their duties
  • Sponsorship Licence renewal
  • Helping you remain compliant with your duties
  • Assistance in case of Home Office visits, Sponsorship suspension or revocation.

Our solicitors will take the time to understand the details of your business, including structure, objectives, and employment needs.  Based on this, and our knowledge of the sponsorship and compliance process, we will recommend an approach which will meet the needs of your business.

We pride ourselves in near 100% success record for sponsorship licence applications where we have been instructed to assist and represent in the process from the very beginning.

Is our organisation eligible for a Tier 2 Sponsor License?

Tier 2 visas are intended for employers needing to recruit staff from outside of the EEA on a long-term basis.

To apply for a Sponsor License, your organisation must meet a minimum of the following requirements:

  • Be a genuine organisation legally operating in the UK,
  • Be capable of meeting the Sponsor duties and have no record of prior failure to fulfil the duties of a Sponsor License holder, and must not have any unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or money laundering.
  • Be able to demonstrate genuine need for Sponsorship Licence
  • Offer a genuine vacancy that meets the Tier 2 skill level requirement and you are able to pay the salary appropriate for that job.

RVS Solicitors understand the finer details of the eligibility requirements and can quickly advise if you will be able to apply for a Sponsor License, and how any potential challenges can be worked through.  We believe in being open, straight-forward and cutting through any legal complexity to make the matter as clear as possible.  We will work with a nominated advisor or representative of your business to gather the information necessary to put together a robust application – allowing you to focus on managing the operation and growth of your business.

How to apply for Sponsorship Licence?

The Sponsorship Licence application is done online. Once the online form is filled with the required information, you will be asked to pay the relevant fee and submit the application. The information required for the application mainly deals with details for the organisation, including registered address, contact details, HMRC registration details for VAT, PAYE etc. You will also be asked to give details in respect of the area you trade in and the structure of your organisation.

After the online application is submitted, you will have five working days to submit the evidence in support of your application. Failure to supply satisfactory evidence will lead to refusal of the application. It is, therefore, essential that you have the correct evidence lined up before the online application is made. It has to be outlined that in most cases a refusal of a Sponsorship Licence application will mean you will have to wait for a minimum period of 6 months before you can reapply. As such, the importance of having experienced legal advisers guiding you cannot be overstressed.

What are the responsibilities of a Sponsor License holder?

1 – Appointing Key Personnel

As a holder of a sponsor license to recruit temporary or long-term employees from outside of the EEA, you will need to demonstrate that you have appointed ‘key personnel’, and they are of good character and dependable.  The key personnel that must be nominated are:

  • Authorising officer – a senior and competent person responsible for the actions of staff and representatives who operate the Sponsor Licence Management System (SMS)
  • Key contact – your main point of contact with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
  • Level 1 user – responsible for all day-to-day management of your licence using the SMS

RVS Solicitors can assist by advising you in respect of the Key personnel’s suitability. In some cases, we can also assist by taking over one of these key personnel roles for you.  We can also take over the management of your SMS, ensuring it is compliant and up-to-date.

2 – Complaint HR Systems 

UKVI will need to see that you have implemented HR processes and systems that allow you to manage your sponsored staff, including:

  • Recording your employees’ immigration status
  • Keeping copies of relevant documents for each employee
  • Track and record employees’ attendance
  • Storing current employee contact details
  • Reporting to UKVI if there is a problem, for example, if one of your employees stops coming to work

To ensure you are always compliant, we will review and recommend changes to your HR policies and procedures, manage your Sponsor-License Management System (SMS), and carry out mock compliance audits, which will simulate what will happen when UKVI officers pay a visit (which are often unannounced).

3 – Performing checks on sponsored workers 

When assessing your compliance to hold a sponsor license, UKVI will look for evidence that:

  • any sponsored workers that you recruit have the necessary skills, qualifications or professional accreditations for their role
  • You have run compliant Resident Labour Market Tests if the position is not listed on the Shortage Occupation List, or covered under any other exception
  • You only assign certificates of sponsorship to workers when the job is suitable for sponsorship, and;
  • Your business is offering employment positions suitable for Tier 2 & Tier 5 skill requirements, which are genuine positions and the meet minimum salary guidelines

Let our team take the burden of applying for a Sponsor Licence and managing your compliance duties and responsibilities.  We will partner with your organisation long-term, providing practical, smart advice tailored to the needs of your business and its staff.

To find out more about how we can assist you with obtaining a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor Licence or managing your compliance, please contact our London office on 020 3372 5125 or complete our online enquiry form to make an appointment. Find out more information on our fees here.

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