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.
Our friendly team of immigration lawyers will help you at each stage of obtaining and then holding a sponsor 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
- sponsor licence renewal
- Helping you remain compliant with your duties
- Assistance in case of Home Office visits, sponsors licence 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 extensive knowledge of the sponsorship and compliance process, we will recommend an approach which will meet the needs of your business.
Our insightful approach to this process, together with our comprehensive understanding has set us apart from other law firms. We pride ourselves in maintaining a near 100% success record for sponsor licence applications where we have been instructed to assist and represent in the process from the outset.
Is our organisation eligible for a Tier 2 or Tier 5 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 sponsor 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 promptly 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 with our clients 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 sponsor 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 sponsor 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 2skill 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.