The Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application process in UK
A Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application allows UK companies to employ non-EEA nationals to work in their organisation.
Summary of the Sponsorship Licence application process
Acquiring a Sponsorship Licence as well as maintaining it can be time-consuming and complicated. The following video provides an overview of the application process for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.
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How long does it take to obtain a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence?
It usually takes 2-3 months for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence to be considered and for the employer to appear on the Tier 2 list of licenced sponsors. To help speed up the process, you should consider providing a comprehensive overview of how you meet the requirements. You will also need to provide the necessary supporting information in the manner specified by the home office.
Tier 2 genuine vacancy test
The Genuine Vacancy test was introduced in 2014 in line with other points-based categories. It allows the Home Office to scrutinise an application for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence to determine whether the vacancy is genuine or has been created to help a migrant secure visa status.
It therefore follows that under the genuine vacancy test, employers will need to demonstrate that in all cases, the role to be filled by the migrant worker is a “genuine vacancy”. There are a number of factors the Home Office will consider when determining a genuine vacancy:
- The type of duties to be performed by the proposed Tier 2 migrant as outlined in the job description
- That the vacancy does not include dissimilar or low-skilled duties specific to the role being advertised
- If other employees are employed at a similar grade in the company and if the company needs to employ a person at the level they are seeking to fill
If the Home Office has concerns that the application is not meeting the genuine vacancy test they may request the employer for additional information.
Tier 2 appropriate vacancy
Under the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence rules, an employee can only hire a migrant if they can demonstrate that the vacancy is at a suitable rate of pay and skill level. For Tier 2 migrants, the position should be at Regulated Qualifications Framework level 6 or above.
Resident labour market test (RLMT)
In some instances, employers will need to advertise the position they are looking to fill in accordance with the Resident Labour Market test before it can be offered to a migrant. The RMLT is usually met by advertising the job role in two places, one of which must be the government “jobsite portal“. The position will need to be advertised for a minimum of 28 days and must contain specific information as stipulated by the UKVI in the Tier 2 policy guidance for a Sponsorship Licence.
Tier 2 certificate of sponsorship (CoS)
After the approval of your Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application you will need to apply for a certificate of sponsorship:
- An unrestricted CoS is assigned to a worker who has existing Leave to Remain in the UK and is switching to a Tier 2 General visa
- A restricted Cos is assigned to a worker who is based overseas and is applying on an entry clearance basis for either a Tier 2 General or a Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa
Please note that restricted certificates are allocated on a quota basis and are subject to availability.
Types of Tier 2 visas
Once a CoS has been assigned to the prospective employee, you will need to apply for either a Tier 2 General visa or a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) visa for the applicant. In addition to meeting the Genuine Vacancy test, the applicant will also need to meet the maintenance and English language requirements.
Get in touch to speak to our specialist immigration team on how to make a successful Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application and avoid a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application rejection. We can also assist with renewing your Tier 2 Sponsorship licence application or challenging a revocation of an existing sponsorship licence.