UK Business Immigration Lawyers London

UK Business Immigration

Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence and UK Business Immigration

A Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence is crucial for businesses who wish to employ the best possible candidates from outside the EEA to be able to thrive in the UK’s international and competitive economy. However, there are constant changes to UK business immigration law. Businesses must keep up with the increasing complexity of the requirements to legally employ non-EEA nationals. The strict rules and complicated guidelines set by the Home Office have rendered many businesses unable to fulfil their obligations. Subsequently, they incur penalties and financial losses.

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Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence and sponsoring non-EEA workers

As a business seeking to employ skilled non-EEA migrants, you must apply for a Tier 2 Sponsorship licence. Furthermore, you must comply with a number of requirements to fulfil your obligations as a Tier 2 visa sponsor. To obtain a licence, you must demonstrate that the job you are seeking to hire a non-EEA migrant for is a genuine vacancy for your business and that no suitable UK/EU national could be found. Any such positions must be of a certain pay and require potential applicants to have a certain skill set and level of education. This usually requires a minimum of a Bachelors degree. If you are granted a Sponsorship licence, you must then apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship in order to allow the prospective employee to apply for a Tier 2 visa with you as their sponsor.

Before the employee begins working for your business, you are obliged to carry out a Right to Work check and keep a record of the employee’s identification documents.  These checks are designed to prevent illegal working and must also be made for employees who are not on a visa, i.e. UK and EEA nationals.

Responsibilities under the Tier 2 Sponsorship licence

You have a variety of audit and compliance responsibilities as a Tier 2 visa sponsor. It is vital that you keep a record of any relevant documents of your Tier 2 Sponsorship licence, of the employee(s) you are sponsoring and report any changes in your business’ or the employee’s circumstances to the Home Office. The UKVI carries out unannounced audits of Tier 2 Sponsorship licence holders. A breach of any of your obligations, however small, can have serious consequences for your business and your employees. In addition to facing heavy penalty fines, your business may have its sponsorship licence revoked immediately. This will considerably limit your ability to employ foreign workers and thus may have a detrimental effect on your business activities.

Potential Tier 2 sponsorship requirements for EEA nationals following Brexit

Although it is not yet clear how the UK’s immigration rules for EEA nationals will change after Brexit, it is possible that the points-based visa system will be extended to EEA migrants wishing to work in the UK. If your business does not already hold a Tier 2 Sponsorship licence, it may be advisable for you to apply for one now. Demand and processing times are likely to rise the closer the UK moves to leaving the EU. Seeking the correct help and advice from the outset will help avoid complications with the Home Office in the future.

How can NA Law Solicitors assist with UK Business immigration?

NA Law Solicitors can offer you assistance throughout each stage of the application process for a Tier 2 Sponsorship licence. We will help you comply with and implement your ongoing obligations once you have obtained your licence. We will also advise you on the latest developments in immigration law in the Brexit negotiation process and how best to prepare your business for the UK’s departure from the EU.

NA Law Solicitors can advise on the following corporate immigration matters:

  • Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence applications, including Genuine Vacancy and Resident Labour Market tests
  • Tier 2 Certificates of Sponsorship
  • Tier 2 Audit and Compliance
  • We can act as a key contact and/or a level 1 user for your Tier 2 Sponsorship licence
  • How to conduct Right to Work checks in accordance with prescribed Home Office guidance
  • Tier 2 (General) visa applications for future employees once your business has acquired a sponsorship licence and certificate
  • Dealing with closure notices and civil penalty notices
  • Assisting multi-nationals to bring their overseas staff to the UK to work on assignments via the Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa route
  • Advice on the continued or new employment of EEA nationals after Brexit

Contact us for an initial 15-minute consultation.

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