We provide comprehensive immigration solutions to corporate clients wishing to engage staff from outside the European Union, or to relocate their existing staff from an overseas branch of the company to the UK.
We offer employers assistance with the legal side of employing migrant workers. This includes comprehensive guidance over the sponsor licence application process, issuing certificates of sponsorship and applying for visas. We are authorised to represent employers in their dealings with the Home Office and act as appointed Level 1 users of the sponsor management system.
We run regular training sessions for employers of migrant workers.
If you are interested in bespoke in-house training for your HR team please contact us to discuss your specific requirements.
The process of employing migrant workers under Tier 2
The employer first needs to apply for a sponsorship licence. The cost of the licence is £545 for small businesses or £1545 for medium and large businesses. The same fee is payable upon renewal of the licence. At present, the licence is issued for four years and is due for renewal on completion.
What kind of jobs are covered by Tier 2 licence?
Tier 2 visa caters only for highly skilled migrants: the Job has to be at or above NQF level 6 or NQF4 if on a shortage occupation list.
Duration of the employment contract is not important – Tier 2 General licence covers both permanent staff and temporary contract staff.
Salary level associated with each job titled is listed in the Standard Occupational Classifications Codes published by the UKBA.
Issuing certificates of sponsorship
There are two types of certificates of sponsorship: an unrestricted certificate of sponsorship can be issued to a migrant who is already part of UK labour market or a Tier 4 student who has completed his degree course prior to switching to Tier 2 General route.
A licence holder has an annual number of allocations, in other words, the number of unrestricted certificates of sponsorship that they can issue at any time without asking the UKBA for a special permission to do so.
Restricted certificates of sponsorship are for migrants who are applying for entry clearance from abroad in order to take up their contract of employment. These certificates are limited in numbers. They are issued monthly by the UKBA to successful applicants (sponsors). Once a certificate of sponsorship is issued, the sponsor assigns it to the prospective employee and the employee makes an application for entry clearance.
Tier 4 sponsor compliance services
UKBA Compliance Services for Education Providers
We offer comprehensive solutions to colleges covering:
- Compliance with the UKBA requirements for Highly Trusted sponsors;
- Applications for Highly Trusted Status;
- Staff training;
- Issuing CAS;
- Student visa applications;
- Challenging adverse decisions, including decisions to downgrade or suspend sponsorhip licence.
We also assist Higher Education institutions in bringing to the UK sponsored researchers, including post doctoral fellows or project researchers, under the Tier 5 (Temporary workers – government authorised exchange) scheme.
We handle the whole package of the sponsor’s immigration requirements, including visa applications for spondees and, where necessary, appeals against refusal.
UKBA requirements for Tier 4 Sponsors
Educational Institutions wishing to provide courses for international students must obtain a Tier 4 sponsorship licence from the UK Border Agency.
At present, Sponsors will either be on the Tier 4 Highly Trusted register of sponsors or on the standard register of sponsors where they will be rated as either A (Trusted) or B (Sponsor). Highly trusted sponsors have to demonstrate the highest levels of compliance with their sponsor duties and in return are able to offer a wider range of course levels and work placement opportunities. The B (sponsor) rating is a transitional rating and means that the sponsor is working towards the next level of accreditation.
From April 2012, all Tier 4 Sponsors must become Highly Trusted Sponsors and must have been inspected, audited or reviewed by one of the authorised bodies.
Tier 5 Sponsors
Tier 5 sponsors may engage temporary staff from outside the European Union within certain sectors of employment:
- creative including dancers, performers or workers in film and television, performers in theatre and opera
- charity workers,
- religious workers,
- sponsored researchers under the Government Authorised Exchange (which includes sponsored researchers for Higher Education Institutions).
Any UK based business wishing to engage a worker under the Tier 5 scheme is required to have a Sponsorship licence in this category.
The licence allows the employer to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) in accordance with the rules set by the UK Border Agency. The procedure rules can be found in UKBA Policy Guidance.