Help for companies established in the United Kingdom
UK employers seeking to recruit skilled staff from overseas, will need to register with the UKVI. Once registered they will be able to sponsor the employees to work in the United Kingdom. This facility is matched by substantial obligations to the UKVI , to record and monitor migrant staff activity in the United Kingdom. The penalties for breach of these obligations can be high, entailing fines of up to £10,000 for each migrant employed in breach of conditions, and the potential loss of sponsorship rights.
Since the inception of the Sponsors' Licence , the rules governing the Sponsor's duties, and the grant of Certificates of Sponsorship, have been subject to constant change. Regulatory uncertainty renders compliance onerous.
The loss of free movement rights for skilled staff from the EU has led to an easing of the restrictions imposed on the employment of similarly qualified individuals from elsewhere. From December 2020 the Tier 2 " General Category" of workers was renamed the " Skilled Worker Category". Whilst the Tier 2 scheme continues under a different nomenclature, it remains essentially the same in conception save that there are the following significant ameliorations: -
- The general annual limit on the number of certificates of sponsorship has been suspended. Individual Firm's usage of certificates of sponsorship will continue to be circumscribed by an annual allocation .
- The minimum skill level has been reduced to RVQ level 3 ( A level.)
- The Resident Labour Market Test has been abolished.
- Minimum Salary levels have been reduced to £25,600.( with specific derogations under the tradeable points options.)
- The 12 month cooling off period and six year maximum period of stay have been abolished.
- Switching is open to more categories.
- The 10% limit on share ownership of the Sponsoring company to be held by the sponsored employee has been removed.
The salary for the post must meet two separate de minimis thresholds . Where an individual is to be paid less than the head line going rate, or is to be employed for more than the standard hours specified in the appropriate code, a formula is applied to ascertain whether the actual payments are in line with the going rate for that post.
If you are an overseas business, please click here.
- Advise on the merits of registration and the most suitable category of application, and on the evolving obligations as the rules change.
- Offer staff training on the duties involved.
- Audit your files to ensure that your employment practices are compliant with UK Immigration law prior to any application for registration.
- Prepare and lodge an application on behalf of your organisation for a Sponsor's Licence.
- Assist in the application for Certificates of Sponsorship ( Defined and Un Defined )
- Contest Civil Penalties, and intervene where enforcement action is taken against your firm.
- Prepare Visa and Leave to Remain applications for your staff.
Case Study - Employers' Sanctions.