SPONSOR DUTIES: CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCE AND WHEN TO REPORT

You must inform the Home Office within 10 working days about the following:

1. If your sponsored migrant does not turn up to work on their first day. You must report the reason, for example, sickness, or a missed flight.

2. If your sponsored migrant worker is absent from their job for more than 10 consecutive working days without your permission. Your report must be made within 10 working days of the 10th day of their absence.

3. If a sponsored migrant’s employment ceases earlier than originally intended. You must report their last address and contact number, as well as the name of their new employer, if appropriate.

4. If your migrant worker’s visa status changes, but they are going to carry on working for you (for instance, if they switch to a partner visa from their original Tier 2 sponsored status).

5. If there are significant changes in the particulars of your sponsored migrant’s job. For example, they gain a promotion; take maternity or adoption leave; change their job title; or their salary becomes markedly different from the level that was set on their Certificate of Sponsorship.

6. If the sponsored migrant’s job location changes. For instance, they continue to work for you but are on secondment to a different branch of your business.

7. If your sponsored migrant worker breaks the condition of their leave to remain in the UK for whatever reason.

In addition, you must also inform the Home Office about the following changes to your company’s role as registered sponsor:

1. If you sell all or part of your business, are involved in a takeover or merger or stop trading altogether.

2. If you have used the services of any third party or intermediary to help you recruit your migrant staff, whether in the UK or abroad.

3. Any personal differences to your licence, for instance, a change in address, or in the name of the key contact or authorisation officer.

Our dedicated team of UK immigration specialists will ensure that you maintain ongoing compliance. Should we identify any issues in regard to non-compliance, our staff will work with you to improve your processes. For more information on how we can support you, contact us.

Home Office – “Sponsorship is a privilege, not a right.”

On 17th July 2019, the Home Office added an Addendum to their Tier 2 & 5 – Guidance for employers 03/19 which applies with immediate effect to all Tier 2 & 5 sponsors, including all current and future applications seeking to apply for or renew a sponsor licence.

The Home Office states that it “will not license organisations whose actions and behaviour are non-conducive to the public good”. The non-exhaustive list of examples includes:

•             fostering hatred or inter-community division;

•             fomenting, justifying or glorifying terrorism; and/or;

•             rejecting the rights of, or discriminating against, other groups or individuals on the basis of their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, race, religious belief (including lack of belief), or any other protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

Compliance action can be taken against those who have engaged in the above behaviour or actions, which could result in the refusal to grant/renew a licence or the revocation of an existing licence.

It remains to be seen how the Home Office will implement these changes. Previously, it has been seen that the term ‘non-conducive to public good’ has been applied in non-terrorism-related immigration cases, which includes discrepancies with the HMRC.

Although the above issues need to be tackled in the workforce in general and the wider community, it will be interesting to see how the Home Office tackles these and whether a FTSE 100 company will face the same repercussions as a small business. 

How HR can prepare for changes to immigration post-Brexit

HR managers, is your company Brexit-ready?

As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, it’s important for UK companies employing EU workers to ensure they’re ready for the changes that will follow. Those responsible for recruitment should be aware of these changes and understand what they mean for both the company’s current EU employees and its future recruitment strategy. 

Some steps that can be taken to ensure a smooth transition for businesses and their employees include:

Keeping your current EU workers

Firstly, it’s important to ensure that any EU, EEA or Swiss nationals currently employed by your company can continue to stay in the UK after 30th June 2021 (if a deal is not agreed, the deadline will be 31st December 2020). The government’s EU Settlement Scheme gives these people the opportunity to apply to continue living in the UK following its exit from the European Union. Applicants who have been here for five years or more will receive ‘settled’ status, while those who have lived here for less than five years will get ‘pre-settled’ status.

The process is free, and the government has provided a step-by-step set of instructions on its website to guide applicants. HR officers should familiarise themselves with the process so that they can advise and support any of their company’s employees who need to apply. You can visit the site here.

Preparing to recruit from outside the EU

Once Brexit has taken place, the process of hiring workers from the EU will become more difficult. As a result, companies may choose to start recruiting people from further afield, although they will need to prepare for this shift in focus.

According to a recent survey, 76% of businesses have no contingency funds for future recruitment outside the EU. The cost, in terms of both money and time, of sponsorship licences and Tier 2 Visas means companies must determine whether they can afford to hire from abroad, as well as identify the resources necessary to carry out their recruitment plans.

What is a Tier 2 (General) Visa and why do workers need them?

Tier 2 (General) Visas are the most common type of visa. They apply to skilled workers earning £30,000 a year and upwards, and require sponsorship from the company offering employment. Proof of sponsorship comes in the form of a certificate of sponsorship (CoS).

Once Britain has left the EU, EU citizens without settled or pre-settled UK status may be subject to the same rules that apply to people from the rest of the world, meaning they will need to apply for a Tier 2 Visa if they intend to work in the UK.

How much does an overseas Tier 2 Visa application cost for a single applicant on a 3-year contract?

  • Application fee – £610
  • Immigration health charge – £1,200
  • Immigration skills charge (per year of contract) £1,092 to £3,000 (depending on whether your company is categorised as large or small)
  • Certificate of Sponsorship £199
  • Priority visa service £220

Due to the cost, complexity, and potential pitfalls of the visa application process, recruiters would be wise to work with an expert in the field. At UK Visas, our team guides companies through the hurdles of bringing staff into the UK, and facilitates the movement of employees globally.

Our experience allows us to assess eligibility quickly and to spot issues before they develop into problems, providing clients with practical and commercial solutions.

Our services include:

  • Advising on all aspects of the points-based system and assisting with the sponsor registration process
  • Work and business routes, including those for sponsored workers, business visitors, permitted paid engagement visitors, investors, entrepreneurs, high value migrants and representatives of overseas businesses
  • European applications such as family permits and permanent residence, and other applications including dependent family members and British nationality
  • Prevention of illegal working including audits of right to work documents, staff training, hotline services and objections to fines
  • Challenging decisions via administrative review

If you need help understanding how Brexit will affect your company’s EU nationals and overseas recruitment, our friendly and knowledgeable team is ready to answer your questions. Get in touch now to arrange a free consultation.

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UK VISAS NO WIN NO FEE PROMISE

We provide a ‘No Win – No Fee’ guarantee for all points-based system visa applications unless expressly stated at the time of appointment. We will guarantee our service for these applications by offering a full refund on our fee should it be unsuccessful.

These guaranteed terms are conditional upon the client being able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Home Office that they have earned the income claimed or that they have the necessary funding in place for maintenance or are fully conversant with their business plan in the case of Tier 1 Entrepreneurs.

It also presumes that neither the applicant nor their dependants have previously come under scrutiny or been under investigation by the Home Office for any immigration matter. In order that we can do our job properly the necessary information and details required should be made available and they must genuine as well as accurate.