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Sponsorship License

Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsorhip licence forms a key element of the most comprehensive overhaul of UK immigration in the last 10 years. Tier 2 sponsorship of Points based system is now in force and has replaced the work permit scheme and other employment schemes. Any employer wishing to sponsor a non-EEA national or extend the permission of current non-EEA employees whose presence in the UK is continuing must first obtain a Sponsorship Licence.

Once a sponsorship licence is approved, the company or an appointed representative can issue Certificate of Sponsorship to the employee (or prospective employee) under the Tier 2 or Tier 5 points based system to progress their application for an Entry Clearance and secure a biometric identity card.

How does Points based system affect UK Employers?

  • Points Based System has replaced the current UK work permit and other employment schemes.
  • It directly affects the international transfer of employees to the UK, the local hire of non-EEA individuals in the UK and any applications to extend the immigration approval of current non-EEA employees whose presence in the UK is continuing.
  • Any new immigration employment applications that an employer wishes to sponsor will need to be submitted under Tier 2 of PBS.

Criteria of Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsorship

  • The criteria to be met before an individual will be granted immigration permission under the Tier 2 or Tier 5 category will be very similar to the current UK work permit scheme.
  • Two new criteria are to be introduced – English language ability and a maintenance test.

Process of Tier 2 Sponsorship

  1. UK Employers and Businesses wishing to sponsor an overseas national for employment must first be registered on the Government Sponsorship Licence Tier 2 and Tier 5 Register by applying for a Sponsorship Licence. Our team at Carter Vincent Immigraition can assist you with your application for the Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsorship Licence
  2. Once a company has obtained its Sponsorship Licence, our teams at Carter Vincent Immigration will assist the organisation with the assignment of the "Certificate of Sponsorship" by liaising with the Home Office. To ensure that Registered Sponsors are issuing its certificates responsibly and correctly, the UK Government will carry out periodic compliance checks, can conduct an annual audit of employers and has introduced new penalties for non-compliance.
  3. The current two application processes of work permit and visa/residence permit is now one under a single UK visa/residence permit application process. This has two impacts.
    • The uk visa and residence permit application has become fundamentally the only application to be submitted with the Home Office
    • The vast majority of applications will be submitted to the Home Office in the UK while all overseas applications will be submitted at the selected UK Visa application centre

Risks of non-compliance

Although Points Based System for Tier 2 and Tier 5 UK Visa applications offer significant benefits with the process and flexibility; the freedom that allows employers in UK and their legal representatives to issue their own work permits, is also accompanied by penalties for non-compliance to ensure that the system is not abused. It is essential for all businesses in the UK holding a Tier 2 or Tier 5 Sponsorship Licence to adhere to strict Compliance requirements by the Home Office to avoid any penalties or cancellation of the Sponsorship Licence

Carter Vincent Immigration has experienced the following reasons that results in a Sponsorship Licence being revoked:

  • Criminal charges against the Authorising Officer
  • Poor Compliance maintenance
  • New automatic bans from applying for a new Tier 2 licence
  • Downgrading from "A" to "B" rating and possible removal from the sponsorship licence register (accompanied with a requirement to dismiss all sponsored employees within 60 days of curtailment).

Preparing for a Tier 2 or Tier 5 Sponorship Licence – Key considerations

When reviewing an application for a Tier 2 sponsorship licence, the UK Government will be checking to ensure that the business is an established and trading company in UK. Additionally, the UK Government will also be assessing five individual areas of the sponsor’s HR systems to ensure that the company is able to meet its current obligations under UK legislation and future obligations for being on the Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsorhip Register.


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