Does your business hold a Tier 2 sponsor licence?

If your business holds a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, it is subject to duties imposed by the Immigration Rules and is expected to comply with these for as long as it holds such a licence. The risks of failing to comply are that the licence could be revoked, meaning any of your employees on a Tier 2 visa would have their leave shortened to 60 days and would no longer be able to be employed by the business.

Despite the serious repercussions of failing to keep on top of the obligations, many sponsors are unaware of exactly what is required or find, through staff changes, the people responsible for the maintenance of the sponsor licence leave and replacements aren’t made aware of the licence.

Recent cases have made very clear the high standard sponsors are expected to maintain. Quotes such as “the sponsor is expected to carry out its responsibilities with the same rigour and vigilance as the immigration authorities” and “sponsors have advantages and cannot complain if they are required to comply with relevant Guidance” show the attitude the courts will take where an employer is found to be lax in respect of compliance.

What are the obligations?

Did you know…

  • You always need to have someone in the business listed as:
    • Authorising Officer
    • Key Contact
    • Level 1 User

Do you know who yours are? Have you kept up to date when people have left?

  • You need to request changes to your details where you change name, address, make changes to your structure, sell all or part of the business, amongst other things.

 

Do you know how to do this? Is your senior management team able to ensure the person responsible for the licence is kept up to date?

 

  • You have to report events such as a change of ownership, mergers, takeovers, de-mergers

 

Would you know to factor this into the process of the change?

 

  • UKVI expect you to prevent abuse of the system and recognise any pattern of  from a sponsored individual that might cause concern.

 

Are you happy that your HR processes can flag up such patterns?

 

  • You have specific record keeping duties in relation to each individual you sponsor for a role – which go beyond those for a regular employee.

 

Are you confident your HR system can adapt to the different types of documents you need to retain? Would you be able to produce documents instantly in the event of a Home Office check?

  • You are under a duty to report certain matters to the Home Office in relation to individuals you sponsor.

 

Do you understand these duties and are you confident your team is able to alert you to situations that need reporting?

 

At MLP, our Business Immigration team is on hand to help you through the complex guidance and give you peace of mind that you are complying with your obligations. We can carry out right to work audits to ensure you are up to date, along with training for your staff so they feel confident they can carry out the checks that are required.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you, our team would be happy to discuss this with you further. Please contact us on 0161 926 9969 or by email to charlottea@mlplaw.co.uk.