Apply for UK Tier 2 visa Sponsor Licence ahead of 2021!

Comments by Sanwar Ali:

More UK employers need to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.  Free movement for EU citizens is scheduled to end after 2020.  From 1 January 2021 to employ newly arriving EU, EEA and Swiss citizens you will need to come under the UK immigration rules.   The Boris Johnson Government have said that EU citizens will be treated equally to other non-UK citizens.  This means that EU citizens will have to deal with the same restrictive, expensive and confusing immigration rules and procedures as non-EU citizens.  In this case equality means fewer rights for more people!

If you wish to employ EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who are not already living in the UK, then if possible make sure that they apply for pre-settled status by 31 December 2020.  It will be a lot more expensive after this date.   Lets not forget that there will also be an increase in the immigration health surcharge from £400 a year to £624 a year from 1 October 2020.

The UK Visas and Immigration department of the Home Office usually updates its list of Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa sponsors every day. More employers should apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence before the end of the Brexit transitional period.

According to the latest version of the official sponsor list, 31,514 UK enterprises are registered to sponsor Tier 5 and Tier 2 visa holders. Several organisations hold a licence to sponsor overseas nationals in both the Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa categories.

Sponsor licence registrations are split as follows:

Post-Brexit UK immigration system

Sponsor licence registrations are expected to surge ahead of the Brexit transitional period, which ends on 31 December 2020. From 1 January 2021, EU citizens will require a UK visa to enter the country, which means that UK businesses will need a sponsor licence to hire or continue hiring EU workers on a Tier 2 (General) visa or intra-company transfer visa.

The new points-based system has faced criticism from several quarters, including immigrant rights’ groups and UK business leaders, who argue that the system will make it more difficult to hire the staff they need, especially with no so-called low-skilled immigration route in place.

Several changes have been made to the UK Tier 2 visa route in an effort to ‘make it easier for businesses to hire EU and non-EU staff from 1 January 2021’, according to the Home Office. One of the most notable changes is that a cap of 20,700 visas allocated each year will be scrapped.

Sponsor list is continually updated

The sponsor licence list is continually updated, and the latest version is 2,077 pages long.

The document states: “This is a list of organisations licensed to sponsor migrants under Tiers 2 & 5 of the Points-Based System. It shows the organisation’s name (in alphabetical order), the sub tier(s) they are licensed for, and their rating against each sub tier. A sponsor may be licensed under more than one tier, and may have different ratings for each tier.”

Tier 2 certificate of sponsorship allocation

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, UK Visas and Immigration has only recently resumed the publication of certificate of sponsorship (CoS) allocation numbers. Publishing was suspended in March, but allocation numbers for April, May, June and July have now been published, showing a rise in the number of CoS made available each month.

In May, the number of CoS made available for allocation stood at 3,122. For August, a massive 5,693 were expected to be made available.  Due to coronavirus COVID-19 during much of the year far fewer applications were made than normal.

Monthly allocation meetings have now resumed and usually take place on the 11th of each month. The most recent meeting was on 11 August, with September’s already likely to have taken place and allocation numbers for September are expected to be published within the next 10 days.

Workpermit.com can help with Tier 2 Visa Sponsor Licence and Tier 2 Visa

If you need help with a Tier 2 visa, or a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, including help with complying with your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence obligations, workpermit.com can help.

For more information and advice on Tier 2 Sponsor Licences, UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com