Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Guide 2019 by Sanwar Ali

Hello and welcome to workpermit.com’s Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Guide 2019.  I’m Sanwar Ali

Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Introduction

A UK based organisation that wishes to employ a non EU or EEA visa applicant in the UK on a Tier 2 visa must have a valid Tier 2 sponsor licence.  Employing someone on a Tier 2 visa is expensive, with various Government fees having to be paid.

In many cases if the application is refused you will not be able to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence again for the same company for six months if not longer. The alternatives to a Tier 2 visa with a UK employer Tier 2 Sponsor are somewhat limited, and in reality in most cases are not feasible.

Tier 2 General or Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer or both

There are two types of Tier 2 Sponsor Licences.  The Tier 2 General sponsor licence and Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer sponsor licence.  The employer can apply for both at the same time or apply for them at different times.  The advantage of the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer sponsor licence compared to the Tier 2 General version, is that for companies with an oversea office wishing to transfer the employee to the UK it is frequently quicker.  There is no need to advertise the vacancy to show there is no one else able to do the job as frequently required under the Resident Labour Market Test.  You also do not need a Restricted CoS which delays processing of the Tier 2 General visa application. However, unlike the Tier 2 General visa category, the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa does not usually lead to indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

On 6 October 2019 ahead of Brexit  the number of occupations in the Shortage Occupation List was greatly expanded.  it is now easier for Engineers, IT staff, chefs, and more people in healthcare occupations to gain entry to the UK. 

Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Business Requirements

The business should be operational, and there should be someone resident in the UK and available, to deal with any queries from UK Visa and Immigration at the Home Office.

Probably for very small businesses employing only one or two staff UK Visas and Immigration at the Home Office are more likely to visit you before granting a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.  

Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Applications

The Tier 2 Registration process can be quite difficult.  In many cases under the Tier 2 General visa scheme you will have to also do the resident labour market test. The employer will need to submit an online application and provide a number of original documents or certified copies of documents by post, in order to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, and must accept a considerable number of responsibilities as a Tier 2 Sponsor.  In addition, the employer should send a detailed covering letter probably several pages long to UK Visa with the documents to the Home Office answering various questions.

Tier 2 Sponsor Documentation Requirements

The documents need to be submitted by post within five working days of submitting the online application.  Please see below details of typical documents required for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application.

Usually, you will need to have at least four of the following, which in most cases need to be ORIGINAL documents or CERTIFIED copies to submit to the Home Office:

1) Lease or rental agreement for office premises.  

2) Business bank statements or letter from the UK bank.

3) VAT and/or NI and PAYE registration document.  

4) Latest Annual accounts.  It is usually acceptable just to have a link to the accounts on the Companies House site.

5) Employers liability insurance certificate (at least £5 million)

If the Tier 2 sponsor application is successful the employer will have to keep good employment related records and notify the Home Office of changes relating to Tier 2 employees.

Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship

The Tier 2 sponsor will need to assign the applicant a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) before they can apply for leave to enter the UK, or remain in the UK, under a Tier 2 visa. The Certificate of Sponsorship is confirmation by the employer that they wish to employ a tier 2 visa migrant and that the employee will be paid at the salary as stated in the CoS and will meet their obligations under the tier 2 visa system.  It is easier if the employer wishes to employ someone currently based in the UK who is able to switch to a tier 2 visa from within the UK.  In most cases Tier 2 visa applicants who can apply from within the UK for a visa need an unrestricted CoS. If the Tier 2 visa applicants needs to apply for a visa from outside the UK, or if the applicant wishes to switch from a Tier 4 dependent visa to a Tier 2 visa, then the employer will need to apply for a Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship which is allocated on a quota system and is more difficult to obtain. Tier 2 visa applicants also need to make sure that they gain enough points under the tier 2 visa points system.

If you would like to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, workpermit.com can help. WorkPermit.com is a specialist visa consultancy with over thirty years of experience and is one of the top visa related websites in the world.

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