Immigration: key sponsor guidance and compliance changes in January 2018

05 Feb 2018

The Tiers 2 and 5 Sponsor Guidance (SG) for licensed employer sponsors of migrants with Tier 2 and Tier 5 visas was updated on 11 January 2018. Coinciding with various Immigration Rule changes which came in on the same date (see our previous article here ), the new SG includes a number of important changes in respect of compliant matters. Those which are likely to have the broadest relevant include:

  • A sponsor must now report to the Home Office within 10 working days if the size of the organisation changes from small to large or vice versa. A change between small and large has an impact on things like the rate of the immigration skills charge payable by the sponsor in respect of a visa;
  • A sponsor organisation will no longer be able to add a branch to another sponsor licence it holds (i.e. consolidate) if the branch has a B rating or it is unable to offer a genuine vacancy;
  • A sponsor will no longer be able to add any tiers to its licence if its licence is currently suspended or has a B rating;
  • The person certifying any supporting documents for a sponsor licence application must not be employed by the applicant organisation;
  • With regard to record keeping, where a sponsor fails to provide documents requested by the Home Office as relevant to assessing compliance, it must now do so “when asked or within a specified timeframe”;
  • Confirmation that the 28 day limit on delaying the Certificate of Sponsorship start date of employment applies only to Tier 2 (General) (and not Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visas. This is in line with the Immigration Rule changes introduced in January.   

For further information and assistance on this topic, please contact our Immigration Team.  We also provide in-house training on sponsor licence compliance and duties and how to ensure your systems are compliant. Please contact Adam using the details below.

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