The Role of the Sponsor
A Sponsor is a UK based organisation that wishes to employ an overseas applicant in the UK. For the purposes of the Tier System, an overseas applicant is a national of a country outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
In order to sponsor applicants, an employer will need to have registered with the UK Border Agency as a Licensed Sponsor. For this registration to be accepted, the employer will need to meet certain requirements for the particular category of Tier 2 and accept certain responsibilities to help with immigration control.
The Sponsor will need to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship before an applicant can apply for leave to enter the UK or remain in the UK under Tier 2. The Certificate of Sponsorship will act as an assurance that the applicant is able to undertake a particular job and intends to do so.
The Sponsor has a number of record keeping and reporting duties for the applicants that it sponsors.
1. Record Keeping Duties:
-Keeping copies of the applicant’s passport or UK immigration status document and contact details
2. Reporting Duties:
The UK Border Agency must be informed of the following:
-If a sponsored migrant does not turn up for his or her first day of work
-If a sponsored migrant is absent from work for more than 10 working days, without the sponsor’s reasonably granted permission
-If a sponsored migrant’s period of engagement is ended as a result of the migrant resigning or being dismissed
-If any registration that the sponsored migrant needs to work in the UK (such as with a governing body) is ended
-If the sponsor stops sponsoring the migrant for any other reason (e.g. if the migrant moves into another immigration route that does not require a sponsor)
-If there are any significant changes in the migrant’s circumstances (e.g. change of job or salary excluding annual pay rise)
-If the Sponsor has any information which suggests that the migrant s breaching the conditions of his or her leave
-If the Sponsor has any information which suggests that the migrant may be engaging in terrorism or other criminal activity (The Sponsor must also pass any such information to the Police)
Applying for a Licence
Applications can only be made electronically and if successful, a licence will be awarded as an A or B rating depending on the UKBA’s assessment.
In most cases an A rating will be awarded, however, A rated organisations may also be demoted to a B rating or have their licence withdrawn altogether if the rules of the PBS are breached.
B ratings are designed as a transitional measure, and B rated organisations, whether they begin with this rating or are demoted, will be obliged to follow a Sponsorship Action Plan in order to reach or regain an A rating.
Licences are issued for 4 years and must be renewed before this period expires, even if a sponsor continues to employ non-EEA nationals but does not wish to sponsor any additional ones. A licence may be surrendered at any time if the sponsor no longer requires it.
Single or Multiple Licences
Where a potential sponsor has several branches it may opt to apply for a licence as a single entity or apply for a separate licence for each location.
Where a single entity application is made, any future revocation of a licence will apply to all of its branches.
Where separate licences are issued, the withdrawal of one licence will not automatically result in the loss of the others, though it may lead to investigation.
The same principle applies to franchises under the control of a central organisation, although franchises run as separate businesses will need to apply for separate licences.
Refusal of Application
-If the necessary supporting documentation is not provided. A licence will also be refused if false or forged documents are submitted.
-If a sponsor does not meet the requirements for the specific tier of the PBS for which it is applying.
-If a sponsor is either an un-discharged bankrupt or is not permitted on legal grounds to be a company director.
-If a sponsor has been convicted of an offence which poses a risk to UK immigration control, and is not considered ‘spent’.
-Where a potential sponsor has been dishonest in dealing with the UKBA, has provided false information or has a record of poor compliance under the previous work permits system.
-Where the UKBA has reason to believe that the practices and procedures within the potential sponsor organisation are not up the appropriate standards required, e.g. existing communication procedures would not allow for the sufficient monitoring of sponsored individuals.
Reapplying After Refusal
Where a potential sponsor has been refused a licence they may reapply, although no specific right of appeal is offered. In order to reapply the reasons for refusal must have been rectified.
At Johnson Mackenzie Ltd. we have the expertise to make sure your organisation is granted an A rating to bring non-EEA nationals into the UK and that this rating is maintained. To see how we can help you to get the best out of the Point Based System, contact us today.