Charlotte Ashton, our senior solicitor, explains more…
In December 2020, vast changes were made to the immigration system, introducing a new skilled worker visa to replace the Tier 2 version. The changes included widening the roles which could be sponsored for a visa. In addition, the introduction of a points system – whereby points could be gained on the basis of qualifications and need to fill roles, rather than the previous rigid system. The resident labour market test requirement, which was a hurdle for many employers, has also been scrapped.
Therefore, employers considering hiring a worker who requires a visa must understand the following stages:
This should only be done where the employer is sure that the role is able to be sponsored, and the worker will be paid the appropriate salary, and have the required qualification. Employers should also ensure they understand the obligations placed on them and that they have the necessary systems in place to comply.
Once an employer has a sponsor licence, they need to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to the prospective employee. There are two types – Defined and Undefined – and the employer should understand which is appropriate for the circumstances.
Once granted, they will have the right to work for the employer in the specific role for which the CoS has been created.
Practical steps employers can begin to take prior to deciding whether there is a need for a sponsor licence are:
Employers may also find it useful to run an audit of their HR practices to ensure they can comply with sponsor obligations, and have appropriate staff members to take responsibility for keeping the sponsor licence – and other details – up to date.
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