Hiring From Overseas – For Independent Practice Owners
Banner Default Image

Posted on 17 August 2023

Due to the immigration law changes following the EU withdrawal act 2020, all employer looking to hire the following employees must have a licence.

  • EU born applicants entering the UK AFTER Jan 1st

  • US, NZ, SA and Aus born applicants

  • Any other nationality that successfully passes the statutory membership exam.

A Sponsor Licence is a permit issued by the UK Home Office that allows a company to sponsor foreign workers to work in the UK. The foreign workers must be assigned a unique Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) by the company, which they then use as evidence of their right to work in the UK.

Having a Sponsor Licence demonstrates to the Home Office that a company is a responsible and credible employer, and that they have the necessary systems and processes in place to sponsor foreign workers. It also gives companies access to a wider pool of talent, enabling them to bring in skilled workers from overseas who may not be available in the UK.

In summary, the Sponsor Licence is an essential tool for companies who want to sponsor overseas workers in the UK, providing them with the ability to hire foreign talent while also demonstrating their compliance with UK immigration law.

The eligibility criteria for companies who wish to apply for a Sponsor Licence in the UK are as follows:

Business legitimacy: The company must be a legitimate and genuine business operating in the UK, and must not have any history of immigration violations or fraud.

Financial stability: The company must be financially stable and able to meet its obligations as a sponsor. This may include demonstrating a minimum level of turnover or having a certain level of funds in a business account.

Human resource management: The company must have an adequate human resource management system in place to manage the sponsored workers and ensure compliance with immigration rules.

Right to work checks: The company must be able to carry out right to work checks on all sponsored workers and keep accurate records of these checks.

Criminal record checks: The company and its representatives must not have any unspent criminal convictions that would make them ineligible to be a sponsor.

Genuine vacancy: The company must be able to demonstrate that the job it is offering to the sponsored worker is a genuine vacancy and that the worker is needed to fill it.

English language requirement: The sponsored worker must meet the English language requirement, unless they are exempt.

These are the main eligibility criteria for companies who wish to apply for a Sponsor Licence in the UK. The specific requirements may vary based on the type of business and the type of worker being sponsored. It is important for companies to carefully review the eligibility criteria and ensure that they meet all of the requirements before applying for a Sponsor Licence

Applications are made via the UK Home Office’s online service. You will be required to submit the requested documentation and pay the application fee at the time of application. The fee varies based on the size of the company and the type of workers being sponsored.

The process for review can take up to 12 weeks.

Reasons why an application may be refused:

Incomplete or inaccurate information: Providing incomplete or inaccurate information on the application form can result in delays or a rejection of the application. It is important to carefully review all of the information before submitting the application.

Failure to meet eligibility criteria: Companies must meet all of the eligibility criteria set out by the Home Office, including financial stability, human resource management systems, and right to work checks. Failing to meet these criteria can result in the application being rejected.

Not providing evidence of job vacancies: Companies must demonstrate that the job vacancies being offered are genuine and that the sponsored workers are needed to fill them. Failing to provide evidence of this can result in the application being rejected.

Not using an approved English language test: The sponsored worker must meet the English language requirement, unless they are exempt. If they are required to take an English language test, it must be an approved test and the results must be provided with the application.

There are also ongoing responsibilities in relation to the upkeep of the licence:

Reporting requirements: Companies must report any changes to the sponsored worker’s circumstances. They must also report if the sponsored worker stops working for the company or if their employment is terminated.

Keeping records: Companies must keep records of the sponsored workers, including their personal details, qualifications, work experience, and right to work information. They must also keep records of the job vacancies being offered, the recruitment process, and the results of the right to work checks.

Carrying out right to work checks: Companies must carry out right to work checks on all sponsored workers before they start work, and must repeat the checks if the worker’s permission to work in the UK is due to expire. The checks must be done in accordance with Home Office guidance and must include checking the worker’s passport or other immigration documentation.

Monitoring the sponsored workers: Companies must monitor the sponsored workers to ensure that they are working in accordance with the conditions of their sponsorship. This includes ensuring that they are working in the role and location specified on their Certificate of Sponsorship, and that they are being paid the salary specified on the CoS.

Maintaining the Home Office’s Points-Based System (PBS) database: Companies must update the Home Office’s PBS database with information about the sponsored workers and the job vacancies being offered. This database must be updated in a timely manner, and the information must be accurate and up-to-date.

Failing to meet the responsibilities and obligations of holding a UK Home Office Sponsor Licence can have serious consequences for companies and their sponsored workers. Some of the potential consequences include:

Licence revocation: If a company fails to meet its obligations, the Home Office may revoke its Sponsor Licence. This means that the company will no longer be able to sponsor overseas workers in the UK.

Financial penalties: Companies that fail to meet their obligations may face financial penalties, including fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.

Civil penalties: Companies may also be liable for civil penalties if they are found to have employed illegal workers. The penalties range from £20,000 to £20,000 per worker.

Criminal convictions: In extreme cases, companies may face criminal convictions if they are found to have knowingly employed illegal workers.

Loss of reputation: Failing to meet the obligations of a Sponsor Licence can harm a company’s reputation and make it more difficult for the company to recruit overseas workers in the future.

Removal of sponsored workers: If a company’s Sponsor Licence is revoked, the sponsored workers may be required to leave the UK. They may also be banned from re-entering the UK for a period of time.

For many practice owners, the time required to read and understand the guidelines and the threat of penalties for making any mistakes can be off-putting.

That’s why we have spent the time in obtaining OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) approval to provide immigration advice – so we can guide you through the application and sponsorship process and liaise with the Home Office on your behalf, to save you time and stress.

To offer more information and answer any questions you may have, we’re hosting a free webinar on Wednesday 15thMarch at 8pm. You can register here and a copy of the recording will be sent to you if you cannot make it.

Alternatively, get in touch atcontactus@vettedrecruitment.co.uk

Share this article