Any employer in the UK running a medium or large organization needs to issue a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) to all the skilled professionals when hiring for their business. Following the Brexit, the new immigration policy makes it clear that from January 2021 onwards, every employer in the UK must have a sponsorship license.
The significant changes include a new points-based system under which every migrant entering the UK will need to secure 70 points through the skilled worker route.
It is imperative that employers also observe these changes and adapt to the new immigration policies.
Cases where Sponsor Licence is not required?
The employers are exempted from getting a sponsorship license under the following cases:
- A skilled worker holds Irish citizenship
- A skilled worker is already living in the UK as per the European Union settlement scheme
- A skilled worker already possesses ILR
How do employers sponsor a worker?
To sponsor any skilled worker or eligible professional, the employer must provide a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the worker to complete the immigration process smoothly. Besides, employers must bear immigration skill charges and fees to assign sponsorship certificates.
However, specific measures to observe before issuing CoS:
- The worker is eligible to work for you
- The worker visa comes under the skilled worker route
- Ensuring that you can pay the worker
- Checking the eligibility to become a sponsor
Eligibility to apply for a Sponsorship Licence
Having a large organization doesn’t ensure the employer is ready and eligible to sponsor skilled workers. The eligibility criteria laid down by the immigration system are to be strictly followed.
- Unexpended criminal convictions for an immigration offense
- No cases under money laundering and forgery or other frauds
- License not revoked in last 12 months
What are sponsorship management roles and responsibilities?
The process involved in the sponsorship licence process can be detailed and requires follow-ups. It is wise to appoint a person who can manage the application process.
The primary tool used is the Sponsorship Management System (SMS)
- The appointed person or an authorizing officer needs to be qualified and be responsible for the actions of staff and others who would be using the Sponsorship Management System for license application.
- Key contact: a person who will directly be communicating with UKVI
- Level1 user and optional level2 user: those who will use the SMS for license
The employer can also hire a professional representative or an expert immigration lawyer UK who can hand-hold the application process and work in tandem with the authorized person.
- To check and ensure the overseas professional you are hiring meets all qualifications and professional accreditations to enter a work agreement.
- Keeping the record of all the documents
- Certificate of sponsorship to be issued only when the worker falls under the sponsorship criteria.
- Timely intimate UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) if the overseas professional refuses to comply with the visa conditions.
- The license can be revoked anytime if the above conditions are not met.
While sponsoring a child under 18 years of age the following must be taken into account
- The child can travel to the UK
- Safe arrival in the UK
- Can arrange for accommodation.
- Letter of consent from the parents
- Disclosure and Barring Service check: the employer can check the criminal record of the person hired.
- The license can be countermanded if the above criteria are not met.
If sponsoring a child under 16 years of age, a license from the local education authority is required where the child will work.