An employer who wants to recruit a skilled worker from outside of the EU needs a Sponsor Licence from the Home Office. Once the employer has a licence, they can sponsor skilled workers from overseas to fill a role in the UK.
In most cases, the employer will have to prove that they have tried advertising the role to settled workers in the UK before they are allowed to sponsor a non-EU national.
The employer must pay the market rate salary to the migrant worker. The exact level of the salary varies depending on the type of job that the migrant worker will be doing and also whether they are a ‘new entrant’ e.g. a graduate or an ‘experienced’ worker.
There is a cap on the number of skilled migrants that the Home Office will grant visas to each year. The Home Office consider requests from licenced employers on a monthly basis. They allocate ‘certificate of sponsorship’ based on the skill level required, whether the post is in a ‘shortage occupation’ and also the salary that the migrant will be paid.
Once the employer has a certificate of sponsorship, they can sponsor the migrant worker to make a ‘Tier 2’ visa application. Once the visa is granted, the worker can come to the UK and start work.
Once they are in the UK, the sponsoring employer takes on the responsibility for monitoring and reporting on the sponsored employee. The employee’s visa is linked to their specific job. Changes in job title, duties and salary must all be reported to the Home Office. In some cases, a significant change in duties may mean starting the whole process again.
The key proposals in the Governments new Immigration Bill is that if free movement from Europe ends then the cap on the number of skilled workers that can enter the UK under Tier 2 will be scrapped as will the resident labour market test.
Contact: Kirin Abbas, Kirina@paragonlaw.co.uk, 0115 9644114