Under Immigration Law provisions introduced in 2008 all employers of foreign nationals under certain categories of the U.K.'s Points Based System, however large or small the organisation is, must become licensed "sponsors". In order to employ an overseas worker for your company's UK base you will need to apply for registration on the Border Agency's Sponsorship Register.
This process is called Sponsorship Licensing. Once registered, the company's appointed officers (or a legal representative, appointed as such) will assess the entitlement of a potential employee to a "Certificate of Sponsorship" and grant them a unique reference number. The employee would then apply for Entry Clearance or Leave to Remain quoting this number. This applies whether you are a sole trader seeking to employ one individual skilled worker or whether you are a multinational seeking to move scores of employees to the UK.
We can offer a bespoke service tailored to the needs of your company. Whether you require assistance with an individual case or whether you wish us to take over all your company's immigration needs, we can help. We offer flexible and practical advice in relation to all aspects of your company's immigration law needs, your employees and their dependents.
We can also refer you on to specialist help in other related areas such as employment law and taxation with our preferred professional contacts or to independent Law Society approved specialist service providers.
Sponsorship Licensing for Employers of Skilled Workers
We can offer you advice and assistance with all aspects of the sponsorship licensing process. We can advise and assist you to enable you to carry out an assessment of your organisation's human resources systems to check for PBS compliance; offer advice and assistance with the preparation of the sponsorship licensing application and once your application is approved act as a Key Contact, Level 1 or Level 2 User if you so wish or offer advice to your company's own appointed Users in respect of the issue of Certificates of Sponsorship to proposed employees.
Sponsorship Licensing for Educational Establishments
Educational establishments must be licensed and on the Sponsorship Register not only to employ lecturers from abroad (under Skilled worker) but must act as "sponsor" to foreign students enrolled at their establishments and award Certificates of Acceptance on a course of studies. Educational establishments would apply to join the sponsorship register under both Skilled Worker and Student Sponsor. The establishment must as a prerequisite, be accredited by an UK Visas and Immigration (Home Office) approved accreditation body for educational oversight before applying to join the sponsorship register.
Suspensions and Revocations of Sponsorship Licences
If you are so unfortunate as to have your sponsor licence suspended or revoked you may be able to challenge such a decision by making representations to the UKBA or, more effectively, by way of judicial review. We can successfully assist international colleges and employers to challenge such decisions and secure restitution on the sponsorship register.
If you are faced with a Civil Penalty for employing workers illegally you will be entitled to appeal against this. We have successfully assisted employers who have been unfairly or wrongfully imposed Civil Penalties. Under legislation introduced in 2014 Landlords may also face Civil Penalties and we can advice you on avoiding such difficulties and to challenge such penalties.