As our series of UK immigration blogs continues, we turn our attention to Tier 2 of the points-based system.
Tier 2 is an important entry route into the UK for non-EEA skilled workers with an offer of employment and includes: Tier 2 General, Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT), Tier 2 Sportsperson and Tier 2 Minister of Religion.
Here, we focus on Tier 2 General.
UK employers may find that they are unable to fill their vacancy with a UK settled worker. When an employer considers recruiting from further afield, there are certain criteria they must fulfil.
The Sponsor Licence
All UK employers who want to employ overseas workers under Tier 2 General need a Sponsor Licence, authorised by the UK immigration authorities. If the licence application is approved, employers are given either an A-rating or B-rating depending on their level of compliance or risk factor.
Sponsors are required to continually meet specific obligations focusing on record keeping, reporting, compliance and co-operating with the UK immigration authorities. The Government places a significant amount of responsibility on employers; any sponsors failing to comply with the duties laid out in the Home Office guidelines faces severe penalties, including suspension or a licence downgrade, or even complete revocation.
We will bring you detailed information on how Dearson Winyard can help your organisation fulfil its UK immigration obligations in future blogs. Or, if you would like further information, please contact our Client Services Manager, Sarah Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07884 549109.
The job on offer must meet the required skill level and rate of pay as per the Home Office Codes of Practice, which detail the jobs that are suitable under Tier 2. They list:
- the skill level for jobs in each occupation
- the minimum salary rates for new starters and for experienced staff
Unless the job is on the shortage occupation list, employers will need to conduct a resident labour market test to demonstrate there are no resident workers suitable for the job. Once these criteria have been fulfilled an employer can issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The CoS is a unique reference number, which holds information about the job and the migrant worker’s details.
The Overseas Worker
Having a CoS alone does not mean an overseas worker will be successful in applying to come to or stay in the UK; they must meet the necessary immigration requirements.
In order to come to or remain in the UK as a skilled worker under Tier 2 General, an overseas worker must score a total of 70 points. 50 points are awarded for ‘attributes’, i.e., having a CoS and for being paid an appropriate salary. Additionally, 10 points are awarded for English language skills and maintenance (funds). Providing these criteria, plus any others applicable under the Immigration Rules, are met, the overseas worker may apply for the necessary UK visa.
We look forward to bringing you information on Tier 2 ICT in the next blog.
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This overview is not exhaustive and does not substitute for actual advice based on specific circumstances. Different employer and individual circumstances will require bespoke advice. Readers are reminded that immigration laws are fluid and can change at a moment’s notice without any warning.
For detailed information, please get in touch with Dearson Winyard.