Recruitment on-going – Tier 2 License – Do you wait or do it now?

The UK’s decision to leave the EU raised many questions and concerns across the recruitment industry. With changes being set from 1st July 2021, employees, employers, and policymakers now must plan for the impact of Brexit on working life and the UK economy. From this point EU citizens and any family members living with them must hold or have applied for UK immigration status to legally work in the UK as non-EU citizens have been required to do for many years.

Under the new guidelines as an employer you will be able to sponsor the candidate for a Tier 2 visa –in order to be able to this you (the sponsor) will need to have a Tier 2 sponsor licence in order to issue a new Certificate of Sponsorship (‘CoS’). Larger financial institutions have operated a sponsor system for candidates outside the EU for many years and hence will be able to seamlessly apply the same system for EU candidates after Brexit. But as many organisations and policymakers start looking for answers to Brexit-related challenges, the question will be Tier 2 Licence – Do you wait or do it now?

What is involved?

As an employer there may be a need to carry out a new Resident Labour Market Test (‘RLMT’) before being able to offer candidates roles and assign a CoS. Roles will need to be advertised for 28 calendar days in two appropriate places to meet the RLMT requirement before being able to recruit.

To obtain a sponsor licence, as a company you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration on a number of levels:

  • Your company must be a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK;
  • You must be honest, dependable and reliable;
  • You must be capable of carrying out your sponsor duties and evidencing your compliance in an appropriate timeframe and manner;
  • If you are applying under Tier 2 (General), you must prove you can offer genuine employment that meets the Tier 2 (General) skill level and appropriate rates of pay.

Why Wait?

It takes time to prepare the necessary company-related documents and prove history and background. Whilst Tier 2 applications can be made online, they must then be posted to UK Visas and Immigration, along with the correct supporting documents which then be processed within about 8 weeks. Whilst this may not seem a long period to wait it is imperative that all documentation and evidence is prepared correctly as there will be no right of appeal if your licence application is refused. Plus, if you are refused a licence, you may not be able to apply again for up to five years, depending on the circumstances.

Time is of the essence

Time is of the essence ahead of the introduction of new migration restrictions in 2021, therefore it is imperative employers ensure they have made the necessary preparations. To be able to continue to have access to the skills your business needs then a Tier 2 application needs to be investigated.