It’s important to understand some of the legal basics associated with getting your employee a validwork permit for the UK; this should cover workers from outside the EU, and can include Tier 2 specialist workers, as well as Tier 2 temporary workers – you need to be able to provide a certificate of sponsorship for an employee that aligns with them meeting the criteria of a points based system, and that covers some of the following areas.
First, it’s worth being aware of how the immigration points system works within the UK; employees need to gain 70 points to receive a work permit – this includes areas such as English language skills, and being able to have enough enough funds to maintain themselves. As an employer, you can provide 30 points by obtaining a certificate of sponsorship for jobs paying more than £20,000 a year, and 20 points for those less than this figure.
In terms of being able to register and receive a sponsorship license from the government, you need to make sure you follow the code of practice for sponsoring workers; you need to demonstrate that theemployee you are sponsoring is receiving equivalent pay to someone from the UK, and that you have advertised locally before taking on someone from overseas; you’ll also need to match up your certificate of sponsorship with an employee’s passport number, and should provide them with a certificate three months before they apply for their work permit.
For Tier 5 workers, certificates of sponsorship can be issued for 12 month periods for sportspeople, and 24 months for entertainers and religious workers. The UK Border Agency places limits on the number of certificates that you can issue per year, and you’ll need to estimate how many you’re likely to need; exemptions are made for Tier 2 workers that are moving into a new employment category, and for workers that are earning more than £150,000 a year.
It’s the responsibility of an employer to main detailed employee records, and to follow the code of practice set out by the UK Border Agency. Codes of practice for April 6th 2013 and onwards can be found through the Border Agency’s website, and can also be broken down to include the requirements for employers hiring people to work on film and television, as well as sportspeople and migrant workers.
If a sponsored employee decides to pull out of a work permit scheme before they arrive in the country, employers need to withdraw their certificate of sponsorship; if that employee then re-applies at a later date for work, they’ll need a new certificate – employees can only have one certificate at a time. Employers can have their right to be a sponsor downgraded from ‘A’ to ‘B’ if they break any of the terms and conditions of work permits, and can even have this right removed altogether if they bee involved in any illegal sponsorship.
Steven Cogburn blogs about immigration rights and the EU. He recommends that employers seek specialist advice from immigration solicitors before arranging for a tier 2 work permit and tier 5 visas.