The Home Office has recently issued updated Sponsor Guidance for Tier 2 and 5.
There are a number of changes to the guidance for Tier 2 and 5, published on 11 January 2018 when the new Immigration Rules came into force. Some of the key changes for Tier 2 and 5 guidance are:
- Sponsors are now subject to a new reporting duty. They must report to UKVI within 10 working days if the size of the sponsor’s business changes from a small to a medium/large company or vice versa, as defined by the Companies Act 2006. Small and medium/large sponsors pay different Immigration Skills Charge fees;
- The rules relating to delaying start dates as referred to on an employee’s CoS have been amended. The new guidance confirms that, in relation to Tier 2 (General), if the start date is to be delayed after the new leave has been granted to the worker, the new start date must be within 28 days from the date on which the new leave was granted or the start date on the CoS (including any amended start dates reported before the leave was granted), whichever is later. The guidance no longer applies this restriction to Tier 2 (ICT) CoS;
- Those sponsored under Tiers 2 and 5 are no longer able to make an application to extend their leave to remain in the UK in the same tier and category more than three months before their existing leave expires;
- The guidance confirms that permission to undertake secondary employment must be specifically applied for;
- The criteria for Tier 5 (GAE) has been amended and tightened. New schemes must be directly linked to a wider Government objective;
- A minor clarification has been made relating to ‘similar protection to TUPE’ and the word ‘usually’ has been included to the curtailment of leave section where the migrant was not actively or knowingly involved in the compliance breach;
- Appendix D confirms that if an advert shows the date a vacancy was first advertised, a screen shot may be taken at any time.
It is important that those responsible for the sponsor licence review the new Tier 2 and 5 guidance carefully to ensure that the organisation is compliant.