If you're struggling to get the right talent locally then you may need to broaden your search beyond the UK's borders. If you then decide to bring in an applicant from abroad you will need to become a licensed sponsor. Licensed sponsors can sponsor staff so that they can enter the UK to work through the Tier 2 visa route.
The benefit of being able to sponsor people is that you can hire the talent you need from anywhere, this can get around having a local shortage of the skills that your business needs in order to thrive. Though there is a process involved, with the right help it is more than achievable to become a licensed sponsor.
In order to become licensed, you will need to apply to the government's UK Border Agency for a license using their application process. The process is straightforward and requires minimal paperwork. Once your application has been accepted you can then begin the process of hiring from abroad.
Once you find your perfect applicant you can then produce a Certificate of Sponsorship for them. Once this is done you will need to wait for a decision on their visa application. If they're successful you will still have some obligations to meet in order to satisfy the requirements laid out by UKBA. These include accurate record keeping of certain documents as specified and there are also requirements to inform UKBA if the applicant does not meet certain conditions. Most of the conditions are in regards to the applicants continuing employment, for instance, if the applicant fails to show up on their first day of work, or is missing for more than 10 days other than as permitted by the sponsor.
Please also note that UKBA officials take a tough stance on sponsorships and your business may be visited at any time to check that your company has remained compliant with the rules, this is where accurate record keeping is essential as UKBA officials will want to see that all the criteria laid out have been satisfied. Failure to comply is likely to be strictly punished.
The sponsor licence offers big benefits for companies that need skilled staff from abroad but does come with some key responsibilities. Overall it can be a big help for your business by helping ensure that you can hire in the skills that you need to thrive. As long as you keep compliant there is no need to fear visits from Home Office officials. As the UK is a highly sought after destination for migrant workers UKBA are more than aware that compliance can be an issue due to the intrinsic value that a Tier 2 visa can bring to an applicant. Officials want to ensure that all staff are genuine and that the rules are being adhered to.
Our team of specialist Tier 2 visa Lawyers can advise you on how best to prepare your Tier 2 visa application. Contact us today if you will require professional advice. You can reach us on 02037442797 or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.