HR Compliance for Tier 2 Visas
An employer sponsor licence is granted on the premise that as an employer, you have both the understanding as well as internal HR systems to fulfil your responsibilities as a sponsor. Often times, we find that it is easy for employers to forget some of their key responsibilities as sponsors. This article summarises some of those duties and responsibilities as well as setting out tips on the best internal systems to put in place to ensure that you are always compliant with your duties as a sponsor.
It is important to note that the HR systems that need to be in place in order to be compliance need not be a world class bespoke IT system. A simple excel spreadsheet may suffice. What is more important is your knowledge of the workings of the systems as well as what is expected of you.
If you have applied for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, the Home Office will assess your application, amongst other things to determine if you have an infrastructure that allows you to be compliant. This is called pre-compliance checks. In some cases, especially for start-ups, the Home Office may decide to visit you.
Home Office Compliance Officers will normally announce their visits; however they may also choose to come in without prior notice.
Key questions you may want to ask yourself include: -
- If the migrant doesn't turn up for work, how would you know?
- Can you contact them, if they have been absent for some days?
- How up-to-date is the contact information you have about them?
- How will you know when or if their visa about to expire?
- What will you do if their visa expires?
If you can answer these questions by pointing out to emails, calendar entries, filers/folders, documents, software or any other thing within the company's HR, then you are most likely set to pass the pre-compliance checks.
In addition to pre-compliance checks, the Home Office will need to check that the salary on offer is at the appropriate level. Also, whilst it is not a pre-requisite that the company is making profit, companies offering to pay almost double their cash flow may face more scrutiny and checks when compared with companies that offer a salary within or just above their cash flow.
A typical example may be where a company offering is to pay a migrant £35,000 for a role; whereas the company is under a year and the operating capital of the company is less than £10,000. Even though the Home Office is not there to tell you how to run or grow your business, they will have to sure that there is indeed a genuine vacancy in your organisation. And that you are not just sponsoring someone to the UK for the sake of it or for personal gains.
Once your sponsorship application is successful, you must then appoint Key Personnel to manage. Key personnel relates to person within the organisation that will be fulfilling immigration related roles. They are also referred to as the account/compliance officers. These roles include: -
- An Authorised Officer
- A key contact
- Level 1 user.
For more information on duties of each of the key personnel, click here.
If you are not sure that your systems are compliant, please feel free to contact our immigration lawyers today.
Basic duties of a Sponsor
- Secure files for all employees
- Verification process to ensure that all employees have rights to live and work in the UK.
- Ensure that all copies of employee documents with you are genuine.
- Update the Home Office of any change of circumstance to the licence, migrant or key personnel.
How we can help
Tier 2 Employee
If you are the applicant looking to apply for a Tier 2 visa, our Tier 2 visa lawyers can help you with an entry clearance application if you are applying from outside the country. We can also assist you with a switching application if you applying from inside the country.
Please note that the fact that you are already in the country doesn't mean that you will be able to submit an application from inside the country. Call our immigration experts today if you are not sure where you should be applying from.
Our services for employers include: -
- Tier 2 visa application
- Sponsorship licence application (Tier 2, 4 and 5).
- Managing your licence as one of the key personnel
- Training for your in-house HR staff.
- Inform you of changes in Home Office rules and advice you on how best to deal and react to them.