uk immigration lawyers
uk immigration lawyers
Home / Blog

The Tier 2 sponsor licence process explained step by step.

If you are an employer, you may need to apply for a licence if you want to offer a job to a person who does not have a British or European passport. The following are examples of when a business needs a Tier 2 sponsor licence;

  • A non-British or European national working for you on a visa expected to expire in the near future. This includes but is not limited to students and those with dependant visas;
  • The business has advertised a job role to the UK labour market and have found the best candidate to need a visa to remain in the UK;

How can I sponsor my preferred candidate?

Sponsoring someone refers to offering your preferred candidate a position within your establishment. Before you consider applying for a licence, you need to determine that the role that you are recruiting for is skilled. If it is not, you cannot offer sponsorship. The Home Office define a job role as being skilled if it meets NQF level 6 or above. Click here for a table known as the Standard Occupation Codes ('SOC'). This table lists most job titles confirming what NQF level they are, also listing the minimum salary related to the role. These codes often change and at the time of writing, the link included was the most up to date.

If the job you are recruiting for is below NQF level 6 you can only sponsor the migrant if the job title can be found on the shortage occupation list, which you can see by clicking here.

The SOC and shortage occupation lists show the minimum salary for each job role. Generally speaking, the lowest salary that you will find on any given SOC is £20,500.

How do I apply for a licence?

Once you have established that your company needs a licence, you will need to;

  • Advertise the position using the job centre plus and another recruitment source; and
  • Apply for a licence using the online application form; and
  • Send documents to the Home Office as listed on the application form completed.

If a candidate is in the UK and has been on a student visa known as a Tier 4 visa, you may not need to advertise the job role before applying for a licence.

Once the online application has been submitted, the Home Office take in the region of 6 weeks to make a decision to issue a licence. If your business is regulated by an independent body such as the Solicitors Regulations Authority, this can reduce the processing time by half.

Will the Home Office visit my business before approving my licence?

The Home Office may visit your office branch before making a decision. They are likely to visit you if you are a start-up to check your human resources system. They may visit even if you have been trading for some time, although this is less likely. If your application is approved, you will have a sponsorship licence for 4 years which is renewable at the end of this term.

Your licence can be used for more than one candidate as long as you are able to maintain a reasonable HR system. A HR system does not need to be an entire department. It can be as simple as a folder including information about each employee. Examples of the type of detail includes; when the migrant's visa is due to expires, a copy of their passport and details or working hours.

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship ('COS')?

A nominated person within your organisation will be given access to on online portal which is used to keep the Home Office updated and to request the right to offer a position to a migrant. You or a nominated person will use the online portal to request a Certificate of Sponsorship ('COS'), which is a unique reference used to apply for the right to work.

If the candidate that you have decided to recruit holds a Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 1 visa, they may be able to apply from inside the UK for their visa to work with you. Requesting a COS in this situation is quicker than if requesting for candidates that have to leave to make an application. The Home Office may request evidence regarding the advertising process following a COS request.

If your candidate is based outside of the UK or does not hold a visa that allows them to apply from inside the UK, they will need to apply in their country of residence or nationality. COS request's made outside of the UK are decided by a panel of the Home Office. The panel make decisions from the 5th of each month. This may be important to the timeline of when you can employ a migrant. You will need to wait until the 5th of each month before a COS will be considered. The decision to issue a COS can take a further 10 working days from the 5th and the Home Office may ask for evidence before making a decision.

A Tier 2 General visa can be issued from as little as 1 year to a total of 6 years and leads to the right of permanent residence known as ILR. When request a COS, you nominated how many years you want the COS to be valid for.

The team at Reiss Edwards consists of some of London's leading sponsor licence lawyers. If you require expert legal advice on obtaining a sponsor licence or recruiting a Non-EEA national please call us on 020 3744 2797.

Immigration Enquiry

subscribe to email and newsletters
Reiss Edwards Reviews
5 out of 5 stars 394 Google+ Reviews
reivew immigration lawyer

Our Brochure

Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers brochure

Arabic Brochure
Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers brochure

Immigration related Testimonials

Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers london that we would be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
The Home Office refused my Tier 1 Entrepreneur extension application. This meant that my family and i would have to go back to Jordan and my business would close down. I needed a good immigration lawyer to put in a very strong appeal. I approached Reiss Edwards based on a friend's recommendation and they put together a very strong appeal. I read the grounds of appeal and I knew that this was a winner. A big thanks to Joe who worked tireless on my appeal.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter.

It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure.

To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me

A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative.

Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country.

The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed.

The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not.

At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months.

If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
Fantastic Solicitors!!!

My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.

We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa.

We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question.

The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife’s UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.

Click to view all google reviews
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.

Click to view all google reviews
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.

Click to view all google reviews
I used Reiss Edwards’ immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.

Click to view all google reviews
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service.

I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice.

They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.

Kind regards
Nancy Jacquard

Copyright © 2019 Immigration Lawyer London