Though it is a rare occurrence, it is easy for companies to fall foul of immigration laws. The Tier 2 Sponsor Licence places a heavy burden on businesses and compliance issues can happen. When things get really bad, Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders can have their licence suspended or even revoked entirely.
But when this happens, what happens to the staff working at the business?
Well, in this article we are going to look at what you should do as a Tier 2 General Visa holder if your sponsor loses their Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, or if your contract of employment is terminated for any reason.
There are various ways in which a Sponsor Licence can be lost; while most failures will lead to a suspension rather than a revocation, there are cases where the Home Office will decide that a license holder’s actions justify the removal of their sponsorship licence.
Three of the more common reasons are laid out below:
The above are just three scenarios where a decision may be taken to revoke the license, but these are certainly not the only reasons. Usually, the Home Office will look to investigate businesses it suspects of not following the rules, after which a decision is made. It will then be decided if the licence holder will get their licence back or not. If they do not get it back (it’s revoked) then they are no longer able to sponsor staff. If this is the case, they will need to let go their sponsored staff and their visas will be cancelled.
This is the nightmare scenario for many Tier 2 General Visa holders. If their Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder loses their licence, the sponsored staff will be let go as they can no longer be sponsored. This means the sponsored staff will have their visas cancelled and be given 60 days to either leave the country or get a new visa.
As there is no appeal process in this instance, you will need to either seek new employment from an alternative Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder or leave the country. Fortunately, Tier 2 Sponsor Licence revocations are rare, but when they do happen, the consequences can be severe for all involved. If you are in this position, you will need to line up a new role quickly due to the time needed to get a new visa in place.
If your contract of employment has been terminated (whether you are let go or have been made redundant) at your sponsored job, or you have chosen to resign, your visa will be cancelled. Your current employer has 10 days to inform the Home Office of the change, at which point you will receive a cancellation notice giving you 60 days to leave the country. You can use these 60 days to find a new job with an alternative Sponsor Licence holder or to get your affairs in order and leave the country.
You must bear in mind that if you choose to leave the country, you will be subject to a 12-month cooling-off period (you will not be able to apply for another Tier 2 General Visa for 12 months after leaving the UK). This is the main reason many Tier 2 General Visa holders opt to find alternative sponsored employment. It is important you use this 60 day period to find a job as the process to get a new visa could take some time.
Yes, there are several options for those who are currently in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa but wish to switch to an alternative. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you can switch to a number of UK visa routes from the Tier 2 General Visa.
The three visas above are all great alternatives to the Tier 2 General Visa, and none require the sponsorship of a Tier 2 General Visa holder. There are, however, strict eligibility criteria attached to all of them.
If you need more advice on any of the UK’s visa routes, our expert advisors can help you with a free, no-obligation consultation. We have expertise in all UK visa routes and have helped numerous people to successfully move to the UK. So for more advice, get in touch today and speak to a member of our team.
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