Immigration Update: Tier 2 Sponsorship Questionnaire from the Home Office

4 July 2013

Home Office Launches Internal Review of Tier 2 of the Points Based System

The Home Office is undertaking an internal review to consider how the application and enforcement of immigration policies and processes in relation to skilled and highly skilled migrants can be improved. It will include an assessment of the administration and enforcement processes businesses encounter when employing a Tier 2 worker, including becoming a licensed sponsor and the processes migrants are subject to both overseas and in the UK when obtaining permission to work. The review will consider this from the point of view of UK businesses, particularly SMEs’ experience of these processes.  It will look at what can be done to:

  • improve the processes from a customer perspective;
  • examine any scope for easing compliance rules;
  • examine how to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.

NB: The Immigration Rules underpinning the Points Based System and the principles of sponsor obligations are outside the scope of the review.

Home Office Launches Business Helpdesk

On 1 July the Home Office launched the Business Helpdesk in response to demand from employers for a single point of contact for queries about becoming a Sponsor or hiring people from outside the EEA. Following a successful pilot, the new service is now available to all Sponsors, businesses and Tier 1 investors.

For employers the Business Helpdesk can provide

  • Clarification on immigration policy or guidance;
  • Status updates on applications for Sponsorship;
  • Status updates on any applications made after becoming a Sponsor;
  • Status updates on applications to work or stay in the UK made by employees;
  • A check to ascertain whether or not a prospective or current employee has an application with the Home Office;
  • Information to enable employers to check on the right of an individual to work for them; and
  • Provide technical help for the Sponsor Management System.

Emails should be sent to businesshelpdesk@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk and they will be answered within 2 days for status updates and up to 5 days for more complex queries. Kingsley Napley will utilise this service on behalf of those Sponsors it represents however for queries regarding the status of an employee’s application, the employee’s permission will need to be sought and the Data Protection Act Consent form must be attached to the email. Click here for a link to the helpdesk guide and consent form on the Home Office website.

Croatia Becomes a Member of the EU

As of 1 July, Croatian nationals can now enter and live in the UK without permission under the Immigration Rules. However, they will need permission to work in the UK unless they are exempt. A summary of the worker requirements can be found in our alert dated 25 October 2012 here and you can also view FAQ’s on this topic here on our website.

Students wishing to study in the UK do not need to be sponsored under Tier 4, but if they wish to also work whilst studying they must obtain an accession worker authorisation document, unless they are exempt. The Home Office has provided a helpful Guidance for Employers which can be accessed by clicking here.

Consultation on Upcoming Immigration Bill

On 3 July, the government launched two consultations seeking views from stakeholders, businesses and the general public on proposed immigration legislation. Proposals on healthcare provision and privately rented accommodation have been published. The consultation seeks views on proposals to change the basis upon which migrants access health services, which include levying an upfront charge of £200 for those migrants entering the UK for more than 6 months. Another proposal is to create a new requirement for landlords to conduct immigration checks on tenants, with penalties for those who provide rented accommodation to illegal non-EEA migrants. A link to the consultations can be found by clicking here.

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