Immigration alert: Transitional arrangements before the Skilled Worker category opens on 1 December 2020

24 November 2020

Tier 2 sponsors may have recently received an email from the Home Office letting you know about some of the transitional measures which have been put in place in order for the Tier 2 scheme to be replaced by the Skilled Worker category.  Some of the transitional measures to be aware of include:
  • Automatic change to your Tier 2 sponsor licence. If you currently have a Tier 2 sponsor licence, it will automatically be updated so that you can continue to sponsor your existing Tier 2 workers and are ready to submit Skilled Worker applications from 1 December.  
  • Sponsor Management System (SMS) closure. The SMS is the online sponsor licence system and it will be offline from 7pm this Friday 27 November to 9am on Tuesday 1 December while it is changed to account for the new Skilled Worker category. 
  • Last chance to assign certificates of sponsorship (CoS) under the current system. The last opportunity to assign (submit online) a Tier 2 CoS under the current system is before 7pm on 27 November.  It will then not be possible to assign any CoS until 9am on Tuesday 1 December, assuming there are no delays. 
  • CoS allocations. Any existing Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) (ICT) unassigned CoS you have on your SMS will automatically be changed to Skilled Worker and ICT CoS to use from 1 December.  If required, you can request extra CoS before the annual renewal on 6 April 2021.  Given the need to sponsor EU citizens arriving in the UK to work after 1 January, many sponsors may be required to do this.
  • Tier 2 sponsor licence renewal.  If your licence is due to expire between 27 November and 2 December 2020 you should submit the application to renew your licence before the expiry date. If you do not make your application before this date, your licence will be extended for a temporary period of 7 calendar days. You must apply to renew your licence within this temporary extension period, or it will lapse.  
If you have any queries in relation to the above changes or any other immigration matter, please contact a member of the immigration team.

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