The verdict from an early appeal against the new regime of Tier 2 visas suspensions has highlighted the extremely high degree of compliance which employers must observe.
The unsuccessful application for Judicial Review of the decision to revoke a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence heard on May 14th (R on the application of Raj and Knoll Ltd v Secretary of State for the Home Department) has been seen as practically mapping out the standards that employers must meet if they are to avoid their own Tier 2 visa suspensions.
The specifics of the case (which involved staff in a nursing home) are of less interest in the broader context than what the Court’s verdict illustrated concerning the way UK immigration authorities view the behaviour of Tier 2 visa sponsors.
The court ruling underlined the fact that any employer was at risk of Tier 2 visa suspension if they failed to implement the managerial and record keeping requirements of UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) ‘with all the rigour and vigilance of the immigration control authorities’.
In other words, employers are obliged to work to the same standards of meticulous accuracy as UKVI at all times. The word ‘sloppy’ was used to describe the attitude towards the visa requirements of the applicant in the case mentioned above. And this was itself seen as sufficiently serious to warrant the rejection of the appeal.
The right to hold a licence was described by the Court as ‘a fragile gift’, involving a ‘high degree of trust’. It insisted that ‘constant vigilance’ and faultless administration constituted the minimum required standard.
The broader lesson is clear. For anyone holding a Tier 2 licence the very real threat of tier 2 suspension means that every aspect of the process, at every single point of administration, must be kept entirely up to date at all times. As the recent example of the London School of Business and Finance has recently illustrated, any failure to meet those standards, at any stage has the potential to trigger an immediate suspension - with far from straightforward prospects of appeal.