New immigration Policy Guidance and Sponsor Guidance in respect of Tiers 2 and 5 of the Points Based System was published last week. These documents are important to sponsors of workers as they outline the correct interpretation of law and policy concerning immigration in the UK as it relates to these categories.

The new information within the guidance as it most directly impacts sponsors is as follows:

  • There will be a right to review sponsor licence applications refusals. Should an applicant for a sponsor licence receive a refusal and believe the decision is incorrect due to a caseworker error, a form to request a review may be sent within 14 days of this. The rules seem similar to those about Administrative Review – the reconsideration is limited to errors of fact and no new evidence may be considered.
  • New requirements are introduced regarding the sponsorship of workers whose roles are assessed as being at skill level NQF 3 or 4. A Sponsor Note must be added to the relevant Certificate of Sponsorship to explain how the applicant meets the eligibility criteria.
  • It is now specified that a cost of living allowance may be paid to Intra Company Transfer migrants and included within the stated gross total remuneration payable.
  • The guidance is updated to clarify that the “right to rent” offences introduced last year are relevant in respect of immigration applications and, if key personnel within a sponsoring company commit these, this may impact the sponsor licence.

Timeframe

These instructions took effect from 6th April onwards.

Comment

Two major changes to the UK’s immigration system are awaiting implementation. The amended recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee will start to be implemented from Autumn 2016 and the Immigration Bill which creates several new immigration-related offences remains under consideration within Parliament but is likely to receive Royal Assent shortly.

The current changes are on a smaller scale to those which will be introduced later this year but reflect the ongoing need for sponsors to keep abreast of the ongoing changes.