Welcome to the latest edition of Kingsley Napley's immigration update, focusing on recent developments in immigration law affecting you and your business.

Updated Sponsorship Management System User Guides for Sponsors

A series of new and revised user guides for the Sponsor Management System, covering all functions that sponsors are required or may wish to use, have recently been published on the UK Border Agency website. This guidance is valid from 1 October 2011.

Details of the new Sponsor Management System features are as follows:

Structured processes for reporting change in circumstances

  • Sponsors are now able to use specific functions for reporting change of circumstances, for instance amending the current Authorising Officer or Key Contact's details, replacing the Authorising Officer or Key Contact and modifying the organisation details. Some changes will take effect automatically, whilst for others, the Sponsor Licensing Unit may request supporting evidence.

Improved migrant reporting processes for Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors

  • Additional drop-down lists will provide more specific information on Tier 2 and Tier 5 migrants, for example, where sponsorship of the migrant ceases.

Restricted certificates of sponsorship for Tier 2 sponsors

  • Sponsors holding an A-rating in the Tier 2 (General) category will now be able to apply for, view, create and assign restricted Certificates of Sponsorship. The previous online application form has now been withdrawn;
  • In addition, a more streamlined monthly allocation process for restricted Certificates of Sponsorship is to be introduced this month. A notification email will be sent to Level 1 users that have submitted applications on the same day that the decisions are made.

Revised policy guidance for Tier 2/5 sponsors reflecting the changes outlined above is now available on the UK Border Agency website.

Taiwanese granted access to UK Youth Mobility Scheme from January 2012

From 1 January 2012, Taiwanese young people will be eligible to apply for a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa for the UK. Prior to making an application for a visa, Taiwanese applicants will need to obtain a certificate of sponsorship from Taiwan's National Youth Commission. The National Youth Commission expects to announce further details on this process on 1 November 2011.