The service was developed to give businesses and their representatives a direct route to the Home Office to obtain information in relation to queries.
Following positive responses from users, the Home Office has decided to make the service available to all business users on 1 July 2013, including Tier 2 and 5 sponsors and Tier 1 (investor) migrants. The Home Office's website will be updated to reflect the new service.
The Business Helpdesk covers a range of services, including:
- status updates for sponsorship and employee applications made in the UK, not overseas (two working days for a response); and
- answers to non-hypothetical, complex queries, eg in interpreting the guidance or when anomalous situations arise (up to five working days for a response).
The Business Helpdesk offers a single point of contact, with the Home Office having organised routes into its key teams, so that the response is from ‘experts’. Additionally, the responses are in writing to facilitate a better record of contact with the Home Office, to which it is possible to refer at a later date.
The Home Office is not yet able to open the Business Helpdesk to all Tier 1 (entrepreneur) enquiries, but it has stated that it is considering testing this as an addition to the service in the future.