The Home Office have released an updated guidance for compliance officers regarding pre and post licence sponsor compliance visit and assessments.
Indeed, companies holding or applying for a Sponsorship Licence need to comply with Immigration Rules and HR system requirements.
The Home Office can decide to attend the company’s office at any time before (pre-licence assessment visit) and after (post-licence compliance visit) granting the Sponsorship Licence and conduct a compliance visit and assessments to check if the company meets the requirements and fulfils its duties as a Sponsor.
The main change in this new guidance is the removal of parts of the guidance about making a recommendation.
Other changes reflect the updated Immigration Rules and some minor housekeeping.
From 15 January 2018, compliance officers will no longer make a recommendation (feedback) regarding the licence outcome following a compliance visit. They will conduct and document a thorough assessment of the sponsor’s current state of compliance, gathering supporting evidence.
The caseworker will then use the evidence presented in the report, along with other relevant evidence to make a decision regarding the licence outcome.
The Home Office will not suggest any improvements in its report. They will focus on highlighting each breach.
Employers wishing to retain or hire non-EEA workers need to get fully prepared. In order to do so, the services of an immigration solicitor advising and assisting for Sponsorship Licence applications but also for the compliance with visa rules and duties as a Sponsor are now primordial.
If you wish to apply for a Sponsorship Licence or are already a sponsor and want to make sure that you comply with the complex immigration rules, please do not hesitate to contact our immigration team or our senior solicitor, Pam Barar.
Health charge for temporary migrants will increase to £400 a year
The government plans to double the immigration health surcharge paid by temporary migrants to the UK. The annual charge is paid by people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are seeking to live in the UK for 6 months or more to work, study or join family.
The surcharge will rise from £200 to £400 per year. The discounted rate for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme will increase from £150 to £300.
This increase is justified by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on the ground that the Department estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating surcharge payers.
There is no timetable at the moment because the change is “subject to parliamentary time and agreement”. The Immigration Health Surcharge will increase but not for now.
Changes made following the Migration Advisory Committee review include:
If the worker has been offered the job within 6 months of the milk round beginning, the sponsors from April 2017 will be able to rely on a milk round that finished up to 4 years before assigning a certificate of sponsorship.
The job title – nurse is still on the shortage occupations list, however, the requirements are amended to require a Resident Labour Market Test to be carried out before a nurse is allocation a Certificate of Sponsorship.
Amendments are made if the applicant wishes to switch from Tier 4 to Tier 2 permit, and if the applicant studied at a UK well known body or an institution in receipt of public funding as a higher education body, and to also avert an applicant from depending on a qualification acquired via further additional study.
Maintenance requirements for Tier 4 (Student Union Sabbatical Officer or dentist on a recognized Foundation Programme or Postgraduate doctor) are shrunk.