Tier 5 – Government Authorised Exchange


Report finds majority of Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors are failing to comply with their requirements

UK Immigration Compliance 

A report commissioned by an immigration law firm found that a majority of British companies were not aware of the correct rules for sponsoring overseas workers. Consequently, many businesses could face fines, closure or even prison sentences for directors if they fail to comply with the visa rules.

The report found that two-thirds of the businesses surveyed were unaware what documents they needed to keep on file for sponsored overseas workers, and 95 per cent were not reporting all the required changes in circumstances for sponsored workers.

In addition, the report found just 7 per cent of companies were advertising job vacancies correctly when filling a position with a non-EEA citizen

The findings revealed that businesses are not carrying out sufficient internal compliance audits to ensure internal policies, procedures and guidelines follow the required ‘duties’ of a sponsor to ensure they meet the Home Office’s stringent compliance checks.

As a result, the report warned that up to 95 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses risk having their sponsor licence revoked and many could even face closure under strict new provisions of the Immigration Act 2016. Directors risk heavy fines or even a prison sentence.
Employers wishing to retain both EU and non-EEA workers need to get fully prepared ahead of Brexit. 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 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.


Mandalia v SSHD [2015] UKSC 59

The case Mandalia v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 59 can be pivotal example in regards to whether the Presenting Officer has a duty to apply evidential flexibility or it is just a mere power. In this case, the Court of Appeal said: “power”, however, the Supreme Court said: “a duty”.

From August 2009, evidential flexibility was embraced, which allows applicants to repair the deficit in their evidence or correct minor errors in applications for Tier 1, 2, 4 and 5 main and dependent applicants.

The flexible process instruction falls into 19 steps, four of which relevant to the above mentioned case, which the caseworker has to undertake when there is missing evidence or minor errors in the application:

  1. It needs to be identified whether there was missing evidence, if yes the caseworker must proceed to step two;
  2. It needs to clarified whether the application would be refused even if the missing evidence was rendered, if no, the caseworker must proceed to step three;
  3. The caseworkers request for additional documents in certain circumstances, where they are assured that the missing evidence exists, e.g. listed in Annex A (not exhaustive);
  4. In step four, the caseworker is to discuss the uncertainty with his line manager. Benefits should be counted towards the applicant if the line manager has reasonable grounds to believe that the missing evidence exists or even unsure, thus the evidence should be requested in step five by contacting the applicant.

It was held that the Home Office’s refusal was unlawful as there was not any attempt firstly to invite Mr Mandalia to correct minor error specifically to repair the deficit in his evidence. Therefore, the court should allow this appeal, and annul the refusal of Mr Mandalia’s application.


New changes affect Tier 4 students

  • From August 2015, Tier 4 students at publicly funded colleges are no longer allowed to work part-time.
  • From August 2015, Tier 4 students at universities are now permitted to study at the same level if there is a link with the previous course which have been studied before, or if it is confirmed by the university that the same level course sustains their future career.
  • From November 2015, college students are stopped to apply for an extension of their Tier 4 visas unless the college is embedded to a university recognised by the Home Office.
  • From November 2015, college students are not permitted to switch to Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa inside the UK.
  • From the autumn 2015, Tier 4 dependants are prevented to take unskilled or low skilled jobs, however permitted to take skilled work on the part and full time basis.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) new rules

From this year, entry clearance applicants will be issued a Biometric Residence Permit, which must usually be collected within 10 days of arrival in the United Kingdom.

Applicants affected

Individuals applying for Naturalisation as a British Citizen, an EEA Residence Card and EEA Permanent Residence must also now have their biometrics taken. The biometrics will be used to issue a biometric card as a form of UK visa.

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