Posted on November 26, 2021
If you hold a sponsor licence, you will need to be aware of the changes that come in to effect on 1 December 2020.
Existing licences (along with Certificate of Sponsorship annual allocation) will be transferred to the new system from 1 December, in the equivalent route (or routes), and with the same expiry date as the existing licence.
Please note that Tier 2 General will be known as Skilled Worker and Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) will be known as Intra-Company.
Employers do not need to update any USED Certificates of Sponsorship.
Requested or assigned but unused Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS)
If an employer assigned a Tier 2 (General) Certificate of Sponsorship (restricted or unrestricted) to a worker before 1 December 2020 but it has not been by that date, they can ‘upgrade’ the CoS to a Skilled Worker CoS, as long as the CoS was assigned to the worker no more than 3 months ago.
The employer can add a ‘sponsor note’ to the CoS, ensuring that that the following is included:
If the employer applied for a Tier 2 (General) restricted CoS before 28 November 2020 but a decision has not been made, the Home Office will decide the application on that date and inform the employer of the outcome. If the application is granted in the Tier 2 General (New hires – restricted) category, this will be known as a ‘defined CoS’ and the employer will be able to assign the CoS to a Skilled Worker on or after 1 December 2020.
If the employer was granted a Tier 2 (General) restricted CoS before 1 December 2020 but has not assigned it to a worker by that date, they can ‘upgrade’ the CoS to a Skilled Worker defined CoS and assign it to a worker, provided it was allocated no more than 3 months ago.
If the employer assigned a CoS to a worker before 1 December 2020 under the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) rules but the worker has not used that CoS to make an application, the employer can ‘upgrade’ the CoS to an Intra-Company CoS so the worker can use it when making their application on or after 1 December 2020, providing it was assigned no more than 3 months ago.
The employer can add a ‘sponsor note’ to the CoS, which must include the following:
From 1 December 2020 there will be two types of CoS:
o Skilled Workers applying for permission from within the UK;
o Workers on all other routes, whether applying for entry clearance, permission to enter or permission to stay
The Home Office requires all new CoS to state the PAYE details of the employee on the CoS. If the employee is not paid through PAYE, an explanation must be provided. The Home Office may make regular checks with HMRC to ensure employers are paying their sponsored workers appropriately.
The Home Office SMS system will also be offline from 27 November 2020 until 1 December 2020 so all tasks that require SMS access should be completed before this date.
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