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The Home Office now say there is no need to “panic” on sponsor registration, but employers are still in the dark as to whether or not they need to register as sponsors.

In an article which appeared in Personnel Today, it was reported that a senior Home Office immigration figure has assured employers that there is no need to panic about the Tier 2 and Tier 5 of the points-based system, which kicks in across the UK next month.

By the end of November in just over six weeks time, Tiers 2 and 5 of the points-based scheme, set to limit the numbers of migrant workers coming to the UK, will have been launched. Employers wishing to hire skilled workers from outside the European Union and EEA will need to be registered as sponsors.

The Government has run a major advertising campaign to encourage employers to register by 1 October in order to be in a position to sponsor migrant workers from the launch date. Despite this, less than 300 organisations have been granted sponsorship licences, leaving up to 60,000 employers still to apply.

Home Office Director of immigration, Matthew Coats, told Personnel Today:

“We’re satisfied with the number of employers applying to become sponsors. Not everyone will need foreign workers on day one [of the new system].”

Coats explained that many migrant employees’ holding current work permits which would not run out for a few years, means there is no rush to move across to the new system. He also quashed fears from legal experts about a huge bottleneck of applications leading to delays.

“The overlap (between the old and new system) will depend on individual workers, but we don’t anticipate there to be a big problem,” he insisted.

Employers hiring migrant workers illegally face fines of up to £10,000 per worker under the law introduced in February. But Coats said the government out to help employers comply.

Many employers are confused as to whether they need to register as sponsor under the new system at all.

Cynthia Barker, Immigration Adviser at healthcare recruitment specialist Bison UK, said she had received dozens of calls from worried employers and managers in the care industry asking if they need to register in respect of existing staff employed on Work Permits or Student Visas.

“Some of our clients employ Senior Carers and Nurses on Work Permits which will take the worker beyond five years of continuous work in the UK, making them eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

“In other words, they will not need to renew their Work Permits at all, and unless they are planning to recruit new overseas workers, almost impossible for Senior Carers, there is no need to register at this stage.

Cynthia believes the UK Border Agency (UKBA) information is not very clear on this issue, leaving employers confused.

“The Home Office use terms like ‘employing migrant workers’ when referring to registering as sponsors, but fail to distinguish between existing and new migrants or, for that matter, students who have permission on their own visas.”

Publications, such as the 50 page Command Document ‘Making Migration Work for Britain, do not make it clear to employers that they only need register to cover new, as opposed to existing, non-EU skilled workers.

The ‘Becoming a Licensed Sponsor’ section, together with a slick UKBA video, of the UK Border Agency website goes into great detail on the new system and sponsorship, but give little information on existing permit holders and any transitional measures.

The ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section misses the vital question on employer’s minds: “Do I need to register as a sponsor to cover existing migrant workers from outside the EU?”

Earlier today I called the sponsors helpline (08450 106677), which was obviously busy and had an estimated wait time of 40 minutes. I eventually spoke to Lynne, one of the customer service advisers in the sponsor section, who told me that employers could register at any time three months prior to hiring migrant workers. She went on to confirm that employers do not need to register to cover existing Work Permit holders, unless they wanted to extend those permits.

She confirmed that international students have their own permission to work, as part of their Student Visa or Further Leave to Remain (FLR). I pointed out that whilst immigration advisers were aware of this fact it was not so obvious to busy employers and should be clarified on the UKBA website.

Some Managers and HR directors have warned that the sponsorship application process is too confusing, and are encouraged to contact the national helpline on 08450106677 or visit www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk.

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10 Responses to “Only 300 employers registered with UK Border Agency as Tier 2 points based sponsors”
Read them below or add one

  1. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    If your employer fails to renew his licence the effect on you is obvious. You can, however, move employers.

  2. arlene080484@yahoo.com'
    arlene080484@yahoo.com'arlene says :

    hello, my Tier 2 permit will expire by august 2013, and my employer is still in the process of renewing their sponsorship licence, shall my employer fail to renew their licence, what will be its effect on me? can i still apply for extension with the same employer..i wll appreciate any advice you can give me..thank you very much..

  3. muhammadirafn_537@yahoo.com'
    muhammadirafn_537@yahoo.com'Muhammad Irfan says :

    I want to know about sponser.Is sponser a company or individuals .can we come to england without sponsers under Tier 2(General)

  4. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    Employers must register as Tier 2 sponsors, however, you will not get a Tier 2 work permit or visa as a Healthcare Assistant.

  5. billyannie45@yahoo.com'

    I have just finished with my masters studies, and I have being offered a job in a care home as a healthcare assistant,I want to know if healthcare organisations are not recognised with the UKBA Tier 2

  6. vaibhav_212@yahoo.com'
    vaibhav_212@yahoo.com'Vaibhav says :

    There is a list available on the UKBA website. Depending on what type of visa category you fall into, search for Tier 4, 2 or 5 Register of Sponsors.

  7. kathrynjennaragg@hotmail.co.uk'
    kathrynjennaragg@hotmail.co.uk'Kathryn says :

    Are you kidding me?? You don’t have a list of employers that have sponsorship licences?? My fiancee wants to come back to England with me in August 2011, I’m a british citizen, he’s not. Are you telling me he’s going to have to apply for jobs just hoping they have sponsorship?? If that’s the case no wonder there are so many illegal immigrants in the uk! It’s impossible to follow the system!

  8. euukimmigration@gmail.com'

    We do not have list of employers, but you can check vacancies and employers on the internet.

  9. mramasika@yahoo.com'
    mramasika@yahoo.com'Mapula says :

    I would like to work in the UK, I am experienced and qualified childcare teacher. I am a South Africa, 46 years and I am presently working as a Special Needs Teacher here in South Africa. Kindly send me a list of all the employee who may sponsor me with a job.


  10. walia_sonia@hotmail.co.uk'
    walia_sonia@hotmail.co.uk'surinder kaur says :

    can u suggest me if any employer give me sponsership letter for tier 2. i am agree to work with that employer. at the moment i am working as a health care assistant.thanxs

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