Your sponsor licence has limited recruitment scope and should not be viewed as a primary means of staffing your business due to its exceptional and restrictive nature. Priority to UK or EU settled workers is obligatory and is part of your immigration control responsibilities as a sponsor licence holder.
Remember sponsorship is only for employing migrants with specialist skills that are vital for your business due to lack of availability of UK/EU workers with these skills. The government demands that you try hard to attract non migrant staff before sponsoring a migrant. It is therefore essential that resident labour market testing (RLMT) is carried out thoroughly and evidentially.
Since 6th April 2011 radical changes in sponsor rules meant chefs and managers jobs were no longer at the skill level and job definition allowed for entry into Tier 2 sponsorship. The exception has been those sponsored before this date and who can still extend or gain new sponsorship as chefs and restaurant managers. The other exception is sponsoring a Chef under shortage occupation criteria. However this is a very restrictive criteria which probably only a handful of restaurants in the UK can meet.
Further amendments to sponsor rules and occupational classifications means it is vital you are aware of limitations.
When assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) you give an undertaking that you have acted in strict accordance with the rules. In particular you must have comply with the following
- The sponsored job is genuine and not an ‘artificial’ post
- You have conducted a thorough RLMT and have detailed evidence
- The CoS is assigned according to correct SOC code and salary
- The migrant you are sponsoring has undergone a formal recruitment selection and process
- The migrant is qualified for the job and verified by references
- The job is an established and proven working role in your business
Failure to adhere to meet these conditions as well as other rules governing the assigning of a CoS can lead to licence revocation.
Every aspect about you as sponsor and who and why you sponsor someone is subject to scrutiny and investigation to establish genuineness. This has become the basic underlying principle behind whether or not you get a licence, and whether or not you are allowed to hold on to it and your migrant workers.