20 February, 2019
In schools where the employer is the local authority, if the school wanted to hire someone on a tier 2 visa, would the local authority need a licence to sponsor these visas?
Yes, the Local Authority would need to have a tier 2 licence in order to sponsor the visa of the proposed employee. If the Local Authority didn't have a licence, it would need to apply for one.
On applying for a licence a range of criteria would need to be satisfied under the current system. However, some of the criteria will change when the new immigration system is to be launched in 2021.
What are the conditions for tier 2 sponsorship?
The role needs to satisfy a minimum salary threshold of £30,000 unless an exemption applies (for example, for secondary school teachers in certain subjects there is a lower threshold of £20,800). The role must be a genuine vacancy and meet the required skill level. It will also be necessary to consider whether a resident labour market test (RLMT) is to be conducted. This does not apply in all cases (for example Tier 2: ICT is excluded, as are certain other professions where there is a shortage). If it does apply, the position must be advertised in a minimum of 2 mediums for a minimum of 28 days before an individual can be sponsored.
How does the employer then sponsor an applicant?
The employer would need to assign a sponsor certificate to the proposed employee who would then apply for the visa. The employer would also need to keep evidence of any RLMT carried out, and a criminal records check will be required from the prospective employee covering each jurisdiction where they have lived for 12 months in the last 10 years.
A contract of employment should only be entered into if the visa is granted. Any offer of employment should be made subject to all relevant checks being satisfied to the employer's satisfaction, as well as the relevant visa being granted, whether it is through an out of country application or an in-country transfer.