To be able to employ non-EEA citizens, a company needs to hold a sponsor licence with the Home Office. Once a company holds a licence, it is then able to issue Certificates of Sponsorship which are required as part of each non-EEA individual’s immigration application under Tier 2 of the Points Based System.
The process of applying for a sponsorship licence can be very frustrating for companies as the Home Office scrutinises applications very carefully. Further it is very strict with which documents can be submitted as part of the application. The Home Office needs to be satisfied that the company or organisation is capable of keeping sufficient records and fulfilling the duties required as part of being a sponsor. Companies are required to submit at least a minimum amount of specific documents depending on the type of Company and how long it has been trading for. The documents have to be either original or certified copies and the Home Office is very strict if the documents are not certified exactly in line with relevant guidance.
Companies who had tried to make the application without the help of an Immigration representative will often come to us after their application has been rejected or refused due to either a lack of the correct documents submitted or the documents not being in exactly the correct format. It is very important for companies to get their applications sent to the Home Office well in advance of when they want to sponsor a non-EEA skilled worker, as it can take up to 6 weeks to have the Sponsor Licence application approved.
If a company does not submit the correct documents, then the Home Office will simply reject the application and send it back, and during the time that the company should be welcoming their new skilled member of staff, they will instead be desperately trying to get all of the right documents together to send the application again.