Q&As

Are there any difficulties from the perspective of the Home Office’s Tiers 2 and 5 Sponsor guidance or otherwise with a prospective non-EEA or Croatian employee paying the sponsor licence fee for a Tier 2 (General) licence for an employer who wishes to take them on (and if the applications is successful, the immigration skills charge)?

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Produced in partnership with Gary McIndoe of Latitude Law
Published on LexisPSL on 14/09/2017

The following Immigration Q&A Produced in partnership with Gary McIndoe of Latitude Law provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are there any difficulties from the perspective of the Home Office’s Tiers 2 and 5 Sponsor guidance or otherwise with a prospective non-EEA or Croatian employee paying the sponsor licence fee for a Tier 2 (General) licence for an employer who wishes to take them on (and if the applications is successful, the immigration skills charge)?

The basic position is that employers—as the sponsors under Tier 2 and 5—take responsibility for the licensing and sponsorship processes, including their cost. While payment of the licence fee is not discussed in detail in the relevant Tiers 2 and 5 Sponsor Guidance, all available indicators are that it would be inappropriate for anyone other than the sponsor to fund sponsorship.

Paragraph 2.3 of the guidance for sponsors lists the duties a prospective sponsor must perform when requesting a Tier 2 and/or 5 licence. This includes completing and sending the appropriate application documents, and the guidance also confirms: ‘You must… pay the correct fee…’. Paragraph 3.3 of the same guidance continues: ‘You must make the application yourself. A representative can help you to fill in your application but must not send it on your behalf…’. The emphasis is clearly on the sponsor taking responsibility for the application, and submitting it themselves. The idea that the prospective migrant would pay the associated fees does not sit well with these general principles established under the guidance, nor would direct payment work on a practical level; the fee is paid online at the point of submission by the sponsor, so for the prospective employee to make payment, it would require their direct involvement in the licence application itself.

A licence will only ever be approved if the Home Office

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