Q&As

If an employer is looking to sponsor an existing employee with Tier 4 leave, can the employee be sponsored in a different role than what they were doing previously (eg a part time sales assistant applying for a full-time sales manager role)? Would the position change if the prospective employer is in the process of obtaining a sponsor licence?

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Produced in partnership with Gary McIndoe of Latitude Law
Last updated on 23/08/2019

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

  • If an employer is looking to sponsor an existing employee with Tier 4 leave, can the employee be sponsored in a different role than what they were doing previously (eg a part time sales assistant applying for a full-time sales manager role)? Would the position change if the prospective employer is in the process of obtaining a sponsor licence?

If an employer is looking to sponsor an existing employee with Tier 4 leave, can the employee be sponsored in a different role than what they were doing previously (eg a part time sales assistant applying for a full-time sales manager role)? Would the position change if the prospective employer is in the process of obtaining a sponsor licence?

To work in the UK, a person must be either:

  1. a British citizen

  2. an EEA national, or

  3. have specific permission from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

Permission from UKVI is stated on a person’s biometric residence permit (BRP). Tier 4 leave usually comes with permission to work up to 20 hours a week during term-time. With this permission, our example employee does not need to be sponsored by their employer in their current part-time role. See page 50 of the Home Office: Tier 4 of the Points-Based System—Policy Guidance for specific information.

If our example employee wants to work full time (other than during vacations or for a limited period at the end of their course), beyond the expiration of their Tier 4 leave, they will need to apply for leave under Tier 2, which is for sponsored employees.

The restrictions on sponsoring an employee under Tier 2 generally

Related documents:
Key definition:
Sponsor Licence definition
What does Sponsor Licence mean?

A licence issued by the Home Office to an employer or education provider to enable it to sponsor non-EEA migrant workers or students in the UK under Tiers 2, 4 and 5 of the Points-Based System.

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