We are regularly asked by employers to assist with requesting Restricted/Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship to enable them to sponsor overseas workers. As part of the process of recruiting overseas skilled migrant workers, Tier 2 sponsors are required to demonstrate that they have conducted the resident labour market test adequately when requesting a Restricted /Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship. In conducting the resident labour market test the employer is required, in most cases, unless the exemptions apply, to place two advertisements in two mediums.

The requirements also state that the adverts must contain certain requisite information such as location of the job, salary, closing date for the advert and must keep a contemporaneous record that the advert was placed in a particular format. More often than not we find that the adverts are lacking in one way or another.

We have also found that that the Home Office has granted the Certificates to Sponsors in cases where all the mandatory requirements of the resident labour market test may not have been met. Though the Home Office may have overlooked certain requirements in issuing the Certificates, the onus is ultimately on the Sponsor to certify that they have met the mandatory requirements of the resident labour market test. If an official from the Home Office was to turn up for an audit at the Sponsor’s premises and has sight of the adverts which do not contain the requisite information or which were not advertised in the appropriate mediums, this could lead to the Sponsor Licence being revoked.

In these circumstances the Home Office cannot downgrade the sponsor and provide an action plan, as any failings or omissions in the advertising cannot be remedied. Where a Sponsor is employing a number of migrants on the Tier 2 visa any such revocation could have drastic and detrimental consequences for the employers business as they would not be able to continue to employ important skilled staff and the overseas workers would also need to find new sponsors. Therefore it is extremely important that employers adhere to the guidelines as specified by the Home Office when attempting to gain Restricted/Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship.

If you would like further information on this topic or any other related matters please contact the Edwin Coe Employment and Immigration Team.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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