UK Level 2 Visa and Work Permit – Summary of Recent Changes
Sponsorship Grant Certificates.
We wish to remind all sponsors that the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assignment is not automatically renewed and must be requested annually through the Sponsor Management System (SMS) within one year of the previous assignment.
Licensed sponsors who signed up for multiple levels and categories of the points-based system and were signed up at different times can choose to align their expiration dates to make it easier to manage the renewal process.
Sponsors, who will not renew their application, will not be able to issue certificates of sponsorship until their new certificate allocation is approved by the UK Border Agency.
Identity cards and biometric data for foreigners under the Level 2 scheme
As part of the 3-year plan, the UK Border Agency is introducing identity (ID) cards for foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and their dependents who come to the UK for more than 6 months or are extending your stay.
Until the end of 2009, only foreigners applying for a license extension in the UK as a spouse or student were required to apply for an ID card.
However, as of January 6, 2010, those applying to change or extend their Work Permit / Level 2 visa will also need to attend a biometric appointment and will be issued an Identity Card for Foreigners (ICFN) once they the request is successful.
The implementation of identity cards for those in the Level 1 Highly Skilled and Level 5 Temporary Workers categories of the point-based system was also advanced from 2011 to 2010.
Changes in the labor market test for residents
Until 14 December 2009, an organization sponsoring a foreign worker in the Work Permit / Level 2 category had to take 2 weeks labor market trial for residents, or 1 week for jobs with a salary greater than £ 40,000, before being able to fill a vacancy. with a foreign worker. Following the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee, all jobs, regardless of salary, must be advertised for 28 calendar days unless they appear on a shortage occupation list.
However, the ad campaign does not have to run continuously for a period of 4 weeks. UK employers can initially advertise for a 2 week period so that if suitable resident workers are found they can be hired as soon as possible.
Shortage Occupation List
Following the MAC report, the Shortage Occupations List for Level 2 / Permit to Work point-based system was amended and the following occupations were added to the list:
· Teachers in special schools;
Specialized meat deboners and trimmers;
· Specialized jobs in the electricity transmission and distribution industry;
· Some medical specialties, including higher-level specialty pediatric apprentices; Y
Aircraft technicians and assemblers.
Expert chefs remain on the list, however there are plans to offer extensive training to the UK workforce in this field. Therefore, it is likely that this occupation will be removed from the list.
Some of the engineering, construction and ship and hovercraft officer jobs have now been removed from the list in line with changing economic circumstances.
Clarifications on acquisitions and mergers
The current sponsor must notify the UKBA within 28 days of acquisition, using the sponsorship management system (SMS) and inform the migrants that they are not transferring to the new sponsor; the permission of these migrants to stay and work in the UK could be restricted.
The new organization must apply for a sponsor license, unless it already has one, within 28 days of the change.
If a sponsor is acquired, any of its employees transferred to the new company are covered by the Transfer of Companies (Employment Protection) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).
Intra-company transfers: further clarification on the definition of the term ‘direct replacement’
The Guide for Sponsor Applications – Level 2, Level 4 and Level 5 of the Points Based System – Paragraph 171 states:
“Migrants entering the UK under Level 2 intra-company transfer must not ‘directly replace’ an established worker and with the intent of Level 2.”
The UKBA policy team has confirmed that as long as the position to be filled is not one that would normally be filled by a resident worker, and the original holder is not removed to make way for the new hire, it will comply with Level 2 (TIC) criteria.