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UK immigration updates on employing a migrant worker


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Following the government’s recent publication of their Statement of Changes to the United Kingdom’s Immigration Rules, mainly featuring the new Global Business Mobility routes, a number of relevant guidances have been updated. To make it simple for you, the team at Barar & Associates has summarised the main updates below. These updates will be particularly useful if you are an employer looking to sponsor migrant workers.

Applying for a sponsor licence

  • If you are applying on any of the Global Business Mobility routes, you must also register details of the linked overseas business from which workers will be assigned.
  • If a company is granted a UK Expansion Worker licence,
    • the company must normally have established a UK trading presence within 2 years of the date the licence was granted, and have applied to add at least one other route to the licence (as this licence cannot be renewed). Failure to do so could result in revocation of licence by the Home Office;
    • the company will be given either an ‘A’ or a ‘Provisional’ rating. The latter rating is awarded if the Authorising Officer (and Level 1 User) is an employee of the overseas business and will be assigning their own Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) in order to apply for entry clearance to the UK. You can upgrade to an A-rating once the Authorising Officer has been granted entry clearance and has updated their details on the Sponsorship Management System (SMS). If the licence is downgraded from provisional to B-rating, you must comply with an action plan and obtain an A-rating in order to keep the licence. Failure to do so will result in a revocation of the licence.

Sponsoring a Worker

  • You must normally be an A-rated sponsor to be eligible to assign a CoS. The only exceptions to this are if:
    • You are a B-rated sponsor and:
      • The worker is applying for permission to stay on the same route as in their last grant of permission
      • You assigned the CoS which led to the worker’s last grant of permission; and
      • You are continuing to sponsor the worker; or
    • You are licensed on the UK Expansion Worker route, you have a Provisional rating, and the person to whom the CoS is assigned is also your Authorising Officer
  • After assigning a CoS, you can return to it and add a sponsor note to correct minor errors (amend, update or clarify information such as work start or end dates, salary details or working hours, mistyped name or date of birth, etc.) or provide additional information or clarification. For example, if the CoS is for a Skilled Worker applying for a Health and Care visa, you can use the sponsor note field to explain how the worker is eligible for that visa. You will need to cancel and assign a new CoS if significant errors are made such as a wrong occupation code, wrong route or sub-category, or incorrect details (more than one error in the worker’s personal details).
  • Where the Home Office thinks you are, or will be, hiring a worker to a third party as routine labour, they may ask for confirmation from the other organisation that the worker:
    • Works, or will work, independently from them, and that you, as the sponsor, have full control over all their duties, functions, outputs or outcomes
    • Is not being supplied to them to undertake a routine role
  • Minimum income thresholds have been updated for certain health or education occupations, such as medical practitioners, psychologists and pharmacists.
  • Sponsors are advised to include information about weekly working hours when requesting a defined CoS in the ‘Summary of job description’ text box to avoid delays in processing a defined CoS application.
  • Where the worker has been issued with a 30-day or 90-day vignette to enter the UK, they must collect their biometric residence permit (BRP) within 10 days of their arrival in the UK, or before their vignette expires, whichever is later. If they need to start working for a licensed sponsor before they collect their BRP, they can use their vignette as evidence of their right to work (provided it is still valid). Once they have received their BRP, the employer must carry out a further online right to work check.

Global Business Mobility routes

  • CoS allocation for the Global Business Mobility routes would differ from those under the Skilled Worker or Tier 2 Minister of Religion routes. For instance, for a CoS allocation under the UK Expansion Worker route, the Home Office will consider whether the Authorising Officer named in the sponsor licence application is based in the United Kingdom or overseas.
  • Eligible occupations, codes and minimum income thresholds under these routes have been published.
  • The supporting document checklist for a sponsor licence application under these routes has also been published.

Representatives of overseas businesses

  • This route is now closed to new sole representative applications. Workers with existing permission as a sole representative, however, are still able to extend their stay and settle in the United Kingdom.
  • It is worth noting that this route remains unchanged for Media Representatives.
  • Overseas businesses looking to establish a branch or subsidiary in the United Kingdom should now use the Global Business Mobility UK Expansion Worker route where sponsors cannot certify maintenance.

If you are working for the NHS

  • There is no limit on the number of hours you can work or volunteer each if you are a worker with the Global Business Mobility: Senior or Specialist Worker visa and your NHS job is a second job

Keeping records for sponsorship

If you are licensed on the Global Business Mobility – Secondment Worker route, you must keep a copy of any relevant agreement or contract for goods or investment to which both you and the overseas business are parties. For each such agreement or contract, you must also keep one of the following:

  • evidence of how you were awarded the contract or investment, such as a tender application or investment application
  • a tender document for a contract for goods
  • evidence of how the contract for goods was awarded if it was not formally tendered

Should you wish to discuss your UK immigration matters, please contact our expert team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via



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