Changes to Home Office Tier 2 Guidance July 2018

20 August 2018

New guidance has been issued for all Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsor licence applications made and certificates of sponsorship assigned on or after 18 July 2018.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Doctors and nurses have been added to the list of people to whom an unrestricted certificate of sponsorship may be assigned. This is expected to make more restricted certificates available to other employers.

  • Transitional controls on Croatian nationals ended at midnight on 30 June 2018. Croatian nationals now have the same rights to work in the UK as any other EEA national.

  • The guidance now emphasises that if an application for a sponsor licence already under consideration is subsequently withdrawn by the applicant, the fee will not be refunded.

  • A note has been added at paragraph 1.16 to remind sponsors to inform UKVI if the size of their company changes. This is because the Immigration Skills Charge will vary depending on the size of your organisation and the length of employment stated on the worker’s certificate of sponsorship. The skills charge is £1,000 per person, per year. If you have charitable status or you are subject to the small companies regime as set out in paragraphs 381- 384 of the Companies Act 2006 on GOV.UK, you are eligible to pay the ‘small’ charge of £364 per person per year. Sponsors must report within 10 working days if the size of the business changes from small to medium or large, or vice-versa.

  • A correction has been made to reflect that the Immigration Skills Charge does not apply to Tier 2 (General) applicants who previously switched from Tier 4 to Tier 2 (from 6 April 2017) and who are now extending their Tier 2 stay to continue working in the same role.

  • The 6 month cooling off period following a refusal of a Sponsor Licence Application now also applies to sponsors who withdraw their application during or following an investigation, which would have likely led to that application being refused. Any application made within the cooling off period will be refused automatically.

  • Normally, where a migrant worker has been absent for more than 4 weeks without pay, the Sponsor must stop sponsoring them. An exception to this has been added where the migrant is taking part in legally organised industrial action.

  • It is clarified that Compliance Officers may check details provided by sponsors in support of migrant Indefinite Leave to Remain applications.

  • During a compliance visit, Compliance Officers may now want to speak to any migrants you have previously sponsored, as well as current migrant workers.

  • Overseas trained nurses or midwives wanting to work in the UK must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The Occupational English Test has been added to acceptable tests for nurses applying for registration with the NMC.

  • An additional ground of revocation is added in respect of sponsors who pay Tier 5 (Charity Workers) more than reasonable expenses.

  • When relying on an Affidavit to support any part of a sponsor licence application, the document must be sworn by a qualified independent person.

By Hesham Shoeb

For further advice on the above topics, please call us on 01483 543210 or alternatively email

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