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Business Immigration

Tier 2 & 5 Sponsor Licence

Tier 2 and 5 sponsorship licenses allow UK businesses to employ non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals. Applying for these licences is complex but our solicitors offer expert advice on first time or renewal applications and how to comply with licence regulations.

The UK Home Office is putting more rules in place to make sure non-EEA nationals are employed legally in the UK. Our immigration lawyers understand that employing migrants can lead to positive business growth and a diverse environment in your business.

We help UK businesses apply for and manage their sponsor licences so you can focus on running your business and recruiting the best talent.

Contact our team today online or on 0808 271 2602 if you need help applying for or managing your sponsorship licences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsor Licence?

A Tier 2 sponsor licence allows UK businesses to sponsor skilled non-EEA nationals to work for them in the UK if they can’t find a worker already settled in the UK to fill the role.

A Tier 5 Sponsor licence allows UK businesses to employ non-EEA nationals on a temporary basis in the UK, such as charity workers, religious workers, workers on a government authorised exchange or creative or sporting individuals.

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Can My Business Apply for A Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsor Licence?

Your business can have a Tier 2 and 5 sponsor licence at the same time but you’ll need to meet certain criteria to get these licences. This is known as passing the 'residential labour market test' (RLMT).

The Home Office has specific requirements for an RLMT to be successful, such as:

  • Advertising the role in specific places like websites, newspaper
  • Writing the advertisement in English (or Welsh for jobs in Wales)
  • Running the advertisement for at least 28 days.

The Home Office will also come to your business to check your human resources and recruitment practices, the history and background of your business and how you plan to manage the sponsoring of Tier 2 and 5 non-EEA workers.

Contact us on 0808 271 2602 if you need to apply for a sponsorship licence or have started the process and need advice.

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How Can Irwin Mitchell Help My Business With Tier 2 & Tier 5 Sponsorship Licences?

We can help you:

  • Prepare a Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsor licence application and/or renewal
  • Advertise jobs that comply with the RLMT and document the proof for your application
  • Use the online government sponsorship management system (SMS) which allows you to manage or renew your licences and create certificates of sponsorship for your foreign employees to use for their UK visa application
  • Comply with your sponsorship duties once your licence is issued by auditing your business to pinpoint any issues
  • Challenge licence revocations, suspensions and refusals
  • Train staff responsible for managing your sponsorship on how to use the SMS and ensuring they know what their duties are.

A Tier 2 or 5 sponsor application is only the first step to hiring non-EEA nationals. Once you have your licence you still need to work hard to comply with immigration law rules.

Our solicitors have the expertise to help you with one-off applications but if you need it, we can also offer continued guidance while your licence is valid so your renewal process is as smooth as possible.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell?

Our immigration solicitors work with different businesses across the UK to apply, renew or manage their Tier 2 and 5 licences. We focus on getting to know you and your business so we can give you advice that’s relevant to your business and practical to follow.

We understand there are many complex factors in applying for a sponsorship licence. We’ll break down each step and explain things in plain English. We’ll help you advertise jobs according to the RLMT, gather relevant documents for initial and renewal applications and train your staff to manage your compliance once you have your licence.

Employing non-EEA nationals illegally can lead to fines of up to £20,000 per illegal employee or even prosecution in court. Our lawyers will help you avoid this risk by thoroughly auditing your business so we can fix any issues that come up and help you avoid them in future. We can also help if you've had your Tier 2 sponsor license revoked.

Call our immigration team on 0808 271 2602 or contact us online and we can discuss your situation and how we can help you.

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We Work Nationally

We have offices in major cities throughout the UK and our lawyers can arrange to visit you or your business in person if necessary. We also have international capability, with global links to other legal specialists.

Awards & Accreditations

We’re proud of the recognition we’ve received for our business legal work. For a list of awards and accreditations, please visit our awards page.

5th Most Active Mergers & Acquisitions Firm - Experian 2016 Lex 100 legal-500-2019 chambers-2019 The Times Best Law Firms 2019