Employers will need to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) through an online interface called the Sponsor Management System (SMS) to employ a non-EEA worker. The SMS has different levels of user authority. This is where the employer will need to confirm that the migrant worker satisfies the eligibility requirements, the Resident Labour Market Test has been carried out where necessary, and an explanation has been given as to why resident applicants were refused (if an RLMT was necessary). No documentary evidence needs to be provided at this point, although it should be available on request. The Home Office will do their checks after the issuing of CoS.
When issuing a CoS, the employer will also have to certify that the job is skilled to an appropriate level and is being paid at the appropriate rate in line with the Home Office’s policy guidance. And again, no evidence needs to be provided at this point, because the Home Office will check on it retrospectively. Failure to comply will lead to the downgrading of the employer’s license rating.
Upon registration as a sponsor, the employer will need to give a rough estimate of the number and the type of CoS that they will assign, along with a justification. Then they will be issued a quota, and will also be asked to set a review point. If the employer wants a larger quota at or before the review point, he will have to put forward a case for the Home Office to consider.
There must also be a key contact point in the company that liaises with the Home Office. That comes in the form of an account manager / compliance officer. He is responsible for investigating illegal employees and identifying non-matching information on the SMS as well as poor reporting and record keeping, in order to avoid suspicion from the Home Office.
UK Visa Partners Ltd has a wealth of experience in helping UK employers with CoS issuance and compliance.