For advice on who to talk to, call
Our business immigration solicitors specialise in advising licensed sponsors and prospective sponsors – who wish to newly employ or continue to employ eligible non-EU/Swiss national staff to work in the UK – on all aspects of the UK's points-based sponsorship regime.
We are a "very professional immigration service," according to The Legal 500 (2022) which comments that "Russell-Cooke is at the other end of the scale from most firms." One commentator said: "they are very knowledgeable, responsive and willing to help. They kept the process simple for us. They were fair in their billing."
Highly rated: We have for many years in a row been independently ranked as one of the leading business immigration law teams in London and the UK. Sponsor licence related advice is one of our specialisms that has been singled out for praise, which gives our clients added confidence when instructing us for sponsorship related advice.
Breadth of sponsor licence expertise: Our immigration solicitors advise on all tiers and all aspects of the UK's sponsorship regime and have been instructed to advise on sponsorship related matters by organisations ranging from multi-billion pound multinationals, to national, to London based, to large financial institutions, to professional services firms, to small and medium sized businesses to charities.
Success rate and track record: There are a very wide range of grounds on which the Home Office can potentially reject sponsor licence and visa applications. Nonetheless, 100% of the sponsor licence and 100% of the sponsorship based visa applications submitted by our team members have been approved where we have been instructed to complete the process, which reflects the quality and precision of our immigration solicitors' advice.
Speeding up sponsor licence processes: Many of our clients have wanted us to expedite sponsorship related immigration applications, especially when they have needed key non-EU/Swiss employees to quickly start work in the UK. We have a very good track record of speeding up sponsorship related applications, including in connection with Tier 2 (Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer and Tier 2 General) sponsor licence applications and "in year" requests for Certificates of Sponsorship. Our solicitors have had many sponsor licence applications approved within just a few working days of submission to the Home Office, where the standard Home Office processing time was up to eight weeks or longer.
Simplifying a very complex regime: The sponsor licence regime is extremely complex and can be very difficult for organisations, of all sizes, to successfully navigate. We work with our clients to navigate and to explain in "plain English" the sponsor licence regime, whether our clients have a long-established presence in the UK or need visas for non-EU/Swiss staff to help establish operations in the UK.
High stakes sponsorship matters: Due to our expertise, approach and ability to also handle the most complex and high value sponsorship related matters, we are well placed to advise on very high stakes sponsorship related scenarios. For instance, where an organisation's sponsor licence has been revoked or downgraded (there are dozens of grounds on which this can potentially occur) or where a sponsor licence is needed within an extremely short timeframe.
Advice if things go wrong: Given the extreme complexity of the sponsorship regime, it can be relatively easy for employers that are licensed sponsors to lapse into serious non-compliance with sponsorship duties that could potentially trigger severe Home Office enforcement action, which could in turn potentially (amongst other risks) prejudice a sponsor licence and the visas of all sponsored employees. One of our legal directory noted specialisms is challenging negative Home Office/UKVI decisions for organisations and we also have significant expertise of helping clients to avoid such decisions being made in the first place. We have helped many clients to avoid negative Home Office/UKVI decisions or to challenge such decisions.
Our immigration law advice for licensed sponsors
Sponsor licence related matters that we advise employers on include:
- applying for a Tier 2, Tier 5 and/or Tier 4 sponsor licence - A-rated sponsor licences allow eligible organisations in the UK to newly sponsor eligible employees to work in the UK
- applying to renew sponsor licences
- Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) visa applications
- Tier 2 General visa applications and conducting a Resident Labour Market Test
- applying for restricted and unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship
- sponsor licence compliance audits
- drafting sponsor licence compliance manuals and internal immigration policies
- how to try to speed up sponsor licence related Home Office processing times
- sponsor licence related training, remotely or at client premises
- challenging sponsor licence revocations or downgradings and other Home Office sponsor licence related enforcement action
- ongoing compliance with sponsorship duties and the sponsorship regime