The visa application process for an individual can be daunting, intimidating and expensive. It is no less complicated for businesses but there is potentially more at stake.
We are moving into an era of uncertainty with Britain’s ‘Brexit’ from the European Union which will have a specific impact on the legal niche of business immigration advisory work. It is obviously going to change and revise the requirements for the flow of people in and out of the UK and visa criteria, making the need for specialist advisers even more important.
The visa application process for a business can be daunting, intimidating and expensive and there is potentially more at stake. If a business fails to attain the correct visa for an employee or is unsuccessful in its application for a Sponsor Licence, this will have a direct impact on the employee that it is working in the UK under any assigned Certificate of Sponsorship. This can lead to criminal sanctions for the business and deportation for the affected employee. The penalties are severe and we urge businesses to take professional advice to avoid issues later on.
We have realised the importance of being able to give our commercial clients all round business advice and this now includes the recruitment and retention of skilled staff. Due to a ‘skills shortage’ in the UK in niche technological and mechanical industries, companies requiring these skills are often forced to recruit from overseas from countries including India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The process of overseas recruitment is not straightforward and UK Visas & Immigration has strict criteria that must be met to enable a business to recruit foreign skilled labour. It is essential that a business can demonstrate that it has done all it can to recruit domestically without success.
Business may be asked to show the steps it has taken to try and recruit a domestic candidate by way of asking for copies of job adverts and job descriptions. A business will not be awarded the relevant Sponsor Licence (required to employ overseas employees) if it cannot validly justify why a domestic candidate cannot do the role effectively.
It also cannot be used as a cost saving exercise as there a minimum salary levels that must be adhered to in order to achieve and retain a Sponsor Licence.
If you need help with any of the above, get in touch with our specialist business immigration advisors.