The Home Office has brought in minor but significant changes to the Skilled Worker guidance from 9 November 2022. The changes are for housekeeping and otherwise for clarification purposes. We have focused on the major changes here:
- In addition to having an eligible job offer at NVQ level 3 (usually) from an approved Sponsorship licence holder, the Home Office has amended its Skilled Worker guidance to state the job should:
‘involve a variety of work activities, which may be complex. They are likely to include considerable responsibility and autonomy, and may include managing others.’
This will enable caseworkers to examine whether the role contains complexity as mentioned above, and the proposed Skilled worker can apply their skills to this.
- Sponsorship licence holders who do not have the Skilled worker route will be able to add it to their licence, subject to paying the appropriate fees and meeting the requirements for it.
- Clarifying a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship should only be assigned for overseas Skilled worker applicants. This suggests the Home Office will be taking a more robust approach to Sponsorship licence holders who incorrectly assign Certificates of Sponsorship to an overseas worker.
- Sponsorship licence holders must provide information on working hours when applying for Defined Certificate of Sponsorship for Skilled workers.
- Intention to decide applications for a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship for Skilled Workers within 20 working days of receiving additional requested information.
- Applications for a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship for Skilled Workers will be rejected if the job does not comply with the National Minimum Wage or Working Time Regulations.
- The Home Office will act against Sponsorship licence holders who provide ‘false or misleading’ information on the skill level for a job. It does not state when and how the Home Office will determine this, but the consequences could include suspension, downgrading or revoking of the licence and of course fines for the owners.
- New Certificates of Sponsorship do not need to be assigned following a reduction in salary, so long as the Skilled worker continues to score the same points for the relevant option, or the reduction in pay is for a temporary reason such as a phased return to work or health reasons provided there is evidence of an occupational health assessment and the hourly rate does not go below what was stated in the most recent form of leave.
RLegal can assist with Skilled Worker and Sponsorship Licence related applications and can be contacted by telephoning us on +44 207 038 3980, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or completing our online form and a member of our team of immigration lawyers will respond to you.