On Friday 13 November 2020, the Home Office introduced a paid service where businesses seeking to apply for a sponsor licence can now request for the application to be processed within 10 working days.
The standard processing time for a sponsor licence application is up to eight weeks.
This is the first time a priority service has been offered for sponsor licence applications. The service is likely to be inundated as employers start to prepare their businesses for the new Points Based immigration system, which will also see EEA nationals integrated into the same system as of 1 January 2021.
How much does the priority service cost?
The employer will be required to pay an additional fee of £500.
How do you apply for the priority service?
A priority service request form must be completed and sent via email to the Home Office once the sponsor licence application has been submitted. If the request is successful, you will receive:
· an email from the priority service team to advise that the request has been accepted, along with further instructions;
· a second email containing a Worldpay link. This payment page will expire within 72 hours. If the payment is not completed in time, the priority request will expire and a further request will be required;
· This service is limited to 10 applications per day. The fee is for a faster consideration of the application – not a favourable decision. If the application is refused the fee is not refundable.
Are you a UK business and employ or intend to employ EEA nationals in the future?
The Brexit transition period will end on 31 December 2020. This is also when Free Movement of EEA nationals will end and therefore any EEA nationals wishing to enter the UK as of 1 January 2021 will be required to apply for a visa before they enter, if they intend to work or study in the UK.
If you intend to employ individuals from outside of the UK as of January 2021, you will be required to obtain a sponsor licence. There are six weeks left until the New Year, when the changes will commence. The Home Office therefore recommend that you apply for a sponsor licence as soon as possible.
For further information in respect of applying for a sponsor licence, please refer to our previous blog: https://www.gherson.com/blog/sponsoring-migrants-post-brexit
Gherson has a specialist team who deal with all matters relating to sponsor licences and work permits. If you are a UK sponsor and have had your licence suspended, or if you wish to apply for an initial sponsor licence, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Consultant and trainee solicitor in our Corporate Team