Sponsorship guidance for migrants updated (Tiers 2 and 5)


The Tier 2 and Tier 5 guidance for sponsors has been updated following the publication of the UK immigration rule changes. This guidance is to be used for all Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsor licence applications made and certificates of sponsorship (CoS) assigned, on or after 11 January 2018.

The Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsorship guidance is for organisations who wish to:

  • apply for an employer’s sponsor licence
  • employ people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who will be doing a role under Tier 2 or 5 of the points-based system.

The changes employers should be aware of are outlined below.

Certificate of Sponsorship

The start date given on the CoS must be the date that the migrant is expected to start working at the time the CoS is assigned.

If the start date for a Tier 2 (general) migrant is then changed after leave has been granted, it must be within 28 days from:

  • the date on which their entry clearance or leave to remain is granted
  • the start date on their CoS (taking into account any changes to start date properly reported before leave is granted).

When employers assign a CoS to extend a migrant’s leave in the same tier and category, the start date on the CoS should be the day after their current leave expires. The migrant cannot apply for leave more than 3 months before that date.

Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)

When demonstrating the RLMT, a screenshot can be taken at any time during the advertising period if the website clearly shows the date it was first advertised. If the advertising date is not shown, this must be taken on the day it is first advertised.

Biometric residence permit (BRP)

The BRP is no longer being introduced as a phased approach. Tier 2 and Tier 5 migrants applying for leave to remain in the UK have to apply for a BRP. Before receiving the BRP, the migrant must give their fingerprints and facial image, have their identity confirmed and a successful decision made on their application for leave.

Further information

Access the full Tier 2 and Tier  5 guidance for sponsors and UK immigration rule changes.

For further information about the Tier 2 recruitment process, please see our quick guide.


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