Imperial College London has a Sponsor licence which recognises us as a 'A' rated - Highly Trusted Sponsor, which allows us to sponsor eligible non EEA nationals nationals to work for us under Tiers 2 and 5 of the Points Based System.

UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) imposes strict conditions on the employment of non EEA nationals under Tiers 2 and 5.  In order that we can Immigration stamp continue to employ non EEA nationals, we must ensure that we are requesting and assigning Certificates of Sponsorship appropriately and keeping the required records. 

As sponsor licence holders we can expect to have our files audited by a UKVI compliance officer at any time, to ensure that we are fully compliant with our responsibilities.

Failure to comply with the UKVI's conditions may result in the College’s sponsorship rating being downgraded or licences withdrawn, fines and, potentially, criminal prosecution.  If our licence were to be withdrawn or temporarily suspended then we would not then be able to employ workers from outside the EEA under Tiers 2 or 5.  If our licence was revoked or temporarily suspended all existing Certificates of Sponsorship would also be revoked and the relevant employees would have to leave our employment with immediate effect. 

Personal responsibility

As an employer, the College has a responsibility to comply with immigration rules but it is also the responsibility of managers of Tier 2 and 5 workers and those workers themselves to ensure their compliance.  Any queries in relation to compliance should be referred to your local HR representative for advice.

An unlimited fine and/or maximum of a two year prison sentence may be applicable for anyone knowingly employing an illegal migrant worker.

Your responsibilities

Manager

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

As the manager of a Tier 2 or 5 visa holder both you, your sponsored worker and the College have to meet a number of ongoing legal requirements. These include:

Right to work checks

Confirming the individual’s right to work in the UK as part of any initial verification checks.

Please note, follow up checks are required within a specified time period, normally when the individual’s existing permission expires. Where these time periods are not met or specific documents received then the individual will not be able to continue working.

 Absence/attendance

Maintaining an up-to-date record of:

  • Any absences that are part of the College’s normal processes:
    • Planned absences such as Annual Leave; Family Leave (i.e. Maternity Leave, Paternity /Maternity Support Leave, Shared Parental Leave, Adoption/Surrogacy Leave & Parental Leave); and Special Leave such as Jury Service/Witness Duty, Sabbatical Leave/Leave of Absence, Secondments, Study Leave, leave for Public Duties & Volunteer Reserve Forces, etc. N.B. planned absence should be notified in advance.
    • Unplanned absences such as Sickness Absence; and Special Leave such as Compassionate Leave and Domestic/Family Emergency Leave, etc. N.B. unplanned absence should be notified as soon as possible, ideally on the day the absence occurs
  • Any other occasions where the individual is working away from the College and/or is not contactable e.g. attending Conferences outside the UK, etc. N.B. Absences that are part of the normal work related comings and goings such as working from home, travel to conferences within the UK, etc. do not need to be recorded providing the individual has provided you with their up-to-date contact details and is contactable within a reasonable period of time.
Contact details

Keeping their contact details (home address, home telephone number (if they have one) and mobile telephone number) up-to-date.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

Reporting if their BRP is lost, stolen or damaged or changes to address, personal details or circumstances.

Travel outside the UK

Please be aware that:

  • If the individual is outside of the UK and their leave to remain expires, they will not be able to re- enter the UK unless they make a further successful application for leave, which would require a new Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • If they are a Tier 2 worker earning less than £159,600 per annum, they would also be subject to a ‘cooling off’ period of 12 months from the date their leave expired before they could apply again under Tier 2.
  • Their leave to remain will automatically lapse if they leave the UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, and they do not have entry clearance or have been granted leave to remain in the UK for 6 months or less.
  • The maximum period of sponsorship under Tier 2 (General) is 6 years. For any future application to obtain UK ‘Settlement’ UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) rules dictate that any total absences from the UK over 180 full days in any 12 month period, are likely to cause a settlement application to be ineligible unless there are serious and compelling reasons for the absence. 

     

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

  • Obtain, check and copy the individual’s original documents to confirm their right to work in the UK. For individuals coming to the UK from overseas, where the document provided is the short validity (travel) vignette in the individual’s passport which they used to travel to the UK, you must ensure that you check and copy their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) before the vignette expires.
  • Approve any absence requests the individual raises in TeamSeer
  • Use the first day induction meeting to ensure that your member of staff understands all the above responsibilities, including the requirement to raise absence requests using TeamSeer and how to do this.
  • Report any of the following circumstances to your local HR representative immediately:
    • The individual does not turn up for their first day at work (new appointments/associations only) or if the start date of employment changes
    • The individual’s contract/work/research project ends - this should be confirmed via a completed Leavers Form (available from www.imperial.ac.uk/hr/forms) as soon as possible prior to the individual’s end date.
    • The individual requests a period of unpaid leave in excess of 4 weeks in any calendar year (this can be one period of absence, or a number of absences totalling 4 weeks over a calendar year). This refers to any unpaid leave that does not fall under one of the permitted exemption categories (maternity, paternity, shared parental, adoption, industrial action strike days and long term sickness absence)
    • Take into account the above sponsored leave conditions when considering any special/unpaid leave requests in order to protect the individual’s Tier 2/5 status. Under UKVI rules, any non-exempt unpaid leave taken in excess of 4 weeks would require the College to end their sponsorship, and the individual would lose their right to work in the UK with immediate effect.
    • Any significant changes in circumstances e.g. promotion, job title, salary, maternity, paternity, shared parental, adoption or long term sick leave in excess of one month, work location, duration of contract or TUPE transfer
    • The individual is absent from work for more than 10 consecutive working days without permission
    • The individual advises you of any change to their immigration status
    • You suspect that the individual is in breach of their leave conditions

    The College has a legal requirement to report the above circumstances to UKVI either immediately, or within 10 days of the change.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

The individual is sponsored to undertake the specific role as detailed in their certificate of sponsorship, any additional paid work for the College or any other employer must meet all requirements for ‘supplementary work’ otherwise would be classed as a breach of the individuals leave conditions.

If the individual’s immigration status changes and they cease to be a Tier 2 or 5 worker, please ensure that they contact their local HR representative and provide their new RTW evidence documents so that we may update their records. The College is required to notify the Home Office to end sponsorship once they have provided evidence that they no longer require sponsorship at which time the above requirements will also cease.

Individual

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

As a Tier 2 or 5 visa holder both you and the College as your sponsor have to meet a number of ongoing legal requirements. These include:

Right to work checks

Demonstrating your right to work in the UK as part of any initial and follow up verification checks.  

Absence/attendance

Maintaining an up-to-date record of:

  • Any absences that are part of the College’s normal processes:
    • Planned absences such as Annual Leave; Family Leave (i.e. Maternity Leave, Paternity /Maternity Support Leave, Shared Parental Leave, Adoption/Surrogacy Leave & Parental Leave); and Special Leave such as Jury Service/Witness Duty, Sabbatical Leave/Leave of Absence, Secondments, Study Leave, leave for Public Duties & Volunteer Reserve Forces, etc. N.B. planned absence should be notified in advance.
    • Unplanned absences such as Sickness Absence; and Special Leave such as Compassionate Leave and Domestic/Family Emergency Leave, etc. N.B. unplanned absence should be notified as soon as possible, ideally on the day the absence occurs.
  • Any other occasions where you are working away from the College and/or are not contactable e.g. attending Conferences outside the UK, etc. N.B. Absences that are part of the normal work related comings and goings such as working from home, travel to conferences within the UK, etc. do not need to be recorded providing you have provided your manager with up-to-date contact details and you are contactable within a reasonable period of time.
  • College records of leave would be required for any future application for Indefinite leave to remain (Settlement), so it is particularly important that you record this accurately and keep full records of all absences from the UK during your period of sponsorship.
  • The maximum period of sponsorship under Tier 2 (General) is 6 years. For any future application to obtain UK ‘Settlement’ UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) rules dictate that any total absences from the UK over 180 days in any 12 month period, are likely to cause a settlement application to be ineligible unless there are serious and compelling reasons for the absence.  

 Contact details

Keeping your contact details (home address, home telephone number (if you have one) and mobile telephone number) up-to-date.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

Reporting if your BRP is lost, stolen or damaged or changes to address, personal details or circumstances.

Travel outside the UK

Please be aware that:

  • If you are outside of the UK and your leave to remain expires, you will not be able to re- enter the UK unless you make a further successful application for leave, which would require a new Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • If you are a Tier 2 worker earning less than £159,600 per annum, you would also be subject to a ‘cooling off’ period of 12 months from the date your leave expired before you could apply again under Tier 2.
  • Your leave to remain will automatically lapse if you leave the UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, and you have been granted leave to remain in the UK for 6 months or less.

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

  • Provide original documents that confirm your right to work in the UK as part of any initial and follow up verification checks. Please note that follow up checks must take place within a specified time period, normally when your existing permission expires. Where these time periods are not met or specific documents received then you will not be able to continue working.
  • If you have been issued with a short validity (travel) vignette in your passport, which you used to travel to the UK, you must collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from a designated Post Office within 10 days of your first arrival into the UK and provide this as a part of your right to work in the UK check.  Please note that designated Post Offices are allocated according to the post code you provide on your application for entry clearance. You may therefore wish to consider providing the post code of the College campus you will be working at, if it would be easier for you to collect your BRP during the working day.
  • Notify your line manager of your leave and absences as soon as possible via the TeamSeer absence management system.
  • Advise us of any changes to your contact details. You can do this via the ICIS self-service system (Personal Details)
  • Advise us of any change to your immigration status that means sponsorship is no longer required*
  • Advise us if you are intending on undertaking any supplementary employment in addition to your sponsored post, with agreement from your Head of Department/Faculty
    Report a lost, stolen or damaged BRP or changes to your address, personal details or circumstances to UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) immediately.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?

The College is obliged to inform the UKVI (within 10 days) if:

  • You do not turn up for your first day at work (new appointments/associations only) or the start date of your employment changes
  • Your contract/work/research project ends
  • You take a period of unpaid leave in excess of 4 weeks in any calendar year (this can be one period of absence, or a number of absences totalling 4 weeks over a calendar year). This refers to any unpaid leave that does not fall under one of the permitted exemption categories (maternity, paternity, shared parental (not parental leave under the ‘special leave’ category), adoption, industrial action strike days and long term sickness absence)*
    • Any special/unpaid leave requests will take into consideration your sponsored leave conditions, in order to protect your Tier 2/5 status. Under UKVI rules, any non-exempt unpaid leave taken in excess of 4 weeks would require the College to end your sponsorship.
    • Any significant changes in circumstances e.g. promotion, salary, maternity, paternity, shared parental, adoption or long term sick leave in excess of one month, work location, duration of contract or TUPE transfer
    • You are absent from work for more than 10 consecutive working days without permission
    • We suspect that you are in breach of your leave conditions

 *If your immigration status changes and you cease to be a Tier 2 or 5 worker, please contact your local HR representative and provide your new RTW evidence documents so that we may update your records. The College is required to notify the Home Office to end sponsorship once you have provided evidence that you no longer require sponsorship at which time the above requirements will also cease.