05 March 2013
Tier 2 sponsorship application | Case example
In June 2012, Kathryn Fielder, senior associate, was instructed to act for a UK charity limited by guarantee. The client is the UK arm of a worldwide religion based in the USA. They wished to employ an Australian Minister of Religion to work as a Minister in the UK. This individual had trained in the US and was currently living there with his family.
Kathryn Fielder took detailed instructions via numerous telephone conferences with the UK based manager as well as the President of the US Company. She advised the client that it needed to make an application for a Certificate of Sponsorship to the UK Border Agency under the Points Based System.
The first thing that was necessary was to ensure that the client had the requisite grounds which necessitated careful review of current immigration rules (which change very regularly). Part of this process involved knowing what things were about to change and whether that might influence future action. It was also necessary to ensure that the client understood clearly that this was not necessarily going to be a straightforward matter and that it would take a long time.
As it was not possible to approach the matter as an intra-company transfer, Kathryn advised the client to proceed under Tier 2 –Minister of Religion. This necessitated a thorough review of the client's employment contracts and handbook. A good deal of work was required to bring these documents up to standard to demonstrate the client was a suitable employer for CoS status because they had been using American contracts and a Handbook which did not comply with UK law.
Next, Kathryn advised the client as to the Resident Market Test, which is required to establish that no EEA or UK citizen could carry out the role. Timing issues arose as to the placing of the advert as sponsorship licence applications were taking three to four months to process and Certificates of Sponsorship can only be assigned to the relevant applicant within six months of the advert.
The application was submitted in July and the client received the certificate without any conditions in November.