2016 A Big Year for Tier 2 and Tier 5 Licence Renewals
We write a lot about Tier 2 and Tier 5 licence renewals here, but there is a good reason for that. There has been a much publicised tightening up of the management and policing of all aspects of the Tier 2 and Tier 5 schemes and this has caused numerous licence holders issues as the ‘terms of engagement’ they have become accustomed to have changed.
The nature of the Tier 2 licence scheme, whereby the licence is continually renewed on a four yearly cycle, is especially vulnerable to such change. The proposed ‘skilled migrant levy’ and changes to the minimum salary threshold are two such examples. The scheme was introduced in 2008, replacing the prior Work Permit System, and on the basis of that four year cycle 2016 is anticipated to see a disproportionately high number of renewal applications.
High Failure Rate
In 2015 1,380 renewal applications were made; in 2015 the figure was 1,985. But reflecting the more testing administrative climate the number of applications that were revoked, suspended or rated down is striking. In 2014, from a total of 1830 applications, 40 licences were revoked, 85 were suspended and 20 were rated down. The figures were not dissimilar for 2015: of 1,985 applications 25 licences were revoked, 125 were suspended and 25 rated down. These figures do not include the 25 licences that were surrendered over the course of the period.
As far as Tier 5 is concerned the figures are no less noteworthy: in the two years in question five licences were revoked in each year (from totals of 290 and 230 respectively) and in each case another fifteen were suspended.
Day to Day Attention
Given that these organisations were already, in theory at least, familiar with the requirements for the Tier 2 and Tier 5 licence schemes – they were all involved in the online Sponsor Management System – this is a startling level of failure. It is evidence of the need to be fully compliant with the ongoing requirements that apply on a day to day basis.
Clearly, whatever the reason, the renewal of a Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsor licence is not something that should be taken for granted. It is a procedure that requires the highest level of professional attention. As those organisations whose applications have failed to make the grade will acknowledge, the punitive costs of getting it wrong far outweigh those involved in giving the renewal process the diligent attention it now requires. We make no apology for continuing to stress that fact.
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