Category Archives: Information For Employers

Croatia a Member of the EU from 1st July 2013

The Republic of Croatia became a member of the EU on the 1st July. This means that Croation nationals can now move and live freely in any member state of the EU. Member states may restrict access to the labour market for a transitional period and the UK is taking up the option to do so.

Before a Croation national can start work they may need to apply for worker authorisation also known as purple registration certificate or the purple card. Those qualifying for the purple card will generally be skilled workers who meet the criteria for the issue of a certificate of sponsorship under Tier 2 and Tier 5 of the points based system unless they are going to be employed as a postgraduate doctor/dentist, sole representative of an overseas business, or a domestic servant in a private household.

The complete Sponsor guidance is available here.

Highly Skilled Persons
A Croatian national may apply for a registration certificate confirming the holder
has free access to the labour market (a “blue registration certificate”) on the basis
that they are a highly skilled person. In order to be regarded as highly skilled, the Croatian national will have to either:

  • meet the relevant requirements of the exceptional talent category under
  • Tier 1 of the points-based system by obtaining an endorsement (e.g. a
    letter of recommendation) from a designated competent body. These
    bodies will either be The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of
    Engineering, The British Academy or the Arts Council; or

  •  in the period of 12 months preceding the date of their application for a
  • blue registration certificate, been awarded one of the following from a UK
    higher education institution:

  1. A recognised bachelor, masters or doctoral degree, or
  2.  A Higher National Diploma (HND) by a Scottish higher education

Do you need a visa to work in IT, Engineering, Actuary or Finance?

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0330 390 9021 or Send us some details now and we will get right back to you!

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Abolition of UKBA

Today, in a surprise announcement, Therese May, The Home Secretary, said that the UKBA will be dissolved and replaced with two organisations. The first will be a high volume service focused on making high-quality decisions about who comes here, with a culture of customer satisfaction for business men and visitors who want to come here legally. The second will be an organisation that has law enforcement at its heart and getting tough with those who break the immigration laws.

According to the FT the changes come in the wake of a report published yesterday by MPs on the House of Commons home affairs committee which was highly critical of UKBA’s failings and had calculated that the backlog of 312,000 immigration and asylum cases would take 24 years to clear based on the current rate of progress. Business travellers have continually complained of long delays for visa processing with people waiting for six weeks or more for “super-premium” visa appointments which cost them £6,000.

The new organisations will come under direct control of The Home Office and answer to ministers. The IT systems right across immigration will be revamped as the current systems are incompatible and unreliable.

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee congratulated May for “delivering the lethal injection” to the organisation.

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a you on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).

To find out more call now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!


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Alternatives to Tier 2 Licensing

Securing a Tier 2 Sponsorship License and continually ensuring Immigration compliance can be an expensive and time consuming matter. If you are planning to sponsor 10+ workers the time and expense may be worthwhile, however if you need unique skill and experience combinations for shorter periods of time other options may be better. (more…)

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Sponsor Ratings

The UK Border Agency assigns Tier 2 Licensed Employers a rating based on their compliance with Tier 2 rules and processes. ‘A-Rated’ License Holders have no evidence of abuse and comply with all necessary Tier 2 systems, ‘B-Rated’ License Holders have been found to lack adequate systems to maintain compliance.  (more…)

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Sponsorship Duties

If you secure a Tier 2 Sponsorship License with the UK Border Agency you will be required to meet a number of ongoing Sponsorship Duties. This guide is a summary, and is not a substitute for professional advice. If you do not meet these duties you may find that your license is downgraded or cancelled. (more…)

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Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) | Employer

A Certificate of Sponsorship is the all important electronic document that a Tier 2 Licensed Employer must issue to a prospective migrant in order to allow him or her to gain a Tier 2 General Visa in respect of the company.

An individual cannot apply for a Tier 2 General visa until he or she has been issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship by a prospective employer.

Are you an employer who is considering sponsoring a skilled individual under Tier 2 General? Do you need to discuss your situation with a professional OISC registered immigration advisor? If so call Commonwealth Contractors now on  0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

What Information does a CoS Include?

Certificates of Sponsorship include basic information about the individual / role and must more detailed information that effectively sets out the basis for the employment and sponsorship.

The following table outlines the basic information associated with the individual and role.




Personal Information


  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Nationality
  • Place of Birth
  • Country of Birth
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Country of Residence

Passport Information


  • Passport Number
  • Issue Date
  • Expiry Date
  • Place of Issue of Passport

Current Home Address


  • Residential Address
  • City or Town
  • Postcode
  • Country

Identification Numbers


  • UK ID Card Number
  • UK National Insurance Number
  • National ID Card Number
  • Employee Number

Work Dates


  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Total Weekly Hours

Main Work Address

The should include full details of the main work address and also and other regular work addresses


If the role was sourced through an agent full details must be provided including;

  • Company Name
  • Contact Name
  • Address
  • City or Town
  • Postcode
  • Country

The second part of the CoS includes much more detailed information about the role, whether the individual is working further to a contract and very importantly, the resident labour market test. Information from the second part of the CoS has been set out below.



Job Title

The individual’s full job title should be detailed. Care should be taken to avoid using acronyms

Job Type

You must choose the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code that most closely matches the job title. Please note that each SOC code has a minimum salary associated with it. You MUST pay the migrant at least the minimum salary as detailed further to the SOC code otherwise there will be issues at audit time.

Summary of Job Description

You should detail the main duties of the role. Where the SOC code has multiple jobs listed under it, you should state which job the salary has been assessed against within that code.

Gross Salary in Sterling

Detail the total gross salary that you will be paying to the individual.

Gross Allowances

Detail any gross allowances that you will be paying to the individual.

Job on a Client Contract

If the job is on a client contract you must tick this box

Summary of Client Contract

Details should be provided of the client contract. This is a free text box so you should simply provide as much relevant information as possible.

Details of the Resident Labour Market Test

You must detail where you advertised the job and the dates each advert ran for. You must also include any reference number for each advertisement, for example a Jobcentre plus vacancy reference number.

Maintenance Confirmation

If you are an ‘A-Rated’ Sponsor you can validate the maintenance requirement in respect an individual. This will make the process of applying easier as the individual will not need to provide at least 90 days bank statements however you do have further legal responsibility.

Useful link:
Further Tier 2 Employer Information

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To find out more about our solutions call now on  0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!


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Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)

If you are planning to sponsor a Non EEA worker on a Tier 2 General Visa the chances are that you will first have to complete a Resident Labour Market Test in order to prove that you cannot find any settled workers. (more…)

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Shortage Occupations

If a role is listed on the UK Border Agency’s Shortage Occupation list it means that an employer does not need to conduct a resident labour market test and can simply move to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship immediately. (more…)

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SOC Codes

In order to employ an individual on a Tier 2 General visa you must make sure that the role meets the conditions of the relevant Code of Practice / Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code. (more…)

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Tier 2 Sponsorship Licenses

In order to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 General visa your company must hold a Tier 2 Sponsorship License with the UK Border Agency (UKBA). To gain a license an application must be submitted which shows that you are a genuine organisation with suitable HR systems to ensure Immigration compliance. (more…)

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