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Employer guidelines for sponsoring foreign workers—who are non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals—under the different “tiers” of the new “Points-Based System” (PBS) have been issued by the United Kingdom’s Border Agency (UKBA).
On July 28, 2008, the UKBA published guidelines for companies that seek to sponsor foreign nationals for employment under “Tier 2,” or “skilled migrant” tier; “Tier 4,” or “student” tier; or “Tier 5,” the “temporary worker” and “youth mobility” tier of the PBS. In addition, the guidelines include details of the documentation requirements for sponsorship under the “intra-company transfer” sub-category of Tier 2.
The UKBA plans to go live with PBS Tiers 2 and 5 in November 2008, and all employers seeking to sponsor non-EEA foreign nationals for employment under the PBS must first register with the UKBA and obtain a sponsorship license. Employers lacking sponsorship licenses when the program becomes operational will not be able to file work authorization applications under existing programs. Such firms will not be able to sponsor non-EEA nationals for work authorization until a sponsorship license—under the new tier system—is issued.
The PBS is replacing the UK’s work permit program as well as other employment schemes. The PBS has additional obligations for sponsoring employers with respect to recordkeeping, employee monitoring, and onboarding and offboarding processes.
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