18 August 2009

Companies ready to grow in recession with Employer Sponsorship Licence

Companies are priming themselves in the recession by obtaining the new UK Employer Sponsorship Licence, a move that allows quick employment of targeted employees for company growth or to secure new contracts.

As the recession has made business and contract competition fierce, many companies have taken up an Employer Sponsorship Licence as a way of ensuring they are ready to take advantage of any new business opportunities that arise.

Without an Employer Sponsorship Licence already in hand, taking on a new skilled employee is a lengthy process.

Marissa Murdock of UK Visa Bureau said the Employer Sponsorship Licence was the best way to target specific knowledge and new employees from outside the European Union quickly.

“If there was suddenly a vacancy or need for a highly specialised employee that was not available in the resident labour market, an employer who already had the Employer Sponsorship License could start the recruitment process immediately,” she said.

Burgopak Ltd, a global packaging design agency with offices around the world in the USA, UK, Germany, France, Australia and Hong Kong, was one company who needed the Employer Sponsorship Licence to secure employees with specific knowledge.

Burgopak has created packaging to promote some of the world’s most respected brands including Vodafone, IBM, Nike, Microsoft, Sony, and Paramount Pictures. Earlier this year, Burgopak’s unique ‘slider’ mechanism created distinctive BAFTA Television Awards invitations.

Managing Director Kieron Tarling, said Burgopak has design studios in most locations that need a whole range of support from designers, engineers, account management, sales and office support. 

“Last year we sponsored one person from Australia to work in the UK office as a designer before November 1 when the new Employer Sponsorship Licence system came into effect.

“To continue with that sponsorship we needed to have an Employer Sponsorship Licence, and also we knew we had a couple of other employee opportunities. We got the licence knowing that it would be used in the future,” Mr Tarling said.

Visa Bureau assisted Burgopak with the Employer Sponsorship Licence, and later assisted three of his employees with their subsequent Tier 2 Work Permit applications. 

The three employees taken on by Burgopak, one Indian national and two Australian nationals, were essential to the business having previously worked for the company on a freelance basis, formed a high-level of understanding about the business and with invaluable industry knowledge.

“We were finding it very difficult to find candidates from the resident labour market who could slot into the job, a critical requirement in the current climate where training budgets and ‘learning time’ are at a premium,” Mr Tarling said.

“The Employer Sponsorship Licence came through as promptly as any government process does and there was a lot of paperwork, and we do need to keep on top of that.

“The whole process for the Sponsorship Licence took about four months in total.

“Now it is set up I do see it as an improvement on the old immigration system. With the old system I would have had to go through the whole process, obtain employee documents, legal documents, and financial documents every time I was going to sponsor someone. Now I only have to go online and purchase the Employer Sponsorship Certificate.

“I do see it as a great service if you are going to sponsor a lot of people, for example five people a year. Marissa was invaluable to us with the amount of documentation needed, verification and steering us in the right direction,” Mr Tarling said.

Marissa Murdock said the Employer Sponsorship Licence was best applied for in anticipation of growth and ideally suited to small- to medium-sized business or satellite offices that are specialised in nature.

“If an employer does not already have an Employer Sponsorship License it could take two, three, or even four months before they can take on the new employee.
 
“Being able to take on someone with specialised skills quickly is a huge advantage in the recession. And another advantage is the licence is valid for four years,” she said.

Ms Murdock said an Employer Sponsorship Licence took on average between one and three months to process. An Employer Sponsorship Licence must be obtained before a UK employer can hire an employee from outside the European Union.

The Employer Sponsorship Licence Application Process

Much of the application process is undertaken online. Employers are advised to fill out the Visa Bureau initial verification form to confirm the company’s eligibility.

A licensing specialist will then request more information, analyse the company’s policies and practices, making sure all processes are compliant to the new legislation, and collect all necessary documents to accompany the Employer Sponsorship Licence application.

After all the documents are collected the licensing specialist will review and lodge the employer sponsorship licence application.

ENDS

About UK Visa Bureau

UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration advisory company specialising in assisting businesses with Employer Sponsorship Licence, UK visa and work permit applications. Based in central London, the company also offers a range of services for individuals and families considering a move to the UK. Visit www.visabureau.com/uk/ for up to date news and information. For more information about the Employer Sponsorship Licence visit www.visabureau.com/uk/employer-sponsorship.


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