Economic Migration

Attention all Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsors! Introduction of New Priority Service

Tier 2 and Tier 5 'A-rated' Sponsors will gladly welcome the introduction of the new priority service in processing change of circumstances applications.

As many organisations are aware, time is of the essence in these cases. An application through the normal service can take up to 18 weeks to be granted which is, plainly, insufficient for urgent cases.

Previously the only option available to Sponsors who required an immediate service was to subscribe annually to the premium service. This costs £8,000 for small or medium sized organisations and £25,000 for large organisations, which naturally is more than most organisations are willing to pay.

The new priority service, which is currently in operation, allows organisations to pay £200 in each instance that it is required, rather than the substantially more expensive annual subscription. 

Circumstances when you can use the new service

Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsors can use the priority service to either:

-         Change the authorisation officer;

-         Add a new level 1 user; or

-         Add or renew the allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship.

Requests to use the priority service

When a Tier 2 or Tier 5 Sponsor makes a change of circumstances application on the Sponsor Management System, they will receive a notification asking them whether they want to use the priority service.

If they want to use the service, the Sponsor will be invited to telephone the Glasgow premium centre.

When a Sponsor calls the premium service centre, the call handler will check to see if there are any slots available (these are limited). The call handler will then check if the sponsor is eligible.

To be eligible to use the priority service, the Sponsor must:

  • Be a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor;
  • Be A-rated;
  • Not be a premium sponsor; and
  • Be applying to change one of the circumstances above.

The call handler will then take payment of the fee.

UKVI have indicated that organisations will receive a response to their application within 5 days, except in circumstances where additional documents are requested.

The introduction of this service can be considered a step forward in efficiency for Sponsors and shall no doubt be utilised by organisations particularly in circumstances where they wish to urgently recruit a Non-EEA national (subject to the Immigration Rules), or in supporting an extension to a migrant's leave to remain. 

For further information please contact Gareth Walls, Jenny Moore or a member of our Employment & Incentives Team (NI).