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Details of sponsor management system changeover process for new SOC codes and skilled worker thresholds


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A new Annex 2 has been added to the Workers and Temporary Workers: guidance for sponsors part 2: sponsor a worker – general information document with some important information, particularly on Defined Certificate of Sponsorship applications and on using certificates of sponsorship by 7pm on 2 April 2024. These changes are being made because of the increase to the skilled worker salary thresholds and the Home Office is implementing a recommendation made by the Migration Advisory Committee that they move to using the new SOC2020 occupational code standards. The changes come into effect on 4 April 2024.

Annex 2 states that the sponsor licence application form and the sponsor management system will be unavailable from 7pm on Tuesday 2 April until 9am on Thursday 4 April. The document states that the Home Office will process as many Defined Certificate of Sponsorship applications as possible before 7pm on 2 April 2024, but any outstanding at that point will be cancelled and a new application will need to be made based on the new codes and salary thresholds after 9am on 4 April 2024.

Any Defined Certificate of Sponsorship issued using SOC 2010 occupation codes cannot be assigned from 4 April 2024 and so these must be assigned before 7pm on 2 April 2024. Otherwise, a new application will need to be made from 4 April using the new codes.

Any Undefined Certificate of Sponsorship that has the status “work in progress” or “ready to go” and had not been assigned by 7pm on 2 April 2024 will need to be updated with the relevant SOC 2020 occupation code and the relevant salary thresholds checked before they can be assigned.

Where a certificate of sponsorship has been assigned to a worker before 7pm on 2 April 2024 this will not be cancelled and will have the usual three month validity. Applications for entry clearance of permission using these certificates of sponsorship will be decided under the pre-4 April 2024, even if the application is made on or after that date.

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Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.