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Help at hand for firms with no certificates of sponsorship


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Some nice news for a Friday: in response to Steve Richard’s article on Wednesday drawing attention to problems with certificate of sponsorship allocations, the Home Office now seems to be offering a solution.

To recap, some businesses that assign certificates of sponsorship to workers from overseas have seen their annual quota automatically set to the same level as the previous year. Many used zero last year because of coronavirus, so have zero to use now that things are reopening. This can be changed, but takes months unless you pay a £200 fee. Steve points out that this is a real kick in the teeth for firms in the already struggling music industry trying to get overseas acts into the UK for gigs and tours.

Help is at hand. The Home Office can and does respond with lightening speed to cases generating bad press for the department. That process kicked in after the Independent made enquiries following up on our article. Steve’s clients have already had their CoS allocations sorted out, and any who paid the £200 promised a refund.

Other firms in the same “computer says no” position — i.e. their CoS allocation has been auto-set to zero and caseworkers say there is no quick fix without payment — can email the Sponsor Change of Circumstances team. It is important to be proactive about this if affected: don’t assume that the zero allocation problem will be fixed unless you ask.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.