The Home Office has introduced a new Priority Change of Circumstance Service for Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors.
As of 7 November 2016, Tier 2 and Tier 5 A-rated sponsors are able to apply for faster consideration of four types of change of circumstance requests:
- In-year Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocation
- Follow-on CoS allocation
- Add new Level 1 user
- Replace Authorising Officer (AO)
Under the new service, sponsors can expect applications to be considered within 5 working days.
However, there will be a maximum of 20 priority requests accepted daily (Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm). If fully subscribed, sponsors can apply the next working day.
The fee for the service is £200 per request.
How to Apply for the Priority Change of Circumstance Service
- Submit your change of circumstances request (see SMS manual).
- Call the telephone number provided.
- Give your sponsorship licence number, and pay the fee where the priority service is available.
- Within 5 working days, you can expect an email to your AO email address informing you of the outcome.
Important Points to Note
- The priority service is only available to A-rated Tier 2 and 5 licensed sponsors.
- The service does not apply to restricted certificates of sponsorship.
- Requests to replace an AO require a submission sheet to be sent to the following address:
Tier 2 and 5 Priority Service – Authorisation Code XXX
Sponsor Licensing Unit
PO Box 3468
- The authorisation code will be supplied when you have paid the fee.
- Complex requests or those requiring extra checks may take longer than 5 days.
- You may be eligible for a refund where consideration is delayed for ‘other reasons’ such as technical difficulties at UKVI.
- The service does not guarantee your request will be approved.
Duty to Notify Changes in Circumstances
Under the certificate of sponsorship, the employers and employee are under a duty to notify the UKVI of specific changes in circumstances within 10 working days.
Failure to report any Tier 2 changes of circumstances can result in licence downgrading, a revoked licence or a fine may be issued for failure to comply with the sponsor licence and migrant reporting duties.
We are experienced advisers to sponsor licence holders. Please contact us if you have a question about the new priority service, the change of circumstances notification process in general, or any other query relating to Tier 2 visa management and certificates of sponsorship.