Appendix D: Evidencing skill
level for your sponsored

In December 2020, the Skilled Worker route opened for applications, replacing the Tier 2 (General) visa as the main immigration route into the UK for skilled workers. The new route introduced some key changes compared with the previous Tier 2, including a lower minimum skill threshold. This means that businesses are now able to sponsor overseas workers in a wider range of roles than before; a welcome change for employers in certain sectors such as retail, hospitality and construction.

To coincide with the launch of the Skilled Worker route, the Home Office published updated guidance documents to help employers understand the sponsorship process and how to comply with their duties as a licenced sponsor.

Alongside the updated guidance, the Home Office also revised Appendix D, the document which lists the type of evidence that employers must retain in relation to their sponsor licence. With this in mind, Smith Stone Walters will be publishing a series of articles focused on key sections of the Appendix D document, to help sponsors gain a better understanding of their record keeping responsibilities.

In part four of the series, we explore the new skill thresholds under the Skilled Worker route, and the types of evidence employers are required to keep to demonstrate that their sponsored workers are undertaking roles at the appropriate skill level for the route.

What are the new skill thresholds?

Under the new Skilled Worker route, applicants must hold a job offer at the minimum skill level of RQF3 or above, which is defined as A-Level or equivalent. This is a decrease from the previous Tier 2 (General) skill threshold of RQF6, or degree level. Applicants will not need to hold a formal qualification, as it is the skill level of the job they will be doing which is important.

For this reason, sponsors are required to maintain certain evidence to demonstrate to the Home Office that the jobs in which they are sponsoring workers meet the minimum skill threshold of the route.

Which documents should employers keep?

There are a number of records which can be used to demonstrate the skill level of roles, and employers should keep this information on file for each worker they are sponsoring under the Skilled Worker route. This evidence includes:

  • A detailed and specific job description for each role in which you are sponsoring migrant workers. The job description should outline the duties and responsibilities of the role, including the skills, qualifications and experience required for the post.
  • Copies of any relevant qualifications held by the sponsored worker such as a degree certificate, references from a previous employer or other evidence of experience. If a certain qualification is essential for the role, you must retain evidence that the sponsored worker holds that qualification.
  • Copies of any registration documents, professional accreditation documents, or confirmation letters relevant to the role. For example, proof of registration with the General Medical Council if the sponsored worker is a doctor.
  • For workers sponsored under specialist work routes such as the T2 (Sportsperson) or T5 (Temporary Worker) Creative or Sporting Worker route, sponsors should retain evidence of the worker’s technical or specialist skills, such as a copy of governing body endorsements specific to the worker.

Further information on the documents employers should keep can be found in Appendix D of the guidance for sponsors, available online here.

Support with maintaining sponsor compliance

If you have any questions about which documents you should be retaining, or if you require support on any other area of sponsor compliance, Smith Stone Walters can help.

Our team of immigration experts can offer up-to-date advice and practical support to ensure your business is fulfilling its legal obligations and is prepared for any Home Office compliance visit.

To speak to a member of the team, please contact us today.

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