Contractors' Questions: Do umbrella companies take on Tier 2 migrants?

Contractor’s Question: Which companies can hold an existing Tier 2 Sponsorship, and are any of these umbrella companies that support contractors? Recruiters say there are plenty of such umbrella companies but also say they will not identify them to me because they claim that to do so would show favouritism. Please advise.

Expert’s Answer: In response to your query about what companies are Tier 2 licence holders, you can consult this web page to find out. However, you should be aware that companies can only sponsor migrants that are directly employed by them and have full responsibility over their duties, functions and outcomes of the job.

Where the migrant is carrying out work for a third party, they must be contracted by the sponsor company to provide a time-bound service or project on their behalf. This service or project must have a specific end-date, after which time it will have ended or the service will no longer be operated by the company or anyone else. This is the only permissible contractor-type of arrangement.

Companies acting as umbrella-type organisations by supplying migrants to a third party to fill a position with them will be acting against UK immigration rules. The vacancy that migrants are required to fill must be within the sponsoring company and it must be genuine. Should the company wish to sponsor a migrant, they must also meet other requirements of the Tier 2 category, such as carrying out the resident labour market test, which involves advertising the role for a minimum of 28 days.

Should a company have a permissible contractor arrangement in place, sponsored migrants will only be permitted to carry out contractor activities for a time-bound service or project, following which they should resume work for the sponsoring organisation.

The expert was Demetris Demetriou, a lawyer on behalf of Redfern Legal LLP.

Editor’s Note: Related Reading –

Contractors’ Questions: Can I be an IT temp via my old Tier 2 visa?

Contractors’ Questions: Can I try IT contracting as a Tier 2 migrant?

Contractors’ Questions: Can I freelance for my employer on a Tier 2 visa?

Tuesday 10th May 2016
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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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