There have been a number of well reported job losses in the global technology sector . What happens to those who are sponsored to work in the UK and then lose their jobs ?
When a sponsored worker loses their role , the employer is obligated to inform the authorities within ten days of the end of their employment . If the individual has more than six months left on their visa , then typically the Home Office will take curtailment action , which means they ' ll take action to cancel the visa . And they will usually contact the individual and give them around 60 days in which to either switch immigration category or leave the UK . In practice , that period of 60 days is discretionary . It can sometimes actually end up being longer because it can take the Home Office some time to actually take curtailment action once the notification is filed . But we usually do advise our clients just to be on the conservative side to assume they ' ll have 60 days within which to take that action .
Usually individuals may be searching for new employment and they will need to ensure the new employer is able to sponsor them and prior to starting work with the new employer , they would actually have to apply for a new visa .
But there ' s also potentially other options that the individual would be able to consider . I mentioned some of these other visa categories that exist , as well as potentially exploring family options . For example , if someone is married or in a long-term relationship with a British citizen or someone who is settled within the UK , or perhaps their partner is themselves sponsored , and the individual may have an option to switch to being a dependent .
The competition for talented people is fierce across the sector . Does this present an opportunity for smaller and scale-up tech businesses to access global talent ?
Yes , absolutely . I think the prevailing view is that over the pandemic , lots of online businesses boomed . We were all forced to stay at home , socialise at home , work from home , shop more from home and we were using many more online services , and many tech businesses , as a consequence , grew over the pandemic .
As life returns more to normal , there ' s a little bit of a correction happening and what we ' re seeing is quite a lot of job losses , particularly from big tech giants . I think that absolutely presents an opportunity for smaller businesses because there may be some very highly skilled , very employable people who are now already in the UK and are seeking new employment in order to stay in the UK .
Perhaps some of these smaller businesses may not originally have names that attract that top tier talent or maybe wouldn ' t have been able to support the relocation costs of moving to the UK but now these individuals are here . I think it ' s really important for small businesses to be aware of how they can facilitate that new hiring .
They could consider what kind of hiring they might need in the next three to six months , and then plan whether they need to apply for a sponsor licence , for example .
The immigration regime is complex . And while it ' s often easier for larger businesses to navigate , how can smaller businesses and individuals understand their options ?
It can seem very confusing and daunting . Of course , our professionals , such as myself , at Fragomen are specialised in assisting our clients with applying for a sponsor licence or advising how they can maintain it once they ' ve got it . We can also advise on the eligibility of a candidate to be sponsored in the UK , as well as to explain the application process and really support an individual from end to end through their move to the UK or through joining a new employer .
We take all the guesswork and all of the uncertainty out of the process , and we can ensure that the best decisions are being made for the business and for the individual .
But if a business isn ' t able to or prepared to instruct a professional services provider , there is lots of information that ' s out there freely available , starting with the government website and guidance . But there are also other organisations that support small businesses and will provide lots of information for free . For example , Coadec , which stands for the Coalition for a Digital Economy , is a not-for-profit organisation that campaigns for policies to support digital start-ups in the UK . We recently partnered with them to create an immigration guide specifically focused on those in the tech sector . It provides an introduction to the main visa categories that may be relevant to those in the tech sector . That ' s freely available , both on the Coadec website as well as the Fragomen website so I would definitely direct people there in the first instance . x
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