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Right to work FAQs for departments
- What are the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)? Includes qualification, salary, placement, duration and contents of advert.
- Exemptions from the RLMT
- Who can I interview?
- What checks do I need to follow at the interview?
- How can I ensure that I have all the relevant documentation to prove the RLMT has been met?
- How long must recruitment records be kept for?
- How can I check whether the applicant could be eligible for a CoS?
- Where is the application form for the CoS?
- What documents do I need to send alongside the CoS?
- What function does the Human Resources Employment Contract Administration Officer perform?
- What’s the difference between a restricted and unrestricted CoS?
- What will happen after the CoS is granted?
- Who will pay for an individual’s leave to remain visa?
- What funds are required for the maintenance check and how long must they be held for?
- What documents are required as proof for the maintenance check?
- Can UCL give a salary advance to cover the maintenance check?
- If required, will UCL underwrite an applicant's dependents for them to meet the maintenance check?
- How can a migrant prove they have the necessary standard of English?
- Where can an English language test be taken?
- Who pays for the English language test?
12. My preferred candidate is from Croatia what do I need to do?
13. My preferred candidate has a post study visa can I appoint them?
14. Can my preferred applicant switch tiers?
15. Can I appoint a current student?
16. I have a current employee who has an existing work permit and needs to transfer to a CoS.
17. I have a current employee who has a tier 1 post study visa and needs to transfer to a CoS.
18. I have a migrant worker who has transferred in under TUPE what do I need to do?
19. Who qualifies as academic visitors, business visitors, sponsored researchers and for periods of sabbatical leave?
- Who qualifies as an academic visitor? What is the application process?
- Who qualifies as a business visitor? What is the application process?
- Who qualifies as a sponsored researcher? What is the application process?
As well as the legal immigration requirements below, all recruitment must comply with UCL‘s Recruitment and Selection policy.
What are the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)?
In order for UCL to be able to issue a CoS the RLMT must normally be met. The RLMT is used to evidence that no suitably qualified settled worker can fill the job. A settled worker is a person who is a national of the European Economic Area, or Switzerland, or is legally settled in the United Kingdom with permission to work here. To meet the test you will need to consider the following:
Qualification level - The job must be skilled at NQF level 6 or above.
Salary - The occupational codes relevant to the specific job should be consulted for guidance relating to the appropriate salary for the specific role. The minimum salary level for a lecturer post is new entrant £23,800, experienced worker £30,000, so any lecturer employed by UCL would meet this criteria. The minimum salary level for research staff is new entrant £20,300, experienced worker £26,000. In addition there are specific occupational codes that cover a range of other professional and senior administrative roles.
Occupational codes - If the job does not meet the conditions of the specific code of practice, we cannot issue a CoS. You can find the range of codes of practice for sponsored skilled migrants on the Border Agency website here. If you want to employ a migrant to do a job, you must use these codes to check the skill level and appropriate rate for that job, and to find out where you should advertise the job.
Where should the advert be placed?
To be eligible to obtain a CoS all jobs advertised to settled workers must now be advertised:
- UCL vacancy website
- Using at least one other permitted method. For posts that are NOT considered by the UK Visas & Immigration to be PhD level posts, or posts that attract a salary of £71,000pa or more this must include placement in Jobcentre Plus
Lecturing and research roles are eligible for CoS and will normally be advertised on Jobs.ac.uk as well.
How long must the post be advertised for?
Posts must be advertised for a minimum of four weeks (28 days) in order to meet the RLMT.
Advert contents- To complete a RLMT for any job in the tier 2 (General) category, UCL must use the advertising methods permitted by the code of practice for the sector or job.
The advertisement must include:
- the job title;
- the main duties and responsibilities of the job (the job description);
- the location of the job;
- the salary package or range, and the terms on offer;
- the skills, qualifications and experience needed; and
- the closing date for applications
Situations where the RLMT does not have to be met
Occupational shortage list - You do not have to complete a RLMT before sponsoring a migrant under the tier 2 (General) category if the job is on the shortage occupation list which can be downloaded here: Occupational shortage list.
Named researchers - Named researchers pass the resident labour market test as they will not be filling established posts or displacing resident workers.
Named researchers are defined as those whose employment is linked to specific research grants awarded to Higher Education Institutions or Research Institutes by external organisations. They will be named specifically on the research grant because their knowledge and expertise in the relevant field means they are the only person able to undertake the research. If they are unable to come to the UK the research grant would be cancelled.
You must provide to HR a copy of the grant papers naming the individual to demonstrate that the resident labour market test has been met.
Salary of £152,100- positions attracting a salary of £152,100 or more are exempt from the RLM
Tier 1 post study visas- If an existing employee with a post study visa has been employed for a minimum of 6 months the RLMT does not need to be met.
Tier 2 (General - recent graduates) – This route is open to recent graduates with a Bachelors, Masters, PhD, PGCE or PGDE qualification.
Who can I interview?
You should interview the candidates who best meet the shortlisting criteria irrespective of their current right to work status.
What checks do I need to follow at the interview?
All applicants’ right to work documentation must be checked at the interview stage. Please see the right to work guidance for managers for further information.
How can I ensure that I have all the relevant documentation to prove the RLMT has been met?
The RLMT requires that we provide evidence that the post was advertised correctly and that only a non settled worker could undertake the position. To demonstrate this accurate recruitment notes and records must be kept showing that the unsuccessful applicants did not meet the person specification on paper and/or at interview. If you follow the requirements of the UCL recruitment and selection policy carefully this will ensure you have all the correct details.
How long must recruitment records be kept for?
All records relating to recruitment must be kept for 12 months before being destroyed. This is a requirement to meet the RLMT. If the successful applicant requires a CoS their records will be kept for the duration of their employment.
How can I check whether the applicant could be eligible for a CoS?
If an applicant does not have the right to work in the UK we will need to consider an application to issue a CoS. The UKV&I points calculator self assessment facility can be used to check whether the migrant worker would be likely to obtain sufficient points to be eligible under Tier 2.
Where is the application form for the CoS?
Please complete the CoS application form using this guidance. The form will need to be returned to the HR Employment Contract Administration Officer within the HR Employment Contract Administration team who will process the application.
What documents do I need to send alongside the CoS?
You must fully complete the information requested in questions 37 and 38 of the application form on the number of applicants who are settled workers and reasons why they were not shortlisted and the number of 'settled' applicants who were shortlisted and reasons why they were not appointed and attach:
- Full recruitment pack, including all applications and expressions of interest received
- Job description and person specification
- Proof of placement and copy of advertisements (please quote HR job ref no) search
- All panel notes from the interview
- Applicant's CV
- Evidence of how the applicant meets any:
- Qualification or professional membership requirements for the post
- Professional registration requirements for the post (please confirm how the registration was verified and expiry date)
- Signed references from past employers
- Proof of funding (i.e. named researchers on a grant)
- Copy of passport (original seen and verified)
References/statements should be on headed notepaper and verify the applicant's relevant work experience. References/statements that only describe the person to be of good character are not appropriate. They must give the start and finish dates, details of the work and any experience that makes the person qualified to do the job. Emailed references/statements are not appropriate as they must be signed by the author.
If they are not in English, please send translations. For certain professions where the applicant has to be registered with a UK professional organisation, for example, GMC, NMC, GDC and RCVS, please provide the applicant's registration number - this is acceptable instead of references/statements from previous employers, including date checked and expiry date.
What function does the Human Resources Employment Contract Administration Officer perform?
Upon receiving the completed application form for a CoS and appropriate documentation HR Employment Contract Administration Officer will assess the application within a two week period. This assessment includes both that the request meets the UK Visas & Immigration requirements and whether we can issue an unrestricted CoS or whether we need to apply for the UK Visas & Immigration for a restricted CoS. Your departmental HR Employment Contract Administration contact can also help you with any specific queries you may have on the process and will provide guidance on the next stages if a CoS is granted.
What is the difference between a restricted Cos and an unrestricted CoS?
This is for all out of country/new applications and Tier 4 dependants switching to a Tier 2 sponsorship in their own right.. There are 20,700 places per annum, nationally, allocated on a monthly basis. Each request must be approved by the UKV&I before a CoS is issued locally.
Each month UCL must apply to the UKV&I for permission to issue a restricted CoS. If there are 1725 applications or less nationally all will be granted, subject to meeting the criteria. Where more than 1725 applications are received they will be ranked according to a points matrix based on qualification and salary.
There is no annual limit set against this category. UCL will be allocated a number of CoS on an annual basis by UKV&I and these will be issued by the HR Department, subject to meeting the criteria
Unrestricted category includes:
- Tier 2 migrants extending their stay with their original employer
- Tier 2 migrants with valid leave switching employer
- Those already admitted in another category and switching to Tier 2
- Those filling a vacancy on salary of £152,100+
- Recent graduates
What will happen after the CoS is granted?
Once a CoS is issued the HR Consultancy Employment Contract Administration team will be in contact with the individual to give advice on what the next steps are. When a CoS is issued the applicant will need to take this to their Embassy or Overseas Diplomatic post (out of the UK) or UK Visas & Immigration (in UK) to continue the points based assessment. As part of this assessment the applicant will need to meet a maintenance check and provide evidence of meeting the English language requirement.
Who will pay for an individual’s leave to remain visa?
It depends on the situation. If the person is in country then UCL will normally pay for the further leave to remain postal application for the person. Dependents will not be paid for by UCL. Higher cost 'in person' applications will be paid for by the person. If the person is applying for a visa from outside the UK they will need to pay the costs of the application themselves. See UCL Policy on the Payment of immigration costs
What funds are required for the maintenance check and how long must they be held for?
Evidence needs to be provided that the applicant has ££900 available funds which must have been held for a minimum of three months immediately before the date of application. They will also need evidence of £600 per dependent who is accompanying them which must have been held for the same time period. HR can provide a letter to underwrite maintenance up to £900 for an applicant. (Rates will be reviewed annually by the UKV&I).
What documents are required as proof for the maintenance check?
Only the following specified documents will be accepted as evidence of proof of funds:
- Personal bank or building society statements covering three full consecutive months. The most recent statement must be dated no earlier than one calendar month before the date of the application.
- Building society pass book covering the three month period.
- Letter from a bank confirming funds and that they have been in the bank for at least three months.
- Letter from a financial institution regulated by either the Financial Services Authority or, in the case of overseas accounts, the home regulator (official regulatory body for the country in which the institution operates and the funds are located) confirming funds. For more information please see pages 36-39 of Border Agency guidance for tier 2 which can be downloaded from here.
Can UCL give a salary advance to cover the maintenance check?
UCL will not make a salary advance to make enough funds available to cover the maintenance check, but they will underwrite an applicant in order for them to meet the maintenance check.
If required, will UCL underwrite an applicant's dependents for them to meet the maintenance check?
UCL will not normally underwrite any dependents of an applicant to meet the maintenance check. The applicant would need to meet the funds required for this.
How can a migrant prove they have the necessary standard of English?
There are three ways that an applicant can meet the English Language requirement of the points based system:
1) Be a national of a predominantly English speaking country. Nationals from the following countries automatically meet the English language requirement: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; The United States of America.
2) The migrant can pass an English language test. This has been upgraded to intermediate level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages.
3) The migrant holds a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a United Kingdom Bachelors degree or above.
Where can an English language test be taken?
See the UKV&I website for a list of approved tests.
Who pays for the English language test?
The migrant will need to pay for any English language test they need to undertake.
Following accession to the European Union on 1 July 2013 the right to work for Croatian nationals is subject to transitional restrictions by the UK Government. These transitional arrangements will be for at least 5 years, with a possible further two-year extension. Further information on the restrictions and exemptions can be found here. Alternatively contact your HR Assistant contact for more information.
Yes a post study visa in not job specific and a visa holder can undertake any type of work (with only limited exceptions). Providing the applicant gives evidence of holding the visa they can be appointed to the position without having to apply for a CoS. The post study visa will last for a maximum of two years and once employed the staff member should transfer to another tier as soon as they are eligible. This category is now closed to future applicants.
See general information (4).
Possibly. Students on a Tier 4 visa sponsored by and studying directly with higher education institutions will retain the current level of permission to work 20 hours pw during term time, where taking courses at degree level or above and 10 hours pw for students undertaking courses at below degree level. All students studying directly with higher education institutions will be able to work full time during vacations.
Students on a Tier 4 visa, at a publicly funded further education college studying may only work 10 hours pw during term time and full time during the university vacation period.
Students not studying at a higher education institution or a publicly funded further education college will not be granted permission to work at any time during their studies.
Departments must check the level and provider of the student's course before appointing and confirm on SiP.
An employee who currently has a valid work permit with UCL can apply for a CoS under the transitional arrangement. This means that the RLMT will not have to be met and the post will not have to be advertised. To be eligible the employee must:
- Be continuing to do the same job
- Not be on a multiple entry work permit
- Not have been working in the UK for five years or more.
If the applicant is not eligible under the transitional arrangements they must apply using the full points based system. Guidance about transferring from a work permit to a CoS can be found here. The application form should be completed three months prior to the current leave of remain expires. The form can be found here.
A current UCL employee who has been working in their current job for at least 6 months can claim 30 points if they have clearance and are transferring from:
- the post-study worker category of tier 1; or
- Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme; or
- International Graduate Scheme (formerly known as the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme)
The RLMT will not need to be met in these cases and the post will not have to be advertised. To transfer from one of these categories to tier two the department would need to complete the application form for a CoS and return it to the relevant HR Employment Contract Administration Officer from the HR Employment Contract administration team who will process the application. Upon receiving their CoS the employee will need to provide evidence that s/he has worked for UCL for at least six months prior to his/her application. Only the following list of documents will be valid:
These should be either formal payslips or on UCL headed paper. If payslips are not on headed paper then a print out will need to be signed and stamped by your HR Employment Contract Administration contact.
ii) Personal bank or building society statements covering six full consecutive months
iii) Building society pass book covering the previous six month period immediately before the application
In cases where the migrant worker has an existing work permit or CoS the RLMT will not have to be met. However you must inform your HR Consultancy contact immediately as they will need to pass on the details to the UK Visas & Immigration.
What is the application process?
To be eligible to qualify for entry as an academic visitor the migrant involved must be either a:
- person on sabbatical leave from an overseas academic institution who wishes to make use of their leave to carry out research here (to do research for a book for example);
- academics (including doctors) taking part in formal exchange arrangements with United Kingdom counterparts;
- eminent senior doctors and dentists coming to take part in research, teaching or clinical practice
In addition they must:
- not receive funding for their work from UCL (payments of expenses or reasonable honoraria may be disregarded, as may payments on an exchange basis);
- not engage in any work other than the academic activity for which they are being admitted;
- not be filling a normal post or a genuine vacancy;
- not stay in the UK for more than 12 months;
- not intend to take employment in the UK;
- intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit;
- be able to maintain themselves and any dependants without having recourse to public funds (or be adequately maintained and accommodated by relatives or friends);
- be able to meet the cost of the return or onward journey from the UK
- To qualify for entry to the UK as an academic visitor the individual must be well qualified in his/her own field of expertise. New graduates will not fall into this category. Entry clearance is mandatory in this category for those seeking more than six months leave to enter. The form to be completed can be found here.
However, it is not mandatory for non-visa nationals seeking leave to enter for six months or less. For information on which nationalities require a visa please click here.
A person who wishes to come to the United Kingdom solely to undertake a series of lectures for which they will receive a fee will normally be required to seek entry under Tier 2 of the Points Based System. Academics may, however, be eligible to enter as a mainstream business visitor (see business visitor section below) for a maximum of 6 months if they are coming to participate in a conference, seminar or lecture where it is a single or occasional event, and the event is not a commercial venture.
Who qualifies as a business visitor? What is the application process?
Visa nationals wishing to come to the United Kingdom on business for up to six months must apply for a dedicated new business visa and prove they will be carrying out one or more of the following activities:
- attending meetings or conferences;
- arranging deals, negotiating or signing trade agreement or contracts;
- undertaking fact-finding missions, checking details or goods; and
- conducting site visits and promotional activities.
Visa nationals can apply for a business visa using this form. Non visa nationals are not required to gain prior entry clearance. For information on which nationalities require a visa please click here.
Academics may be eligible to enter under the permitted paid engagements route. Permitted activities will include visiting to give a lecture, examining students and participation in or chairing selection panels. Entry will be restricted to one month. Visits of longer than one month to undertake paid activity will require sponsorship under Tier 2 or 5.
Who qualifies as a sponsored researcher? What is the application process?
Though not exhaustive this category is for the following groups of people:
- Someone who has a job overseas, who is still being paid for that job, has come to the UK to undertake a period of research at an employer/host organisation and the funding for the research remains overseas.
- Someone who has a job overseas, who is still being paid for that job, has come to the UK to undertake a period of research at an employer/host organisation, but the funding is transferred to the UK employer or host.
- Someone who has a job overseas, who is still being paid for that job, has come to the UK to undertake a period of research at an employer/host organisation, but the funding is arranged and paid by the UK employer or host.
- Someone who is on paid sabbatical, comes to the UK to undertake research at a UK employer/host organisation, funding is arranged and paid by the UK employer or host.
- Someone who is on unpaid sabbatical but receives funding from the UK employer or host.
For further information and the application form for a sponsored researcher please contact your HR Employment Contract Administration contact within the HR Employment Contract Administration team.
How do I monitor a migrant worker?
UKV&I requires employers to monitor migrant workers and has outlined a number of reporting duties. Recruiters/Line Managers are required to report the following to their HR Employment Contract Administration contact:
- If a sponsored migrant does not turn up for his/her 1st day at work.
- If a sponsored migrant is absent from work for more than 10 days without permission.
- If a sponsored migrant discontinues his/her duties or employment is terminated.
- If the sponsored migrant moves into another immigration category, which would result in the University no longer being required to sponsor the individual.
- If there are significant changes to the sponsored migrant’s job e.g. a promotion.
- If any of the above incidents occur they must be reported to your HR Consultant immediately.
If an employee's leave to remain expires UCL will have no choice but to dismiss that employee.
Anyone who provides documentation from List B right to work documents departmental guidance must have their documents checked annually by HR. HR will contact the individual and the DA to remind them of this requirement.
You must inform your HR Employment Contract Administration contact who will need to inform the UK Visas & Immigration of the change.