Immigration Advice and Support for Schools & Colleges

Our immigration team

Our team appreciates that immigration law is constantly changing and ensuring compliance is therefore both difficult and challenging. Our immigration team has sector specific experience and can provide legal support and advice to all types of educational institutions on every aspect of immigration law, including on recruiting and retaining international students and workers from outside of the UK.

Julie Moktadir, Partner, heads the immigration team at Stone King, and as former CEO of the education charity IPSEA, she has a firm understanding of the education sector. The team works closely with clients in assisting with right to work checks, sponsorship issues and Brexit, including under our education retainer service. Our dedicated team works with a variety of institutions, including higher education and further education colleges, state schools and independent schools.

Areas in which we can support you:
Recruitment
  • Guidance and advice on all aspects of recruitment from within and outside the EEA
  • Advice on identity documents and right to work checks
Sponsoring workers

Many schools seeking to fill vacancies may look to sponsor overseas workers. Our team is able to advise on effective recruitment and selection; give guidance and advice on all aspects of identity documentation and right to work checks; and assist with applications for sponsorship licences, including navigating the Sponsor Management System (SMS).

Assistance includes, but is not limited to:

  • Applying for a sponsorship licence
  • Guidance on using the SMS
  • Acting as a Level 1 user
  • Licence management and compliance
  • Advising on revocation of a sponsorship licence
  • Advising on right to work checks
  • Ongoing support
Bespoke audit services in readiness for UKVI visits

We conduct audits for both Tier 2 sponsors and Tier 4 sponsors, reviewing all current immigration processes and procedures, meeting with key personnel to advise on their duties and providing follow-up support, in readiness for any UKVI compliance visits.

Points-based system

We can assist with all aspects of the points-based system. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Undertaking the whole visa application process on your behalf;
  • Sponsoring workers under Tier 2 of the points-based system;
  • Sponsoring temporary workers under Tier 5 of the points-based system;
  • Sponsoring temporary students under Tier 4 of the points-based system;
Advice on the EU Settlement Scheme and implications of Brexit

We appreciate this is an uncertain time for many organisations and we can provide specific support in relation to Brexit and EU national workers. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Applying for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, for any EU national employees.
  • Advising employees on the implications of Brexit and providing materials to send to affected staff.
Training

We are able to provide a range of bespoke training, examples of which include:

  • Recruitment from overseas
  • Implications of Brexit
  •  Responsibilities of a sponsorship licence holder
Case Studies

We were instructed by a large independent school to conduct a mock audit of their immigration procedures and processes in readiness for a UKVI compliance visit. We attended the school for a full day, and interviewed key personnel, checked documentation, liaised with the HR department (over right to work checks) and thereafter prepared a full report.

Advised a FE college with regards to issues over their Tier 4 visas after the college had received correspondence from the UKVI suggesting that the licence would be suspended if the institution did not register with the correct oversight body.

Assisted a multi-academy trust with various immigration queries under the Stone King education retainer service. Common ad hoc queries include renewing a certificate of sponsorship allocation, the implications of Brexit on schools and advice on filling shortages in the workforce through Tier 2 visas or teaching roles on the shortage occupation list.

Provided assistance to a large MAT which took on a school with sponsored workers, when they were not a sponsorship licence holder. Completed the application for a sponsorship licence on their behalf which was granted exceptionally quickly. Thereafter advised on the necessary steps to transfer the workers onto the new licence and ensure their immigration status in the UK is protected.

Remotely assisted a client with using the SMS over the phone to assign a certificate of sponsorship to a worker that they wished to sponsor, as they were unfamiliar with how to navigate this.

Assisted an independent school with applying for restricted certificate of sponsorship (for workers outside of the UK) by completing the Resident Labour Market Test on their behalf, to ensure all requirements were met.

We act as level 1 users on many client’s sponsorship licences allowing for increased expertise reduced risk and increased efficiency and further ensuring complete compliance with the immigration rules. Actions taken as a level 1 user include assigning certificates of sponsorship, replying to a UKVI request, reporting any absences or staff departures and adding any additional branches or sites to your licence.

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