The Home Office recently provided updated guidance for employers sponsoring foreign nationals through the Worker and Temporary Worker immigration programs.

Key Points:

  • Foreign nationals may begin working in their sponsored employment before the start date recorded on their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) as soon as they have permission to enter the United Kingdom.
  • Employers no longer need to report a start date delay if the new start date is within 28 days.
  • If the start date is delayed by more than 28 days, employers must report this delay to the Home Office within 10 working days after the 28-day period or end the sponsorship of the foreign national.
  • Acceptable reasons for a delayed start of more than 28 days include travel delays due to a natural disaster, military conflict or pandemic; the worker is required to complete a contractual agreement for their previous employer; the worker requires an exit visa from their home country, and there have been administrative delays in processing it; or illness, bereavement or other compelling family or personal circumstances, among other reasons.

Additional Information: Once a worker receives permission to enter the United Kingdom, they should normally start their sponsored employment within 28 days after the start date on their CoS; the “valid from” date on the worker’s entry clearance vignette; or the date the worker is notified of a grant of entry clearance or permission to stay, whichever is later.

BAL Analysis: BAL will continue to follow changes to U.K. immigration rules and will provide more information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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