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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Hello, Im a Chinese national who is currently in the UK under

Customer Question

Hello, I’m a Chinese national who is currently in the UK under a post study work visa, which I have held since January 2012 and expires in January 2014. I have been employed by an international drug research company (based in the UK) since December 2012.

In September 2013, I applied for a working visa (Tier 2) and my employer (PRA who are “A Rated” by the UKBA) agreed to provide a certificate of sponsorship as required by the UKBA in order to ensure that the visa was approved. My visa was rejected on the grounds that the certificate of sponsorship displayed the occupation code 3539 “Business and related associate professional not elsewhere classified” is classed under level 4. It was stated in the letter setting out the reasons why I was refused my visa that I had passed all of the other requirements. It also stated that although I had no right to appeal, I could send a new application with new evidence.

In order for the certificate of sponsorship to be deemed permissible in regards XXXXX XXXXX UKBA, my employer must provide an occupation code under level 6. Instead I believe that the most appropriate code is 2421 “Chartered and Certified Accountants” which is listed under level 6.

The job description and tasks of the project analyst, as provided by my employer, are:
• Responsible for a full range of financial and strategic analyst support ensuring operational effectiveness and excellence of the business unit through modeling and developing recommendations for senior management team.
• The Project Analyst will design and document workflow, making appropriate recommendations that will impact operational effectiveness including building/modifying Pal?s and new business cases.
• They will track and analyze business unit trends and make appropriate recommendations that will impact the unit including any cross-divisional or strategic analysis.
• Serve as a key technical expert on financial issues, concerns, and projects.
• Interface with executive management responding to their requests for financial information and resolving reporting/compliance issues.
• Prepare reports and financial studies for management and provide findings and variances to plan

Firstly, the fact that as part of my role, my employer funds my studies towards qualifying as a chartered accountant (I am currently in the process of studying for my 8th and 9th exams out of 15) re-emphasises the fact that this position requires an individual who has the skills to perform their role in the form of an accountant. The salary currently being paid by my employer for this position also meets the minimum salary requirements as set out by UKBA for level 6 “Chartered and certified accountants”.

My employer appears to be under the impression that in order for the occupation code 2421 to be appropriate, the individual must be a qualified accountant. Through discussing with fellow graduates, it has been made clear to us that individuals who are placed under the code “Chartered and Certified Accountants” are not required to be qualified accountants. From speaking to various graduates (who are not qualified accountants) who have moved into financial positions whereby they study for an accountancy qualification alongside their day-to-day work within a financial department, that the level 6 code for “Chartered and Certified Accountants” has been successfully used within their certificate of sponsorship for their working visa.

I also believe there is a clear case to be made that the duties laid out in respect of the “Project analyst” within the certificate of sponsorship conform to a significant enough extent to the definition and job tasks laid out under code 2421 (level 6) “Chartered and Certified Accountants”.

It is worth noting that my employer has offered me the opportunity to transfer to the our Chinese office as they do not wish to lose me as an employee which shows that they are pleased with my performance in this position.

I have the following questions:

Will my employer face any risk if they decide to support a new application with a revised occupational code?

The letter which I received from the UKBA stating their initial refusal to grant me a visa under tier 2 (general) stated that although I do not have the right to appeal the original decision, I may submit a new application with new evidence; could you please explain they mean by “new evidence” and what evidence I should provide with the second application to support the change in code?

I have looked through “Codes of Practice for Skilled Workers – Standard Occupational Classification Codes”, do you know where I can find further information regarding to the occupational codes?

If I post the visa, what happens if we are still waiting for visa once the current one has expired?

Do you have any advice in terms of how I should approach this issue with my employer and ensuring that they understand that I am correct in suggesting that this code is appropriate for my job position?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Howard replied 4 years ago.
1. There is no risk to the employer in submitting a new application if they have chosen the wrong occupation code in the first application. It was quite a serious and basic error and highlights why employers should use professional assistance. It is also unfortunately not unusual but at least you have some leave to remain available and there are no serious consequences.

2. They simply mean that you can submit a new application with different evidence - by this they mean a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The evidence required for your application is minimal - most of the time you simply need to provide your passport, photographs, BRP (if you have one), Police registration certificate (if you have one), English language evidence, form, fee, perhaps evidence of your address and that is usually about it. Maintenance evidence is also required if the employer does not certify this although all of my corporate Clients do.

3. What further information are you looking for with regard to your question about the SOC?

4. If you submit a new application before your current visa expires then this is classed as an 'in-time' application and your current visa is effectively extended until such time as you receive a decision on the application.

5. Many occupations in SOC 2421 require the individual to be qualified but not all and so you could argue that your role fits into this code. If you can provide a full job profile (duties, responsibilities and the qualifications and experience required) then I can investigate further and establish the correct SOC for the role. This is something I do on a regular basis and I have strong contacts in place for this. 2423 includes the role of Financial Risk Analyst which might also be close. If not then 2429 could be suitable as it is a bit of a 'catch all'.

If you would like me to do this I would appreciate a positive rating first as it will involve quite a bit of work and you will appreciate that I would not be keen to do this when I have no guarantee of being paid for my time.

I hope the above is useful. If you have any further questions at this time then please feel free to ask.
Expert:  Howard replied 4 years ago.
I note that you have viewed the information that I provided but not responded. If you have further questions or not want further assistance then please let me know, otherwise please remember to provide a rating of the service that I provided to you.
Expert:  Howard replied 4 years ago.
You appear to have forgotten to provide a positive rating of the service that I provided to you. Please get this done and let me know if you have any further questions?