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Sponsor Management Series – Resident Labour Market Test

In the latest edition of our series on migrant worker sponsor management, we look at some of the obligations sponsors must adhere to.

In order to recruit a non-EEA migrant, it is generally a requirement that an employer show they have been unable to recruit a “settled worker” for the role which is to be filled by the migrant. An employer shows this by conducting a “Resident Labour Market Test” (RLMT).

Where an employer is obliged to carry out a RLMT they must demonstrate they have complied with the following requirements:

  • advertise the role in the UK for at least 28 days in total;
  • advertise the role must using at least two approved methods; and
  • advertisement included detailed information on the skills and qualifications required for the role, as well as a job description and salary details.

Employers must keep adequate records of the steps they have taken, both in relation to advertising roles and the subsequent recruitment process. The consequences of getting it wrong can be serious (and can include the revocation of a sponsor’s licence).

We would strongly advise a sponsor to get specific advice before taking steps to carry out the RLMT as it requires close attention to the details both of carrying out the RLMT and also the documents to be retained thereafter.

We look at some specific requirements below.


The role must be advertised on two approved recruitment platforms. Commonly, one of these must be the Government’s Universal Job Match site, and the other can be a platform such as a national newspaper, professional journal or recruitment website.

Both adverts must run for a minimum of 28 days, which can be simultaneous or be placed one after the other, and may be continuous or in blocks of 7 or more days.

A compliant advertisement must contain the following details:

  • job title
  • salary
  • application closing date
  • company name
  • job location

A screenshot of each online advertisement must be taken once it is placed and this must show certain details. This must be kept on file throughout the period in which the migrant is sponsored and for 12 months afterwards.

Once an advertisement is placed on a recruitment platform it should not be amended – if an amendment to the advert has to be made, it may be necessary to re-advertise the role completely (re-starting the 28 day period).


Employers must ensure they operate a fair and objective recruitment process. All applicants should be reviewed and any candidates who meet the skills and requirements listed in the advertisement should be offered an interview.

In assessing candidates, an employer must ensure that any prospective employees meet the criteria in the advertisement – this will need to be demonstrated to UKVI. Candidates must not be refused on the basis that they do not meet criteria which was not listed in the job advertisement.

Record keeping

UKVI will need to be satisfied that the employee taken on for the role was genuinely the best candidate for the role (irrespective of their immigration status). In order to demonstrate this, employers should keep clear records of the following:

  • the total number of shortlisted candidate
  • copies of all shortlisted applications
  • detailed notes of final stage assessments
  • reasons for rejection of each shortlisted UK-settled worker
  • evidence that the successful candidate meets each requirement listed in the advertisement
  • copies of certificates for any applicable qualification required for the role

It is recommended to keep these records for the duration of the sponsored employee’s employment and for 12 months afterwards.


There are circumstances where it is not necessary to comply with the RLMT requirements. The most common of these are if:

  • an existing non-EEA employee needs to extend their stay in the UK and will continue to perform the same role
  • the role is on UKVI’s Shortage Occupation list, and the prospective employee will be working more than 30 hours per week
  • the total salary package for the role is in excess of £159,600 p/a
  • the potential employee is applying for a Tier 2 (General) visa and was previously granted leave under:
    • Tier 1 (Post-study work)
    • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
    • Tier 4 (General) student, and have either:
      • obtained a UK recognised bachelors or masters degree; or
      • finished a minimum of 12 months study in the UK towards a UK PhD.


If you or your business requires advice of assistance in complying with the RLMT requirements, please contact one of our immigration experts who will be happy to assist further.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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