If you are a UK employer or education provider you can legally employ skilled and temporary migrant workers, or teach students from outside the EEA (European Economic Area), through sponsorship under the five-tier points-based system.
Our team of expert lawyers can guide you through your Sponsor Licence application. Our services include checking your documents and completing your application form to the highest possible standard. One of our lawyers will work with you to assess your best options as well as writing a Letter of Representation which will support your application. This letter will maximise your chances of successfully acquiring a Sponsor Licence; it details the merits of your application to the Home Office. Contact us on 0333 363 8577 now or make an enquiry online to speak with one of our experienced immigration lawyers.

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What are the employers duties?

If you are looking to employ skilled workers from outside the EEA in either a permanent, long-term or temporary job, Tiers 2 & 5 will apply. You do not need to sponsor a highly skilled migrant worker already coming to or in the UK under Tier 1.Please note that Tier 3 of the points-based system is currently suspended so you can no longer employ low-skilled migrant workers.

What are the Tier 5 requirements?

Under Tier 5 a temporary worker can apply to enter the UK for a short time if, in the majority of cases, they have a job offer from a licensed sponsor and pass the points-based assessment. There are five categories of temporary worker under Tier 5 of the points-based system available for sponsorship (note the youth mobility scheme is not an employment route):

  • Creative and sporting
  • Charity workers
  • Religious workers
  • Government authorised exchange
  • International agreement

What are my sponsorship duties under the Points-Based System (Tiers 2 & 5)?

There are a number of responsibilities if you opt to become a UK sponsor:

  • You must obtain a Sponsor Licence before you can employ skilled workers under Tiers 2 & 5
  • You must issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to each prospective or existing Tier 2 migrant worker so they can apply for a new visa or extension of their stay
  • You must use the Sponsorship Management System to fulfil your record-keeping and reporting duties so as to monitor your worker’s compliance with their immigration conditions and report any breaches e.g., absenteeism

Once you have successfully applied for your licence you will be added to the published register of sponsors held by the UK Border Agency and you can issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to any prospective employees. This is not a physical document but a unique reference number recording details of the employee and the position they hold which will allow them to make their Tier 2 application. Your licence will be valid for four years before it needs to be renewed.

Failure to fulfil the responsibilities may result in your Sponsor Licence revocationsuspension or even a civil penalty.

For further information on applying for a Sponsorship Licence, please visit our Sponsorship Licences & Visa Sponsorship page.

What are the education providers duties?

If you are an education provider in the UK you can sponsor a foreign student to undertake a long course of study by obtaining a sponsor licence. The student must apply under Tier 4 of the points-based system. You do not need to sponsor a student on a short course of study as they can come to the UK as a student or child visitor (if under 18). Read more about Visitors Visas.

As from February 2013 eligible UK higher education institutions can become endorsing bodies to support Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) applications, although this subject to an annual limit (2,000 applications for 2013-2014).

Read more about High-Value Migrant Tier 1 Visas.

How can IAS help?

Sponsor licensing can be a complex process.

Here at IAS we can assist with all applications for sponsor licensing, sponsor registration, Tier 2 and Tier 5 Visas.

Our services include:

  • Assessing your eligibility as a potential migrant employer or employee
  • Helping you understand your best options
  • Assisting you with your application process for either a Sponsor Licence or Work Visa
  • Preparing a Letter of Representation which will accompany any application you make
  • Assisting you with your use of the SMS if applicable
  • Advising you on the Resident Labour Market Test if necessary
  • Providing you with written guidelines and a plan of action after any advice session
  • Liaising with the Home Office where appropriate

More information on...

UK Sponsor Licence Certificate of Sponsorship Sponsorship Licence Application Renewing a Sponsor Licence Sponsor Licence Revocation Tier 2 (General) Visas Tier 5 Visa application

Our Sponsor Licence Packages

Sponsor Licence Advice Package

Comprehensive Sponsor Licence advice tailored to your company’s requirements with written confirmation

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Sponsor Licence Application Package

Designed to make your Sponsor Licence application as successful, smooth and stress-free as possible

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Fast Track Package

Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline

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Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any hearings/tribunals

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All information on this page has been reviewed by an OISC accredited immigration adviser and was

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