Leading Immigration Lawyers With Over 9000 Applications Approved
Call +44 (0)333 414 9244 | Mon - Sun, 8.30am -6pm

Sponsor licence to Hire Construction Workers

Businesses need a sponsor licence to hire foreign overseas builders and construction staffers on Skilled Worker and other work visas in the UK.

For more information about a sponsor licence to hire construction workers, including what you need to do to be eligible for it, how to apply, and expert advice for your application, reach out to us today on 0333 305 9375 or contact us online.


Overview of Sponsor licence to Hire Construction Workers

If you wish to hire foreign construction workers for your business, you will first need to obtain a sponsor licence from the Home Office. This will begin the process of obtaining a UK visa for construction workers.

Sponsor licences are valid for 4 years at a time and can be renewed indefinitely, as long as you continue to meet the standards and requirements set out by the Home Office.

These requirements include things such as ensuring that foreign workers have a legal right to work in the UK, and that the construction roles you are offering are genuine and meet minimum salary requirements.

What Types of Sponsor Licence Exist?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of sponsor licence for employees. One is dedicated to long-term employment, normally leading to permanent settlement in the UK, and the other is for certain types temporary employment.

Long-term employment sponsor licences, or a ‘worker licence’ is required for the following routes:

  • Skilled Worker visa
  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa
  • Minister of Religion
  • International Sportsperson

A short-term, or ‘temporary worker’ sponsor licence is required for the following routes:

  • Scale-up Worker
  • Creative Worker
  • Charity Worker
  • Religious Worker
  • Government Authorised Exchange
  • Graduate Trainee (Global Business Mobility)
  • Service Supplier (Global Business Mobility)
  • UK Expansion Worker (Global Business Mobility)
  • Secondment Worker (Global Business Mobility)
  • Seasonal Worker

Eligibility Criteria for Sponsor licence to Hire Construction Workers

There are some criteria that businesses have to fulfil when applying for a sponsor licence to hire construction workers. For instance, you must:

  • Be legally and officially trading and operating in the UK at the time of application.
  • Meet the Home Office’s requirements for HR procedures and systems.
  • Ensure that your business is of good standing (e.g. ensuring that your tax and financial circumstances are all accounted for and ensure that key staff do not have any unspent criminal convictions, etc).
  • Ensure that you have the staff to fill key roles in managing the SMS (sponsor management system).
  • Offer roles at NQF Level 3 or above.
  • Ensure that your business complies (and has complied) with all necessary immigration laws.

Genuineness Test


The genuineness test should be assumed as a business circumstance. The Home Office usually wants to see the justifications why you need a sponsor licence and a foreign citizen for the vacancy.

If you can deliver convincing business occasions explaining your reasons and needs for foreign workers, the application will meet the genuineness test.

The genuineness test can be applied to at any time. This only includes during the validity of your sponsor licence. When your company makes an application for a sponsor licence, the same criteria apply. Also, during a licence obedience visit. And, when you apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship, the same criteria apply in all cases.

The genuineness test scrutinises the roles or positions you are obtaining a construction visa for. Also, whether these roles fit within your organisation as a whole.

Meeting Requirements for Migrant Worker Vacancies

The position you offer to foreign workers must be genuine. In order to comply with this requirement, you must ensure that:

  • The role has an appropriate standard occupation code
  • The role is a reasonable and logical fit for the type of business that you’re operating
  • If a potential candidate has already been identified, then the role being offered to them is suitable and appropriate for their expected salary, skills and experience

You may have to provide additional proof to the Home Office showing that a job role is genuine if they have any doubts that this is not the case for your construction skilled worker.

Contact us and apply for your Sponsor Licence today.

Main Legal Aspects for the Sponsor licence to Hire Construction Workers

You may have to undergo additional checks from the Home Office in certain situations. For instance:

  • If the Home Office suspects that a role is not genuine, additional proof may have to be provided.
  • The applicant for the role may be asked to attend an interview with the Home Office where their skills, experience and knowledge of the role are assessed.
  • The applicant’s travel history may also be scrutinised in order to ascertain the ‘genuineness’ of the tole.

Minimum Salary for Hiring Construction Workers on a Sponsor licence

To be eligible for a sponsor licence, you must ensure that the roles you’re offering meet the minimum salary requirements as set out by the Home Office.

For example, the minimum salary requirements for the Skilled Worker visa is generally at least £25,600 per annum or £10.75 per hour, or the going rate for a specific job role, whichever is higher.

a group of construction workers working in a construction site

Points requirement for Skilled Worker Visa

The points that a Skilled Worker visa applicant needs to successfully apply are set out below.

Job offer by approved sponsorMandatory20
Job at appropriate skill levelMandatory20
Speaks English at required levelMandatory10
Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)Tradeable10
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)Tradeable10
Salary of £26,200 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)Tradeable20
Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory CommitteeTradeable20
Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the jobTradeable10
a group of construction workers in a construction site

Application Requirements for Sponsored Worker Visa

The first thing to remember is that the position you’re recruiting for must be a genuine vacancy. The UK government will not issue a visa for an overseas worker to come and fill a role that could be filled by someone already resident in the country.

Fortunately, proving a genuine vacancy isn’t as hard as it might sound. If you’re not sure whether your job qualifies, an IAS agent can help you determine this. We’ve extensive experience with UK visa requirements and can help you put together a strong application.

With these in mind, other requirements are:

  • The Candidate Must Qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa
  • Under the UK’s immigration points system, candidates must score a minimum of 70 points to qualify for this visa. For skilled workers, this means:
  • Having a job offer from a licenced employer in the UK, including a certificate of sponsorship (more on this below)
  • The role must meet the appropriate skill level (typically RQF3 or A-level)
  • A salary of at least £25,600 per year (or the going rate for the role if this is lower)
  • They must speak English to an acceptable level
  • Candidate Must Be Healthy, Safe, and Self-Sustaining
  • Candidates must pass a physical examination conducted by a physician inside the UK. They must also prove that they can support themselves financially throughout their stay.

Additionally, the UK government will heavily scrutinize your candidate’s criminal history. Any applicants with a criminal record or who have been convicted of an offense related to child abuse, terrorism, or human trafficking will not be granted a visa. However, certain offenses may be excused if they took place a long time ago and the applicant has since led a law-abiding life.

Let us help you to apply for your UK Sponsor Licence.

How to Recruit Overseas Workers for Your Construction Job


If you’re ready to begin recruiting overseas workers for your construction site, here’s everything you need to know to get started.

Obtain a Sponsorship Licence

To sponsor a worker from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), you’ll need to obtain a Sponsorship Licence from the UK government.

The Sponsor Licence is an electronic record that confirms an employer’s offer of employment to a foreign worker. It’s used by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) service to decide whether to grant a visa to the sponsored worker.

To obtain a Sponsor Licence, you must first register as a sponsor with the UKVI. To apply for sponsorship, you’ll need to provide evidence that you’re a legitimate UK business, such as your company registration number, Articles of Association, and/or a letter from your accountant. You’ll also need to pass a criminal record check.

Pay the Immigration Skills Charge for Your Candidate

The Immigration Skills Charge is a levy that UK employers need to pay for each non-UK worker they sponsor. The charge for the first year of employment is currently £1,000 per year (or £364 for small businesses and charities). It’s also worth noting that some workers are exempt from paying the Immigration Skills Charge—however, most construction jobs won’t be eligible for exemption.

Wait Patiently for Approval

After you’ve paid the ISC in full for a candidate, all you can do is wait for approval from the UKVI. The entire process—from registering as a sponsor to receiving confirmation of sponsorship—can take between three and eight weeks or more.

During this time, it’s important to keep in mind that the UKVI may ask for additional information or evidence at any point. They may also choose to conduct an unannounced visit to your business premises. If everything goes smoothly, you should receive confirmation of sponsorship for your candidate within a few weeks. At this point, they can begin applying for their visa if they haven’t already.

Contact us to get your Sponsor Licence today.

The Sponsor Licence Priority Service

The option to speed up the processing time for a Sponsor Licence comes at a fee of an extra £500 on top of the application fee.

Normal applications can take up to 8 weeks to process. However, with the priority service, you can expect a decision within 10 working days.

How Can IAS Help?

Applying for a sponsor licence to hire construction workers can be a reasonably daunting procedure especially when it comes to subjecting your business to a genuineness test. There are a handful of documentation submissions to be done which may prove time-consuming as you progress.

If you require any assistance with your sponsor licence to hire construction workers, such as if you’re unsure or uncertain about the application method and what you need to do in order to be authorised, IAS can help.

We are a formidable team of professional and knowledgeable immigration lawyers who have years’ worth of experience working in UK immigration law. We have helped countless people overcome hurdles to come and settle in the UK, and we can help you to do the same, too.

Whether you need expert advice on how to prove your financial status or your health insurance meets the requirements, need to know the difference between the UK builder visa and a UK construction worker visa, or you need help determining how to prove suitability to apply after being away from the UK for some time, we can be of help. We can also provide assistance with assembling your supporting documents, or offer support if your UK licence application has been rejected, we can be there for you to help guide you through the process.

For more information about sponsor licence to hire construction workers, including what you need to do to be eligible for it, how to apply, and expert advice for your application, reach out to us today on 0333 305 9375 or contact us online.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents will appear here.

Frequently Asked Questions

The current application fee for sponsor licence is £536 for small sponsors or charities and £1,476 for other sponsors. There is an extra £500 fee if you decide to use the expedited processing.

It takes eight weeks or less to get approved for a sponsor licence. However, in the event that further scrutiny is required, the process can extend by 28 days.

Some of the reasons why your licence application may be rejected by the Home Office are:

  • Submission of incorrect documents
  • Failure to show need for a Sponsor Licence
  • Failure in the genuineness test
  • Poor HR practices

Related Posts

Architectural building with Canadian flag on top
17 May 2024

Open Work Permit Canada for Nigerians

Canada has a growing economy that allows immigrants to explore different career Opportunities. Nigerian citizens who wish to work in Canada can be granted an open work permit provided the employee and employer meet the eligibility requirements.
For further information on how to apply for an open work permit, contact The Immigration Advice Service (IAS) at +23413438882 and +44 (0) 3316300929. Our immigration lawyers are ever ready to help you with the application process.

Read Article
Silver, antique Canadian coin
17 May 2024

Canada Visa Requirements for Nigeria

If you are a Nigerian looking to go to Canada, you must apply for a Canadian Visa to work, visit or study there.

Read Article
Two friends standing together on street in America
17 May 2024

Easiest Way to Get American Visa from Nigeria

If you’re a Nigerian waiting to visit the US, you’ve probably heard about an easy way to get an American visa. However, there’s no easy visa; you must meet the necessary requirements.
For more information about applying for an American Visa from Nigeria, including support and advice about the process, or any other queries you might have, then call our immigration experts today at +23413438882 and +44 (0) 3316300929 or contact us online.

Read Article
Nigeria welcome sign on white arch
17 May 2024

Entry to the UK from Nigeria

To live and work in the UK, you will need a visa. This guide will give you all the information you need about the type of visa you should apply for and other criteria you need to consider when making an application for entry to the UK from Nigeria.

Read Article
Nigerian man wearing purple coloured shirt
17 May 2024

How Much Is Priority UK Visa in Nigeria?

If you are applying for a UK visa to either stay short-term or settle there, you can apply to fast-track your visa application from Nigeria if you need to obtain a visa at short notice.
Immigration Advice Service (IAS) are available to advise you on the different fees and processing times depending on your visa and what level of priority you require. Call us today on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929 or you can contact us online.

Read Article
Student stepping outside, through glass door
17 May 2024

Study Gap for UK Student Visa from Nigeria

You may want to take a break from your studies before applying to study in the UK; but do study gaps impact your UK Study visa and do UK universities offer courses for international students?
Immigration Advice Service (IAS) can help you apply for a Study visa in the UK and provide advice on your study gap. Call us on +44 (0) 3316300929 and +23413438882, or message us online.

Read Article

Get in touch with our team

Learn about our professional services and find out how we can help.

Contact Us