UK Sponsorship Licences & Visa Sponsorship

Maximise your chances of a successful Sponsor Licence application with our Application Package

If you are a company registered in the UK and you are looking to employ someone from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), then you have come to the right place. It is likely that you will need to sponsor your prospective employees in order for them to legally enter the UK to work, even if the work they are set to carry out is unpaid (for example, charity and volunteer work), this is usually done by means of visa sponsorship. At IAS, we have a wealth of experience in assisting applications for a Sponsorship Licence and are perfectly positioned to help you through the process of becoming a sponsor.

When your Sponsorship Licence has been approved, your business will be added to the Home Office’s register of sponsors (also commonly referred to as the Tier 2 Sponsor List), which will enable you to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to your existing and prospective employees, which comes in the form of a unique reference number that is then used in the process of their visa application.

With an estimated one-in-six visa applications now being refused by the Home Office, the difference between a successful and unsuccessful application for a Sponsorship Licence could lie with us. With a high success rate of assisted applications, our immigration lawyers can draw upon years of experience to help make your application a successful one. Get in touch with one of our experts today for further information. We will assess whether the employees you are bringing in need to be sponsored and the process which you need to undertake to hire them. We also offer services that identify and resolve any issues or gaps in your company’s current sponsorship processes. Contact us now to speak with a business immigration consultant.


What are my sponsorship duties under the Points-Based System?

There are a number of things you will need to consider when looking to sponsor employees to come into the UK, as there are certain responsibilities you, as an employer, take on such as:

  • Obtaining a Sponsor Licence before employing any skilled workers on Tier 2 and Tier 5 Visas
  • Issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship to every prospective or existing Tier 2 migrant worker to enable them to apply for a new visa, or extend their current stay in the UK
  • Using the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) to keep relevant records and reports in relation to your workers, including their compliance with their immigration conditions, and reporting any breaches that may arise

Which visa tier can I employ workers under?

If you are looking to employ skilled workers from outside the EEA or Switzerland 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.

It is important to note that Tier 3 of the points-based system is currently suspended so you can no longer employ low-skilled migrant workers.

What are my sponsorship options as an educational provider?

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. 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.

What happens once I have been granted my Sponsorship Licence?

Once you have successfully applied for your licence you will be added to the Published Register of Sponsors held by the Home Office 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.

What will happen if I employ migrant workers without a Sponsorship Licence?

If you do not hold a Sponsorship Licence, or go through the process of sponsoring a UK visa, and you employ any migrant workers from outside of the EEA and Switzerland, you are in breach of immigration laws – and risk financial and judicial penalties and other negative consequences.

These include:

  • a Civil Penalty from the Home Office: this comes in the form of a large fine and direct warning from Immigration Officers;
  • the loss of employees, who may be deported if discovered by Immigration Control;
  • the loss of reputation or credibility as a business; and
  • court sanctions and possible imprisonment.

How can IAS help?

Sponsor Licensing can be a very complex process. Here at IAS, we have a team of highly-qualified and experienced immigration specialists, who are fully-equipped to assist you with all applications for sponsor licensing, sponsor registration and Tier 2 and Tier 5 Visas.

With an estimated one-in-six visa applications now being refused by the Home Office, the difference between a successful and unsuccessful application for a Sponsorship Licence could lie with us.

Our services include:

  • taking detailed instructions from you about your circumstances;
  • providing you with tailored advice on the various options open to you;
  • collating the required documentation required to support your application;
  • professionally completing all the required application forms;
  • producing a Letter of Representation to accompany your Sponsorship Licence application;
  • assisting you with the RLMT if required and identify the correct SOC code and salary;
  • ensuring all recruitment processes are followed.

Contact us to speak with one of our immigration specialists, who can assist you with your Sponsor Licence application.


Our Sponsorship Licence Packages

Sponsor Licence Advice Package

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


Sponsor Licence Application Package

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


Fast Track Package

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


Appeal Package

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


A few of

our experienced

immigration lawyers

Case studies

We are proud to have changed lives for the better. Here are some of their stories:

Joe: Student Visa

Joe, a Chinese National, was accepted into a UK university at short notice and needed help to gain entry to the country as soon as possible.
He contacted IAS and… Read More

Gaston: Switching from Tier 2 to Tier 4

Gaston had been working in the UK for two years and decided that he wanted to stay in the UK and study.
He was unclear about the process and the… Read More

Ben finds employment whilst visiting the UK

Ben is a South Korean national. While he was visiting the UK for business, he was offered a placement with a UK company.
He needed help as soon as possible… Read More

Terence: Tier 1 Visa

Terence, an Australian investor, found several investment opportunities in the UK. He was uaboutlear on his immigration options and contacted IAS. Working closely with our specialist lawyer, he was able… Read More

Moira: Tier 2 and Dependant Extension

Moira was a New Zealand National who had been working in the UK under a Tier 2 Visa and brought her husband over as a dependant.
Her Work Visa was… Read More

Mike: Visiting the UK with a Criminal Record

Mike, a South African National received the news that his brother had recently had a newborn baby boy.
Mike was eager to meet his new nephew, however his brother lived… Read More

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