The UK Sponsorship Licence is a necessary application for any company looking to employ workers from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). Your company will need to hold the relevant Sponsor Licence before it can begin employing permanent or temporary foreign workers. A Sponsor Licence is also necessary for education organisations recruiting students from overseas.

The Sponsor Licence will allow your organisation to sponsor Tier 2 Skilled Workers, Tier 5 Temporary Workers and Tier 4 Students. Once you have received your Licence, your organisation/company will be added to the government’s Sponsor List and you can begin issuing Certificates of Sponsorship to potential visa applicants.

How can IAS help?

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

Our experienced immigration lawyers will help you with every aspect of your application for Tier 2 Visa sponsorship, ensuring that you meet all the Sponsor Licence requirements. We will also audit your company to ensure it is fully compliant with Home Office expectations. Call us now on 0333 363 8577 or use our online contact form to get in touch.


What are my Sponsor Licence duties?

During your time as a sponsor, you must maintain your responsibilities as outlined by the Home Office. These include:

  • Holding a Sponsor Licence before employing any non-EEA workers.
  • Ensuring that all Certificates of Sponsorship applied for have the correct job title, description and salary level assigned to them.
  • Operating the Sponsorship Management System correctly, maintaining all necessary records of sponsored employees.
  • Completing a Resident Labour Market Test for each vacancy before offering the position to an overseas worker.

What are the different types of UK visa sponsorship?

To employ skilled foreign workers long-term, you will need to hold a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. This will allow you to assign Certificates of Sponsorship for up to six years to potential employees from outside the EEA.

For skilled temporary workers, your organisation will need a Tier 5 Sponsor Licence. This has slightly different requirements based on the kind of work you intend your sponsored workers to be completing.

You will not need to sponsor any workers in the UK on a Tier 1 Visa.

The Tier 3 Visa route for unskilled workers is currently suspended, meaning you cannot employ low-skilled workers from outside the EEA.

What are my sponsorship options as an education provider?

As an education provider, you will need a Sponsor Licence before accepting non-EEA students to study at your institution on a Tier 4 Student Visa.

For courses of less than six months, students will apply as a student or child visitor and will not require sponsorship.

Read our Tier 4 sponsor guidance for more information.

How do I sponsor a visa once my licence has been granted?

Once you have received your Sponsorship Licence, your organisation’s name will be added to the Home Office’s Register of Sponsors.

You will then be able to apply for and assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to prospective employees. This is not a physical document but a reference number that the applicant will need to include in their application.

You will also need to maintain your duties as a sponsor or risk having your Sponsor Licence suspended.

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

Employing migrant workers from outside the EEA without a valid Sponsor Licence could result in serious consequences for your business or organisation.

Employing workers illegally could result in:

What services does IAS offer?

Applying for a Sponsor Licence can be a 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.

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;
  • helping you use the Sponsor Management System;
  • producing a Letter of Representation to accompany your Sponsorship Licence application;
  • assisting you with the RLMT if required and identifying the correct SOC code and salary;
  • ensuring all recruitment processes are followed.

Call 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online 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


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