Sponsorship Licence Application

Our lawyers can help you secure your Sponsor Licence with our Sponsor Licence Application Package

Call 0333 363 8577 for a free consultation

A Sponsorship Licence application is a necessary part of the process of employing certain foreign workers. If you intend to hire anyone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) you must apply for a Sponsor Licence, including if you are a small business or charity.

Before you can make a Tier 5 or Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application, you must decide which company member(s) will be representing the company. Any members who represent you must be an executive/senior member of the company and not a shareholder. As part of the application process, you will be required to prove that you are a legitimate business which needs the use of migrant talent. This is called the ‘genuine business test’. Once this has been arranged, you can apply for a Sponsorship Licence. You can make this application online or by post – the whole process usually takes around three months in full. Once you have applied, UKVI will review your application and supporting evidence. As part of this review, they may choose to visit your business site and meet all personnel who intend to be involved in the overseas recruitment process.

How can IAS help?

The Sponsor Licence application process can be complex, and many employers are unsure of where to begin, particularly when it comes to assigning representative roles. As part of our service, you will be assigned a lawyer who specialises in corporate immigration law and who can closely guide you through each stage of your Sponsor Licence application process. Your lawyer will work with all company representatives, meeting with you in person, or through conference call or Skype, depending on what suits you. They will prepare you for the ‘genuine business test’ by organising your documents into a comprehensive application portfolio and writing a Letter of Representation on your behalf. Call us on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry to arrange your first consultation.

FAQs

What is the Sponsor Licence application fee?

The Home Office Sponsor Licence application fees are as follows:

For small businesses & charities:

  • Tier 2 – £536
  • Tier 5 – £536
  • Tier 2 & Tier 5 – £536
  • Adding Tier 2 to an existing Tier 5 – free
  • Adding Tier 5 to an existing Tier 2 – free

For medium & large businesses

  • Tier 2 – £1476
  • Tier 5 – £536
  • Tier 2 & Tier 5 – £1476
  • Adding Tier 2 to an existing Tier 5 £940
  • Adding Tier 5 to an existing Tier 2 – free

To qualify as a small business, you must:

  • Have an annual turnover of £10.2 million maximum
  • Employ 50 employees maximum

What is a Sponsor Licence number?

A Sponsor Licence number is a unique reference number or code which is issued to Sponsor Licence holders.

If you are a Tier 5 or Tier 2 employee, you can find your employer’s Sponsor Licence number on your Certificate of Sponsorship.

Do I need a Sponsor Licence?

You need a Sponsor Licence before you can make a job offer to anyone from outside of the EEA.

To be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

  • You can prove you are a legitimate business
  • You can ensure your sponsored employee(s) passes a personality test
  • You can prove a skilled worker from outside the EEA or Switzerland is needed for the position
  • You do not have any unspent criminal convictions
  • You do not have a history of failing to carry out sponsorship duties
  • You can pay the appropriate rate of pay for the job(s) you are conducting.

You will need to prove that you have a legitimate business or organisation and that you have a genuine need for the migrant worker(s) you intend to employ. The Home Office may validate this by visiting your company during your application.

When do I need to apply for a Sponsor Licence?

You will need a Sponsor Licence if you want to employ anyone from outside of EEA or Switzerland who is working in the UK using:

Depending on which type of worker you wish to employ, you need to make a Sponsor Licence application which is relevant to them.

The Tier 2 Work Visa is also the required route for ministers of religion and elite sportspeople.

If you are intending on transferring an employee from a foreign office to the UK, you will also need a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.

You do not need to apply for a Sponsorship Licence if you are intending to employ someone on a Tier 1 Visa, for example, an Exceptional Talent Visa.

Please note that Tier 3 Unskilled Worker Visas have been suspended. This means that you cannot apply for a Sponsor Licence for non-EEA nationals taking on unskilled roles.

What happens if my Sponsorship Licence application is successful?

If your application is successful, you will be awarded a licence rating by the Home Office and placed on the UK Sponsorship Licence register.

After this, you will be able to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to any non-EEA or Swiss nationals if you have jobs that are suitable for sponsorship.

Upon the date of issue, your licence will be valid for four years. If you do not adhere to your duties as a sponsor, you could face Sponsor Licence suspensionSponsor Licence revocation, or the possibility of receiving a Civil Penalty from the Home Office.

Why was my Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application refused?

There are number of reasons why the Home Office refuse Sponsor Licence applications and Sponsor Licence renewals each year. The most common reasons include:

  • the business’ failure to pass the Home Office’s Compliance Audit;
  • the business’ failure to retain sufficient documentation on sponsored migrant workers;
  • the business has not informed the Home Office of significant changes to their migrant workforce;
  • the business has not responded to the Home Office’s enquiries on time;
  • the business does not pass its ‘genuineness test’; or
  • the business does not comply with the Home Office’s security standards.

What Sponsorship Licence services does IAS offer?

IAS have some of the best immigration lawyers in the UK who are happy to assist you through the process of making a Sponsor Licence application. We will:

  • ensure that your business is eligible to obtain a Sponsor Licence;
  • ensure that you have all the required up-to-date employee records and HR documents;
  • ensure that all time-frames are met;
  • advise you on the Resident Labour Market Test;
  • correspond with the Home Office on your behalf;
  • prepare you for a visit with Home Office officials;
  • make sure your business is compliant with all Home Office standards; and
  • complete your application to the highest standard before submitting.

At IAS, we offer a tailor-made Sponsor Licence Application Package which encompasses these services. We also offer general Immigration Consultancy services, which are designed to assess and improve a UK company’s HR methods. With this, we provide an Immigration Audit, which allows our advisers to locate and resolve any issues or gaps in your records of sponsored employees. Contact us now by using our online form or calling 0333 363 8577 for more information.

Our Sponsor Licence Packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals

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Application Package

Designed to make your visa 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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