Companies awarded a Sponsor Licence are able to sponsor Tier 2 employees coming to the UK from outside the EEA. There are certain sponsorship duties required of the Sponsor Licence holder to maintain their Sponsor Licence rating.

Failure to carry out your responsibilities may result in you having your Sponsor Licence suspended or revoked.

Resident Labour Market Test

The Resident Labour Market Test is the first vital component of any company with a Sponsor Licence. The job should be advertised in the country for 28 days. The search can then be expanded to outside the European Economic Area. This is to evidence that the job cannot be filled by a person currently residing in the country.

The sponsor of this position will need to present evidence that this position was open for 28 days in the UK. This will include proof of job advertisement and evidence of previous applications.

When a company with a Sponsor Licence has found a suitable candidate it is their responsibility to verify the candidate. They must check the candidate’s qualifications are genuine. This includes checking original certificates for education and relevant qualifications.

Sponsorship Management System

Within the organisation, there must be several people to carry out the day-to-day sponsorship duties. The most senior member with the ability to hire foreign staff members will be the Authorising Officer. The Authorising Officer is the primary authority for the Sponsorship Licence.

A member of staff must also do the daily running of the online Sponsorship Management System. This will start as a single person job known as a ‘Level 1’ position.

A third person will be coordinating with the UK Home Office to ensure everything is being conducted properly. This person is known as the ‘Key Contact’. Whereas the other two roles must be from the company, the Key Contact does not have to be.

During Employment

When the sponsored employee is part of the business, record keeping is a vital part of the Sponsor Holder’s duties. A record of the worker’s employment must be kept and updated regularly. It will include their contract, their Biometric Resident Permit, and any absences.

The Sponsor Holder must also report any changes to company policy, such as if the company changes hands or if the company has become insolvent.

It is vital that the Sponsor Holder reports any changes to the employee’s immigration status or job role. For example, if the Sponsor Holder is aware their employee is not complying with the requirements of their visa or if the employee gets a promotion.

Complying with the Tier 2 Sponsorship duties are key when hiring Tier 2 workers to avoid any penalties from the Home Office.

More Tier 2 Sponsor Guidance


What supporting documents do I need for my Sponsor Licence application?

Sponsoring an employee requires a large amount of evidence. This is to prove to the Home Office that you are a genuine employer and that this position needs the expertise and skill of the overseas candidate.

For the Sponsor Licence application, you will need to present documents that show an accurate picture of your company. You will need to produce a ‘Hierarchy Chart’ to outline the structure of your business. You will have to show where the new position fits on this chart.

You will need to explain to the Home Office exactly what the job role is and why you need a foreign worker to fill the vacancy. You do not need to have someone lined up for the job, but you will need to know what the right candidate will be doing.

You will also need to provide details of the qualifications/experience you would expect from the right candidate. The new position will have to be included in the Hierarchy Chart.

My Sponsor Licence application was rejected – what now?

Even if you have an idea of the candidate you want to employ from overseas, you still may lose out on gaining your Sponsor Licence.

There is no longer any right of appeal for a Sponsor Licence application rejection. You may be able to ‘correct mistakes’ if you feel that your caseworker has missed something or that your documents were misrepresented.

Some reasons why a Sponsor Licence application was rejected:

  • False documents;
  • Unspent criminal convictions;
  • Not meeting the requirements;
  • No evidence that your company trades in the UK.

If you were rejected for any of these reasons, you will be subject to a six-month ‘cooling off period’. It is best to spend this time reconsidering your application and resolving any issues.

You may have had your Sponsor Licence refused because you failed the ‘Genuineness test’. This is a test operated by the Home Office to make sure applicants are authentic about their need for foreign workers. It also assesses how necessary the role is and whether a foreign worker is needed.

What services does IAS offer?

A Sponsor Licence requires a lot of maintenance to keep at an A-grade. With our Immigration Consultancy services, we make sure your company is operating within its duties. This ensures that you can continue to employ foreign workers. We offer a range of services for every aspect of sponsoring workers legally in the UK.

We will:

  • Assess the role and individual to determine the right Sponsor Licence for you;
  • Ensure your employees meet the Tier 2 requirements and check their documents;
  • Confirm that the RLMT has been carried out or whether the role is on the Shortage Occupation List;
  • Assist with applications for a Certificate of Sponsorship;
  • Support your team in using the SMS;
  • Ensure you are prepared for the ‘Genuine Test’;
  • Complete a full document check to make sure you are submitting the correct information;
  • Perform an Immigration Audit to assess your HR methods;
  • Write a Letter of Representation. This is a legal document which references your case and any UK immigration law which supports you;
  • Complete all application forms in full.

Get in touch now on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online to discuss all your Sponsorship Licence questions with an expert immigration lawyer.

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