How does the SponsorLicense application process work?

From 1st Jan 2021, UK employers needed to apply for a SponsorLicense in order to employanyone who was not a British or Irish citizen or a EU citizen ( not already living here).

A Sponsor License runs for 4 years and can then be renewed. During those 4 years, the employer ( the Sponsor) is eligible to employ citizens from the EU and citizens from other countries, providing any one selected meets certain points based criteria for salary, English language skills and an appropriately skilled job.

What is the eligibility requirement for a Sponsor Licence?
For a company to be eligible for a sponsor license, you will need the following...

  • Be a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK
    To be able to prove that your company is a genuine organisation that is operating lawfully in the UK, you will need to submit a number of company-related documents. The exact list of documents will vary depending on the type of business you have, whether you are registered as a charity, for example, whether you operate under some form of regulatory control and if you operate in certain sectors, such as for example, the restaurant sector, where you also have to show you are registered to serve hot food with the local council.

  • Be capable of carrying out their sponsor duties
    UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will assess whether you are an authentic, reliable company by looking at your history and by doing background checks on the key personnel named on your application. They will also examine your HR and recruitment practices to make sure you are able to fulfil your sponsor duties.

  • Be able to provide supporting documents and evidence of compliance in the set timeframe
    To make a successfulapplication, you need to complete an online licence application and provide supporting documentation. These documentsneed to be submitted within five days of the application.Failure to submit all required documents may result in your application being delayed or rejected or further costs may incur.

    After the submission of these documents, your company may then be subject to a compliance visit from UKVI.

    At a compliance visit, UKVI are looking to see that you are fully compliant with UK employment law and Sponsor holder guidance by maintaining employee files and monitoring systems that meet requirements for employees generally and more specifically for sponsored employees. Areas of particular interest will be your policy and procedure for managing the prevention of illegal working, record keeping and monitoring migrant worker activity within your business.

    Sponsorship licence applications are typically processed in 8 weeks.

What is the application fee?
£536 if you qualify as a "small sponsor" or are registered as a charity
£1476 if you qualify as a "medium or large sponsor"
You're usually a small sponsor if two of the following apply:
  • your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less
  • your total assets are worth £5.1 million or less
  • you have 50 employees or fewer

You're a charitable sponsor if you're either:
  • a registered, excepted or exempt charity
  • an ecclesiastical corporation established for charitable purposes

What happens once your sponsor license is approved?
Once your application is approved, you will be listed under the register of sponsors and you will be granted an A-rated sponsor licence.After which you can start assigning Certificated of Sponsorship to non-UK workers; who wish to work for you.

You will also be given access to the Sponsor Management System (SMS); which is an online portal where you can manage your licence and/or report events; for instance, the worker failing to show up to work.

What we can do for you:
Applying for a Sponsor License is complicated, especially making sure that you have the necessary HR systems and UKVI compliance requirements all met.

We will help you throughout the application process, guiding you on the necessary company documents, helping you with the on-line application, reviewing your existing HR and UKVI compliance position and adding enhancements to what you already have – if you have nothing, we will set up a fully compliant system for you.

Once your Sponsor License has been granted, you remain in a position of trust from the UKVI and they reserve the right to visit you, sometimes unannounced to check that your systems and controls remain fully fit for purpose. Any breaches can lead to the suspension and even the revocation of your license – which would mean any sponsored workers would have to stop working for you.

We therefore offer a quarterly or half yearly audit review process to make sure you DO stay fit for purpose. How often you see us really depends on how many sponsored workers you employ.

If your license has been suspended, please contact us immediately as we can often help you get the license re-instated.

We are here to help you

Please fill the form to schedule a consultation meeting or call our immigration experts on (+44) 121 778 2400.

Our mission is to provide our clients with unbiased, accurate and complete immigration advice, which is relevant to their needs.
We recognise that the process of applying for any kind of visa or the maintenance of a Sponsor Licence, can be a stressful time for those involved and so we always treat all our clients as valued customers who have chosen us to look after their immigration future - we will not take that responsibility lightly and we will do our best to deliver the result they are hoping for.

Request a call back from our immigration advisers