This sponsor licence guidance 2023 explains how to apply for a sponsor licence and the requirements if you want to sponsor foreign skilled workers.
Speak to our sponsorship licence lawyer on 0161 989 9370, if you want to apply for, and hold, a licence to employ an overseas skilled worker to work for you.
- Sponsor licence application
- What is a skilled worker sponsor licence?
- Requirements for a sponsor licence
- Documents required for sponsor licence applications
- What are the duties of a skilled worker licenced sponsor?
- Sponsorship licence processing time
- Sponsor licence application priority service
- Sponsor licence fees
- Sponsor licence lawyers
- Lawyer fees for sponsor licence application
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
What is a skilled worker sponsor licence?
A Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence is a type of license that allows a UK-based employer to sponsor non-UK workers to come and work in the UK. This license is required under the new UK immigration system introduced in December 2020, which replaced the previous Tier 2 visa system.
Under the Skilled Worker route, employers must hold a Sponsor Licence and be approved by the Home Office. Once the employer has been granted a Sponsor Licence, they can then sponsor non-UK workers to come and work in the UK under the Skilled Worker visa.
To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, the worker must have a job offer from a UK-based employer that holds a valid Sponsor Licence. The job offer must meet certain criteria, including a minimum skill level, minimum salary requirement, and English language proficiency.
Overall, the Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence is an important requirement for UK-based employers who wish to employ non-UK workers under the new UK immigration system.
Requirements for a sponsor licence
To be eligible to apply for a sponsor licence, you must meet the following requirements.
- You must have a genuine vacancy
- You need an appropriate HR system to monitor employees
- You need appropriate people to manage sponsorship in your business
- You must meet job suitability requirements
Read the guidance for the full list of eligibility requirements for sponsorship licence applications.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
Documents required for sponsor licence applications
The applicants will need to provide several documents in the support of their sponsor licence application as per Sponsor guidance appendix A.
You must provide the following documents when you apply for a sponsor licence:
- Provide Job information including job title, occupation code, duties, salary etc.
- Organisational hierarchy chart detailing any owner, director and board member.
- Certificate of employer’s liability insurance cover
- Evidence of registration with HMRC as an employer
- HMRC VAT registration certificate
- Latest business bank statement
- Proof of ownership or lease of your business premises.
Read the guidance for the full list of documents you'll need to provide in the support of your UK sponsor licence application.
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
What are the duties of a skilled worker licenced sponsor?
As a Skilled Worker licensed sponsor you must comply with certain duties, including, but not restricted to, a duty to inform the Home Office, UKVI if the Skilled Worker Migrant does not turn up for work, or if he is absent without permission for a significant period.
You must also keep proper records of the migrants you sponsor, including contact details and a copy of their biometric residence permit (BRP), and supply any documentation to the Home Office, UKVI on request.
The Home Office, UKVI will monitor your behaviour and compliance with your duties once you have been granted a Skilled Worker sponsor licence.
Sponsorship licence processing time
Currently, Home Office is taking 8 weeks or less to process a sponsorship licence application. However, it may take longer depending on the complexity of the matter. UKVI may need to visit your business.
You may be able to use priority service to get a faster decision from Home Office on your sponsor licence application.
Sponsor licence application priority service
You may be able to use the 'priority service' when you apply for a sponsor licence to get a faster decision within 10 working days. You'll need to pay £500 in addition to the sponsorship licence application fee.
This service is limited to a small number of applications every working day. Faster decisions are allocated in the order that requests arrive (first come, first served)
You'll be told how to ask for a faster decision after you apply.
Sponsor licence fees
UKVI sponsor licence application fee is between £536 - £1,476 depending on the type of licence you are applying for and the size of your organisation/company.
You need to pay a fee when you apply for a sponsor licence.
|Type of licence||Fee for small or charitable sponsors||Fee for medium or large sponsors|
|Worker and Temporary Worker||£536||£ 1,476|
|Add a Worker licence to an existing Temporary Worker licence||No fee||£940|
|Add a Temporary Worker licence to an existing Worker licence||No fee||No fee|
Sponsor licence lawyers
If you need legal advice or help with your sponsorship licence application, Get in touch with our sponsor licence lawyer and get the legal assistance you need.
Sponsor licence lawyer at Rex Law Chambers will:
- advise you about eligibility criteria and the requirement
- help you with the selection of the correct type of sponsor licence
- advise you about who the key personnel should be
- advise you about how to remain compliant and the employer's duties
- advise you whether the position you wish to hire for is suitable for sponsorship and if so, under which category
- check your HR system in place to ensure that you meet the Home Office requirements and expectations
- provide you with a comprehensive checklist of supporting documents
- check all the supporting documents
- fill in and submit your sponsor licence application online
- prepare a letter of representation to support your application
- upload all the supporting documents online in their correct format and order
- deal and respond to any enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office
- do all the follow-up work on your sponsor licence application until a decision is received from the UKVI
- provide legal assistance with the Home Office visit in relation to your sponsor licence application
Lawyer fees for sponsor licence application
Our expert UK immigration lawyer will guide you through every step of the sponsor licence application process including advice about legal requirements and eligibility criteria.
Sponsor licence lawyer at Rex Law Chambers charge a fixed fee between £1200-£1500 for the complete legal services in relation to your sponsor licence application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
You must apply online to get a sponsor licence for your company if you meet the eligibility requirements and you need to submit all the supporting documents online along with your sponsor licence application as mentioned in Appendix A.
The "Worker" and "Temporary Worker" are two types of sponsorship licences. It depends on whether an employer is going to hire a worker for long-term employment or temporary employment to fill their jobs.
You should get a decision on the employer sponsor licence application within 8 weeks. However, you may be able to use the pre-licence priority service to fast-track your UK sponsorship licence application.
This pre-licence priority service application does not guarantee your request will be approved.
UKVI sponsor licence application fee is £536 and you need to pay the licence fee when you apply online. The sponsor licence fees depend on the type of licence and size of the organisation.
The sponsor licence fee for medium or large sponsors is £1,476 if they want to hire a worker for long-term employment.