Sponsor Licence

What is a Sponsor Licence?

If your company is looking to recruit a non-EEA migrant to work in the UK, your organisation will need to apply for a Sponsor Licence to be able to employ foreign migrants. This is a complicated process as you will be required to provide Home Office designated supporting documents and demonstrate to the Home Office that you have organised and efficient HR systems in place to attain the fulfillment of your sponsorship duties. You will need to demonstrate that your company is genuinely trading and that there is a genuine vacancy for the non-EEA migrant, which cannot be filled by a settled worker in the UK.

Business Sponsor Licence

Business sponsor licences allow UK businesses to sponsor non-EEA nationals to work in the UK. If you want to sponsor someone under the points-based immigration system, you must hold a sponsor licence. Once this licence is granted to your company, it will allow a non-EEA national to make an application for their Tier 2 (General) or Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) work visa.

Type of Sponsor Licence

  • Tier 2 (General) Visa
  • Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa

Application Process

How to apply for a Sponsor Licence:

If your business wants to apply for a sponsor licence under Tier 2 and/ or Tier 5 of the points-based immigration system, it must be registered with Companies House and must be able to provide at least 4 documents as listed in Appendix A: supporting documents for sponsor licence applications as evidence that the company is operating lawfully and ethically in the UK.

There are two types of sponsor licence as follows:

Tier 2: Skilled workers with job offers

Under Tier 2, a skilled worker can apply to enter or remain in the UK if they have a job offer in the UK from a company who has a valid sponsor licence. Tier 2 is split into the following 3 main categories:

  • Tier 2 (General): for new skilled hires
  • Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer): for transferring existing overseas employees
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson): for elite sportsperson or coaches

The company shall have to identify the need for a specific job role in the UK in order to commence the process which must meet the minimum skill and salary requirements as defined by the Home Office.

If you have not advertised the job and the migrant is not currently working for you, you should confirm how you identified that this person was the most suitable for the job.

To complete a compliant Resident Labour Market Test, a sponsor must advertise in the UK on two Home Office compliant advertising mediums for 28 calendar days in most cases. If the advertisement is in 2 stages, then it is necessary to run each advert for a total of 28 calendar days. 

Osbourne Pinner can assist with all of the above subcategories of visa applications.

Tier 5:  Temporary workers

Under this category, temporary workers can apply to enter the UK only for a short term, normally for a maximum period of between 12-24 months.  Tier 5 is split into the following 5 main categories:

  • Creative and Sporting
  • Charity Workers
  • Religious Workers
  • Government Authorised Exchange
  • International Agreement

Osbourne Pinner can also assist with all of the above subcategories of visa applications.

Sponsorship Management System (SMS)

Once the sponsor licence is granted, your business will be granted access to the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) in order that it can assign Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) documents to migrant workers to be employed with your business in the UK.  The Sponsorship Management System (SMS) is used to:  

1) Create & assign Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS’s) to employees under the Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa categories.

2) Report changes of circumstances of sponsored employees including changes to employment details and the withdrawal of sponsorship.

3) You can also review & manage your organisation’s licence.

Osbourne Pinner can be appointed as Representative on the Sponsor Management System (SMS) on behalf of your business in order to manage reporting duties to ensure the fulfilment of all sponsorship duties.

Sponsorship requirements and duties:

The business as a sponsor must check that foreign workers have the necessary skills, accreditation and qualifications to do their jobs and must retain all documents on HR files in compliance with Appendix D: Keeping documents – guidance for sponsors.

The business as a sponsor must also inform the Home Office if foreign workers are not complying with their visa conditions. The Home Office can also make further enquiries and if it is found that your organisation is in breach of immigration sponsorship duties or you have employed an illegal worker then the business could be removed from the Home office’s Register of Sponsors.

Timings and licence period

The standard service for a sponsor licence application is 6 weeks.  The sponsor licence will be valid for 4 years.

Why use Osbourne Pinner for your sponsor licence application?

  • We have an exceptionally high approval rate on sponsor licence applications which we have submitted to the Home Office and over 15 years of experience in managing new and renewal sponsor licence applications for a wide range of multinational corporations (MNC’s) and small to medium sized enterprises (SME’s).
  • Many applicants face difficulties in understanding the application process and in providing the required documentation.  We provide a highly personalised service and our experienced Immigration Solicitors can ‘hand-hold’ clients through the application process providing detailed guidance and support.
  • At Osbourne Pinner, we provide unsurpassed immigration legal services in an exceptionally professional and efficient manner.

We offer first 30 minutes free consultation.  To receive more information, please call us on 0203 980 9348 or fill in the form for a call back

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