Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Applications


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    What is Sponsor License?

    If you are a business that is looking to hire a worker from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) you must apply for a Sponsor Licence. This equally applies to small businesses and charities.

    This is a complex process and you will be required to provide specified evidence as designated by the Home Office. You must demonstrate to the Home Office that you have an organised and efficient HR systems in place to attain the fulfilment of your sponsorship duties once you have acquired the sponsor licence.

    There are certain employer Sponsor Licence requirements you must meet before you can make an application. 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. 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 Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence. In most cases, 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.

    All sponsors have to be fully aware of their immigration duties and have processes and systems in place to both meet these requirements and to maintain records as evidence of their compliance.

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    Empower the Economy

    Business Sponsor License

    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.

    The importance of holding a Sponsor Licence is again reiterated under the Government announcement for post-Brexit new immigration system which will enable skilled workers to come to the UK to help grow UK economy and contribute to public services. This will be a global system which prioritises those who can add the most to the UK economy and society, wherever they are from. While the details are yet to be confirmed, we know at present that confirmed job offers will confer extra points for the applicant (migrant) and employer sponsorship by an approved (licensed) employer will remain a key requirement for the vast majority of migrants.


    Types of sponsor licence

    There are different types of sponsor licence available, so it’s important that prior to preparing your application, you identify the right licence for you and your prospective worker.

    Tier 2 (sponsor licence) visa

    The Tier 2 sponsor licence is the most common visa that’s sought for by businesses. It enables companies to hire a skilled worker from outside the EEA for an extended period of time. This licence provides businesses with a range of options, including:

    General – suitable for a role on the shortage occupation list, or when the talent isn’t available in the UK job market

    Intra-company transfer – ideal for businesses who operate in different countries and need to relocate an employee on a long-term basis. It can also be suitable for graduate training programmes.

    Sportsperson – for sportspeople or coaches who are taking roles at the highest level in their chosen sport.

    Minister of Religion – available for those who are travelling to the UK for a long-term position in a religious organisation.
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    Tier 4 (sponsor licence) visa

    The Tier 4 sponsor licence is suitable only for education organisations who are enrolling students from outside of the EEA. In order to be granted the visa, an establishment must offer courses for full-time students and continue to monitor the student, ensuring they attend their classes and contacting the authorities should a student leave their course prematurely.

    Tier 5 (sponsor licence) visa

    Tier 5 sponsor licences are suitable for temporary workers who are only looking to work in the UK for a short period of time, usually for a maximum of 12-24 months. This can include charity and religious workers, creatives and sportspeople, exchanges authorised by the government and international agreements.

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    is the resident labour market test?

    The resident labour market test, or RLMT, requires you to advertise the job on offer if it’s not already on the shortage occupation list. This ensures there are no suitable workers already in the UK permanently, essentially proving that you need to hire from another country.

    RLMT is required for Tier 2 General, Tier 2 Minister of Religion, Tier 5 Creative and Sporting and Tier 5 Religious Workers. There are several rules in place to stay compliant, including placing at least two adverts. Again, this is an area where specialist lawyers can add a lot of value, making sure everything is done properly without delays.

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    Professional Legal


    If your business is looking to obtain a sponsor licence, Osbourne Pinner is available to provide sponsor guidance for Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 visas. With over 18 years of first-hand experience in securing sponsorship licences and managing compliance, our team of solicitors are here to help you sail through every step in hiring and retaining your ideal candidate.

    Whether you’d prefer to call us, meet us in person or arrange a video call, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a free, no-obligation initial chat. Our seasoned and dedicated London-based immigration solicitors are here to help.

    Contact us on 0203 980 9348 or info@osbournepinner.com today to discuss your application with one of our solicitors.


    Our Sponsor Licence Success Stories

    Our teams of Corporate Immigration experts work across a range of businesses both in the EU and Internationally, as well as specialist businesses with highly specific requirements. Take a look at some of the clients we work with below.

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