A Skilled Worker (Tier 2) Sponsor Licence is a licence that gives UK employers permission to hire migrant workers from countries or regions outside of the UK. A valid sponsor licence is required for a UK organisation that is employing non-UK resident employees, including EU nationals entering the UK from 1st January 2021. UK firms must get the appropriate sponsorship licence from UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI).
WorkPermitCloud has recently received a lot of inquiries about Sponsor License applications, and we have accumulated rich experience in successful applications. Here we highlight some common questions regarding the Sponsor License application: what criteria a company needs to meet, what documents need to have, how much does it cost, when to get a decision, and the submission method.
Sponsor Licence Eligibility criteria
- Proof of trading presence
You must provide evidence that it is a legitimate employer with a legal trade presence in the UK. It is generally understood that there are real business activities, which can generally be reflected in the company's existing British local labour documents and financial and tax documents.
- A robust HR system
In most cases, the Home Office will conduct a visit to your address before they give a decision on your Sponsor Licence application. You need to have a robust HR system in place to prove that you’re able to carry out sponsor duties and monitor the employees you’re going to sponsor. WorkPermitCloud Limited provide a robust HR system that specialises in organisations to comply with sponsor duties. For more details please visit here.
- Appointing an ‘Authorizing Officer’
It is a requirement during the Sponsor Licence application stage, that you must appoint an Authorising officer (AO). This individual will be in charge of the sponsor license and will perform all sponsor obligations. This individual might be a corporate director/manager or a trustworthy employee selected by the employer. For more details about AO please visit our previous blog here.
What are the requirements for a sponsor licence application?
Aside from following the sponsor licence guidance and filling the sponsorship licence application form, you’ll also need to submit at least four supporting documents. It’s encouraged that the employer coordinates with the desired CoS recipient to acquire the necessary documents for a smooth process.
Documents required for a Sponsor Licence application
Companies need to submit supply documents as part of their application. You will need minimum 4 documents from the below list
- Payee and Account Reference Letter from HMRC (PAYE reference number is mandatory)
- SIGNED Annual Accounts (it's mandatory if the business is over 18 months old)
- Minimum 1-month business bank statement, the bank needs to be registered and regulated by the FCA and PRA, Revolut bank is not acceptable.
- Employer liability insurance certificate (minimum employee cover £5 million)
- Copy of Lease OR freehold OR Tenancy agreement
- Copy of regulatory body certificate if applicable to your business, i.e. Health & Safety star rating (for food business), ACCA, FCA, IATA, OFCOM, ARLA
- VAT Certificate (if registered)
Sponsor Licence Cost
You need to pay different amounts of application fees according to the size of the applicant company: £536 for a small company/charity (less than 50 employees), and £1,476 for a medium or large company (more than 50 employees).
In addition, there is also a £199 fee charged for a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) for each employee you want to sponsor. Moreover, to recruit workers from overseas, there is an immigration skills charge, which is £364 annually for a small company for one sponsored employee, and £1000 for a larger company.
Sponsor Licence Apply
First, you need to complete an online application form from the UK government website.
After you submit your online application, you need to provide supporting documents to meet the application requirements. The supporting documents must be submitted by post or email within five working days after submitting the online application.
Your application form and supporting documents will be reviewed by UKVI. They may pay a visit to your place of business to ensure that you are a genuine business and capable of carrying out your responsibilities.
When to get a decision
Under normal circumstances, it takes 8 weeks to get a decision. If the Home Office considers it necessary to do a site visit or interview, it will take longer.
How we can help
At WorkPermitCloud Limited, we have a dedicated team to assist you in your sponsorship application process. We also offer professional immigration advice regulated by Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Our Founder and Managing Director Md Lutfur Rahman (FCILEx) has more than 20 years of experience in sponsorship licences management and business immigration services.
- Evaluate your organisation's sponsorship needs
- Determine the appropriate type of sponsorship licence for you
- Recommend mandatory and supporting documents based on the nature of your organisation
- Review Authorising officer, level 1 user and Key contact person's fitness for the role
- Assist in responding to Home Office questions with precise answers developed through in-depth situation analysis
- Provide guidance on sponsorship-related fees
- Help your organisation to avail fast track service from Home Office
- Provide expert support for first-time sponsorship license applications or deal with renewal, suspensions and revocations
Start your Sponsor Licence application today
Getting the necessary documents for your employee can prevent any legal trouble regarding your employee’s work status in the country. Start sorting your employee’s work status in the United Kingdom by getting a sponsorship licence application form.