For a UK sponsor license, you'll need to provide documentation of your company's registration, the identities of key employees, proof that you need migrant workers, HR policies and procedures, and proof that you can track and monitor them. In the course of the application procedure, the Home Office may also require supplementary paperwork.
Having a legal business, demonstrating the need for migrant workers, putting in place acceptable HR and compliance procedures, and pledging to follow the sponsor duties outlined by the Home Office are all prerequisites for obtaining a sponsor license in the UK.
The duration of a UK sponsor license is four years. However if the Home Office determines that the group is not upholding its sponsorship obligations or if the organization is discovered to be engaging in any illegal activity, it may be revoked at any moment.
Sponsorship candidates for the UK must be skilled employees and satisfy the requirements outlined by the Home Office. The requirements for eligibility include receiving a legitimate work offer, being qualified for the position, and meeting the English language standards.
Application completion and case complexity are two variables that can affect how quickly a sponsor license application is processed in the UK. Nevertheless, it usually takes 8 weeks to process an order.
An organization must submit an online application form to the Home Office along with a fee in order to become a licensed sponsor in the UK. The firm must prove during the application process that it is an actual company, that it has a genuine need for migrant labor, and that it has sufficient HR and compliance processes in place.
An organization can sponsor foreign workers to come and work for them in the UK if it has a sponsor licence, which is approval from the UK government. When hiring qualified workers from outside the UK, firms must get a sponsor license from the Home Office.
- 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)
- £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(ISC), which is £364 annually for a small company for one sponsored employee, and £1000 for a larger company.
Under normal circumstances, it takes 8 weeks to get a decision.
However, if the Home Office considers it necessary to do a site visit or interview, it will take longer.
This individual can be a corporate director/manager or a trustworthy employee selected by the employer.
However, this individual must pass all background checks required by the Home Office (no criminal convictions, no bankruptcy, and no previous penalties for hiring illegal migrants)
As a UK employer applying for a Sponsor License, you must appoint an ‘Authorizing officer’ during the application stages. This individual will be in charge of the sponsor license and will perform all sponsor obligations.
According to the new Point Based System (PBS) of UK immigration, companies looking forward to hiring skilled workers from EU, EEA and non-EEA countries will require a license. UK-based small and middle enterprises will require a license to hire migrant workers from countries like Bangladesh,India and Pakistan, Nepal, Portugal, etc.
Size of the company
Contrary to the common belief, companies of any size can apply for the license. Be it large or small, the companies which are facing a dearth of skilled workers in their premises can file an application. However, they will have to fulfil the eligibility and suitability criteria mentioned by the UK immigration office. At WorkPermitCloud Limited, we have been working closely with hundreds of small and medium enterprises like Asian Restaurants, Groceries, Cash and Carry, Money Exchanges, Building Construction, Healthcare and Professional Service organisations. With our support, they have managed to hire the right skilled employee maintaining the rules and regulations mentioned by the immigration office.
Any genuine company with a clean record and solvency can apply for the license. The one which looks forward to submitting an application must not have any unspent criminal convictions for immigration offenses, as mentioned by the UK Immigration office. At the same time, anyone accused of fraud or money laundering will be disqualified immediately in case of visa application. At the same time, an applicant must not have a record of their license revoked in the last 12 months.
On top of these, the companies need a robust HR management system, which is extremely vital. The UK home office will stringently examine the application and the necessary document provided with the application. They may also visit the applicant enterprise's office to check their trustworthiness. While applying, companies must appoint an authorising officer who will be well-informed about the employee pool and must not have any criminal record.
Any company willing to sponsor a skilled migrant worker must take into notice that the job advertised has to be credible and offer a suitable rate of pay and skill level. Details of skill and according pay scale are all available here.
A Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence is a licence that gives UK employers the permission to hire migrant workers from countries or regions outside of the UK. In other words, this licence allows UK employers to hire migrant workers legally. 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).
To fulfil talent acquiring needs
If a UK employer wants to hire any non-British nationals (expect people who already had a settlement or got an Indefinite Leave to Remain), the employer needs to have a valid sponsor licence. With a sponsor licence, organizations are able to fulfil their talent recruiting needs not only by recruiting from the domestic talent pool, but also the global talent pool. They will be able to acquire talents that can best fulfil their business needs.
For example, if you are running an Indian restaurant, but you cannot find an expert Chef who can cook Indian food in the domestic UK talent market. By securing a sponsor licence, you can recruit a qualified chef from outside of the UK.
To avoid penalty
Employing a foreign worker without a valid sponsor licence might result in fines of up to £20,000 per unlawful worker, criminal charges, and reputational harm to your business. In addition, you may also be barred from hiring migrant employees forever by the UKVI.
You may need to prepare the list of documents below, among these, at least four documents have to be submitted to the home office during application.
These four documents are highlighted in bold.
- Payee and Account Reference Letter from HMRC
- Latest RTI from Accountant
- Employer Liability Insurance Certificate
- Proof of Business Premises (Tenancy Agreement) or Copy of Lease of Freehold property
- Business Bank Statement (1-3 months)
- Signed Annual Account if the Business is over 18 months
- VAT Certificate (if registered)
- Copy of Health and safety star rating (applicable for food business)
- Registered Business License or certificate
- Franchise Agreement
- Audited Annual Account (if you have)
- Regulatory body certificate if applicable to your business such as ACCA, FCA, IATA, OFCOM, ARLA
- Proof of trading presence
According to the UKVI, the sponsor 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
A sponsor also needs to have a robust HR system in place to monitor the people they are going to sponsor. Because once you become a sponsor, you need to carry sponsor duties, which requires record-keeping and reporting, a robust HR system will help you to comply with your duties in order to maintain your sponsor license. In most cases, the Ministry of the Interior will make an on-site inspection and make a judgment before or after the applicant company obtains the qualification.
- Appointing an ‘Authorizing Officer’
The employer must appoint an ‘Authorizing officer’ during the application stages. 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. However, this individual must pass all background checks required by the Home Office (no criminal convictions, no bankruptcy, and no previous penalties for hiring illegal migrants).