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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Job suitability

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. 

  1. Payee and Account Reference Letter from HMRC
  2. Latest RTI from Accountant
  3. Employer Liability Insurance Certificate
  4. Proof of Business Premises (Tenancy Agreement) or Copy of Lease of Freehold property
  5. Business Bank Statement (1-3 months)
  6. Signed Annual Account if the Business is over 18 months
  7. VAT Certificate (if registered)
  8. Copy of Health and safety star rating (applicable for food business)
  9. Registered Business License or certificate
  10. Franchise Agreement
  11. Audited Annual Account (if you have)
  12. Regulatory body certificate if applicable to your business such as ACCA, FCA, IATA, OFCOM, ARLA

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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).

It cost £750 + VAT. We'll help you with:

  • Collect existing HR file
  • Review HR file
  • Right to Work Checks
  • Review Employment Contract
  • Sponsorship compliance
  • Review existing HR policies, tools, templates, and communication plan
  • Recommend corrective actions
  • One time support to use our WpcHr system
  • Provide round the year HR support subject to improve business performance, subject to subscription

Our HR File preparation service include:

  • Assess Organisation's HR and recruitment systems to comply with sponsorship duties.
  • Recommend corrective actions and support with web and Apps based HR tools, templates and methodologies.
  • Conduct Right to Work Checks, Review and/or update Employment Contract.
  • Support organisation to adopt best practise related HR policies i.e. Recruitment, Equality and diversity and Inclusion, Home Working, Flexible Working, discipline and grievance procedures, Working hours, Pay and Wages, Pension, Leave, Holiday, Sick pay policy.
  • Create awareness among employers and employees to record and report Change of Circumstances.
  • Help employees with one time support to use workpermitcloud HR system.
  • Implement a robust HR system so that sponsoring organisation can fulfil their sponsorship duties with proper monitoring tools.
  • If you want to know more about our HR File preparation service, please leave your enquiry here

WorkPermitCloud is an innovative Legal-tech firm, leveraging our experience and expertise in UK Immigration, along with our innovative thinking, we provide a strong adherence HR management software – WpcHr.

WpcHr is specifically designed for sponsor licence holders, we cover the functions that most mainstream HR software do not cover. With our Cloud-based HR software, employers can manage their employees' database and monitor and create all kinds of reports related to settled or non-settled workers. For example, right-to-work checks, record changes of circumstances, proof of ID, next of kin details, duty roster, holiday, sick leave, absence, role management and alert management. Strong adherence to these HR processes helps organisations to follow Home Office guidance of
sponsorship compliance. All these functionalities can be accessed by end-users through a web browser or mobile phone. Our specialist team supports employers to harness the full benefits of the specialised software and its functionalities. Our HR system is designed to follow Home Office guidelines and its aim is to achieve Sponsor Licence compliance.

Yes, you do. Every year the Home Office conducts spot-check raids on companies that hold Sponsor Licences. The Home Office has the right to conduct a post-licence compliance audit at your company. If the Home Office finds evidence you are not performing the sponsor duties, your sponsor licence might be downgraded to the B level. In more serious cases, your sponsor licences could be suspended or even revoked, meaning the visas of their sponsored workers would be cut. Therefore, it is important to use a HR system at all times to maintain your sponsor licence.

The reason why Home Office asks for a robust HR system is that they want to know if you’re able to manage the HR files properly and if you’re able to carry out the sponsorship duties once you are awarded a Sponsor Licence. Most common sponsorship duties are as under:
1. Monitoring immigration status
2. Maintaining migrant contact details
3. Record keeping and recruitment practices
4. Migrant tracking and monitoring

As a UK employer, if you're sponsoring migrant workers from overseas, it is a requirement from the Home Office that you must have a robust HR system in place to monitor your employees. As a licensed sponsor, you need to carry out sponsor duties, which require record-keeping and reporting. A robust HR system will help you to comply with your duties in order to maintain your sponsor licence. Failing to comply with your sponsor duties may result in your sponsorship licence being suspended, revoked or withdrawn.

  • must be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional
  • work in eligible health or social care job, the eligible occupation code for this visa can be found here
  • need to have a job offer from the NHS, or an organisation providing medical services to the NHS, or an organisation providing adult social care
  • have a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
  • be paid a minimum annual salary of £20,480
  • meet the English requirement, at least level B1 on the CEFR scale, more information about English requirements can be found here.

According to UKVI, a Health and Care Worker Visa allows medical professionals to enter or stay in the UK to work with the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.

Yes. After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’). This gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like and apply for benefits if you’re eligible. You can apply for citizenship after completion of 1-year settlement status in UK.

  • certificate of sponsorship reference number (COS);
  • proof of your knowledge of English; a valid passport;
  • relevant job experience and qualification certificate with a CV;
  • tuberculosis (TB) test results;
  • proof of your relationship with your spouse, children or partner (if family want to come together)

Both employer and employees must pay applicable fees and charges as per government directives. It depends on nature and size of the sponsoring organisation, job sectors, the role the applicant and duration of the visa.
Employer must pay Immigration Skill Charge (ISC) fee of £364 for every sponsoring year for business with less than 50 staffs and £199 COS fee.

Employee must pay Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) £624 for every sponsoring year. Fee and charges applicable for each dependent as well. However, there are reductions for dependents if they are aged below 18 years which is £470 for every sponsoring year. And the Entry Clearance fee (Visa processing fee) for every person starting from £464 (shortage occupation only) and all other cases starting from £610 up to £1220.

Fee for Employees: Visa processing and IHS fee

2 years visa: £610 + (£624X2) = £1858
3 years visa: £610 + (£624X3) = £2482
4 Years visa: £1220 + (£624X4) = £3716

5 years visa: £1220 + (£624X5) = £4320

* IHS fee refundable if visa is not granted. But Entry Clearance fee nonrefundable if visa is not granted.

Fee for Employers: ISC and fixed COS fee (<50 staffs)

2 years COS: (£364X2) = £728 + £199 = £927
3 years COS: (£364X3) = £1092 + £199 = £1291
4 Years COS: (£364X4) = £1456 + £199 = £1655

5 years COS: (£364X5) = £1820 + £199 = £2019

* ISC fee refundable if visa is not granted. COS fixed fee (£199) nonrefundable.

It generally takes 3 weeks for application made outside of UK for example Bangladesh.
It generally takes 8 weeks for application made within UK (Applicable for visa extension and visa switching).

You can apply to extend visa as many times as you like as long as it meets the eligibility requirements. It depends on the type of employment and initial sought-after visa duration. Generally, visa can be requested from 6 months up to 5 years in one go.

Yes. Your new job must meet the eligibility requirements and you’ll need a new certificate of sponsorship to prove this. but You’ll need to apply to update your Skilled Worker work visa.

Additional paid work is allowed on the skilled worker visa category as long as you’re still doing the job you’re being sponsored for. You can work up to 20 hours a week in a job that’s either in the same occupation code and at the same level as your main job or in a in a shortage occupation list.

On the other hand, If you wish to work more than 20 hours a week or in a different occupation code You’ll need to apply to update your visa get a new certificate of sponsorship from your second employer and include a letter with your application explaining that you want to change your current permission to stay

No, according to the UK Home Office guidelines https://www.gov.uk/skilled-worker-visa, you'll need a job offer from a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office. This means your employer needs to have a valid sponsor licence. 

The job provided by the sponsor company must meet the applicable minimum wage threshold. Whichever is the higher out of the following options:

- The general salary threshold is £25,600, or

- The "going rate" for the type of job you’re working.

In some cases, if you are paid less than the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the “going rate” for that role – but no less than £20,480 – you may still be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker visa if you meet one of the following criteria:

- Your job is on the shortage occupation list

- You are under the age of 26, a student, a recent graduate, or in professional training

- You have a relevant PhD level qualification in science, technology, engineering, or maths (STEM) that is relevant to your job (If you hold a valid PhD level qualification in any other subjects, you must be paid at least £23,040)

- You work in science or higher education in a postdoctoral position

Under the skilled worker route, the job you’re looking to fill needs to meet the required skill level - RFQ 3 or above (A-levels and equivalent). You can find all the eligible occupations for Skilled Worker Visa on government website here.

Under the skilled worker route, the applicant needs to prove:

  • A job offer from a licensed sponsor
  • Appropriate skill level requirement
  • Meet the minimum Salary requirement
  • Meet the English requirement

The Skilled Worker visa is formerly known as a Tier 2 (General) visa. It allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer who has a valid “Sponsor licence”. After 5 years you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Then after 12 months with ILR, you can become eligible to apply to naturalise as a British citizen and obtain a British passport.

For employers, the Skilled Worker route allows them to recruit people to work in the UK in a specific job be it from within the UK or overseas. UK companies need to have a “Sponsor License” before they can issue Skilled Work Visas to overseas employees.

UK sponsor licence holders must follow sponsor duties, including record keeping, reporting, and cooperating with the Home Office in any compliance checks or audits. A robust HR system is required by the Home Office, if you don’t currently have one, contact WorkPermitCloud. Our WpcHr software is specially designed for sponsor licence holders following UKVI guidance to comply with sponsor duties. It has supported thousands of UK organisations to obtain and maintain their sponsor licence.

It is required by the Home Office that sponsor licence holders must comply with all sponsor duties. Failure of compliance may result in fines for up to £20,000 per illegal worker, sponsor licence downgrade to a B-rating, sponsor licence suspension or revocation.

Once an UK organisation granted a sponsor licence, sponsors must follow their sponsor duties to maintain their sponsor licence, including: Keeping up-to-date records of sponsored workers and their immigration status Reporting any changes to the worker's employment or circumstances to the Home Office Complying with the law on preventing illegal working Co-operating with the Home Office in any compliance checks or audits

A sponsor licence compliance is a set of rules and regulations that UK organisations must follow when sponsoring non-British nationals to work in the country. These rules are set by the UK Home Office and are designed to ensure that sponsorship licence holders are operating in compliance with the regulations and are fulfilling their sponsor duties.

Let us help you with your Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence UK