Sponsor Licence Application

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Sponsor Licence Application

If a UK firm wants to employ non-UK residents (including EU nationals entering the UK from 1st January 2021), the employer must have a valid sponsor licence from the UK Home Office. The process of employer sponsorship licence application can be complex, and WorkPermitCloud can assist with this.


There are two types of sponsor licences available: Tier 2 and Tier 5. The Tier 2 sponsor licence is for UK employers who want to sponsor non-UK nationals to work in skilled jobs in the UK. This includes jobs that require a specific skill set, professional qualifications, or relevant experience. The Tier 5 sponsor licence is for UK employers who want to sponsor non-UK nationals for temporary work in the UK. This includes jobs in creative and sporting fields, charity work, religious work, and government-authorised exchange programs.


To apply for a Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsor licence, the employer must follow the sponsor licence guidance and meet certain eligibility criteria, such as having a physical presence in the UK, being a genuine business, and having appropriate HR systems in place. They must also provide the necessary supporting documentation.


Application for a UK sponsorship licence requires certain documents you need to provide to succeed. In addition to the sponsorship licence application form, you'll also need to submit a minimum of 4 supporting documents from the list below:


  1. Companies House Registration Number 
  2. SIGNED Annual Accounts (it's mandatory if the business is over 18 months old)
  3. Minimum 1-month business bank statement, the bank needs to be registered and regulated by the FCA and PRA.
  4. Employer liability insurance certificate (minimum employee cover £5 million)
  5. Copy of Lease, freehold or Tenancy agreement
  6. Copy of regulatory approval, i.e. Health & Safety star rating for food businesses, ACCA, SRA, etc.
  7. VAT Certificate (if registered)
  8. PAYE or Account Office reference letter from HMRC


Apart from the above documents, the company must have a Pension scheme in place.


If the skilled worker sponsor licence application is denied, there is a six-month cooling-off period before you can reapply. In some cases, you may be able to appeal the decision. You’ll need to address the reasons your application was denied in your reapplication.


If the refusal is due to document errors, you may be able to correct the mistake and resubmit your application. For any decisions that were not overturned after an error correction, the only other option would be to lodge a judicial review.


To apply for a sponsor licence, it usually takes 8 weeks to get a decision from the Home Office. Processing time may be longer if your application is complex or you have not provided the required information. The Home Office may need to conduct an on-site visit to your business premises as part of their due diligence and this can add a few more weeks to the process.


If the skilled worker sponsor licence application is refused, there is a six-month cooling-off period before you can reapply. In some cases, you may be able to appeal the decision. You’ll need to address the reasons your application was denied in your reapplication. WorkPermitCloud can provide assistance in this matter.


The cost of a sponsor licence application varies depending on the size of the organisation.


For small organisations, the Sponsor Licence application fee is £536, which needs to be paid to the Home Office


For Medium to large organisations, the Sponsor Licence application fee is £1,476, which also needs to be paid to the Home Office.


A small organisation is defined as 1-50 staff, less than 10.2 million annual turnovers, and total assets worth £5.1 million or less.


Additionally, an annual sponsor licence fee must be paid to maintain the licence, but that will only depend on the number of skilled workers the company employs.


What are the UK Sponsorship Licence Requirements and Process?

To Sponsor a foreign worker in your company, the process involves the employer applying for a sponsor licence from the UK Home Office, securing the necessary requirements and advertising the role to be filled by the overseas worker.


Once you became a licenced sponsor in the UK, you can then issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to the perspect foreign employees, the employee then use the CoS to apply for their skilled worker visa.


It is important to note that sponsor licence holders are required to follow the sponsor duties and manage the licence in compliance with Home Office guidance. More information about sponsor licence compliance click here.


Certificate of Sponsorship

Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) is an electronic document that is issued by the sponsor licence holders to foreign workers they want to hire.

Employers should apply for a Defined and Undefined CoS through the Sponsorship Management System (SMS).


Employers should have access to the SMS when their sponsor licences are granted. 


The process is relatively straightforward but does require some upfront work by the employer. If you'd like some professional advice from Immigration Lawyers, contact WorkPermitCloud.


How can WorkPermitCloud help with your UK Sponsorship Licence?

WorkPermitCloud specialises in Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsor Licence Applications. We have a team of Sponsor Licence Experts who are OISC approved Immigration advisors.


We’ve assisted 1000+ companies to get their sponsor licence granted successfully. We deliver expert support where we can evaluate your sponsorship needs and help you to make sure your application meets all the criteria on which the Home Office will assess it.


  1. Evaluate an organisation's sponsorship needs.

  2. Determine the appropriate type of sponsorship licence.

  3. Check the organisation's previous business performance.

  4. Review Authorising Officer, Level 1 User and Key Contact person's suitability.

  5. Recommend mandatory and supporting documents based on the nature of the organisation.

  6. Assist organisations to respond to Home Office questions correctly.

  7. Provide guidance on sponsorship-related fees.

  8. Help fast track organisations to the Home Office.

  9. Provide expert support for first-time sponsorship licence applicants, renewals, suspensions and revocation.

Book our professional Immigration service at info@workpermitcloud.co.uk

Authority Links

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.

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.

What documents are needed for a UK sponsorship licence?

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.

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.

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.