Sponsor Licence Applications – Workers & Temporary Workers

Sponsor License Applications 

An application for a Sponsor Licence is a process that allows UK based employers and education institutions to prove to the Home Office that they are eligible to be placed on the register of sponsors and that they genuinely wish to take on migrant workers or students.

Routes under which you can apply for a sponsor licence

In concomitant to student sponsors, there are two broad types of sponsor licence you can apply for: Worker licence (formerly Tier 2) which will let you employ people long-term or permanently, and Temporary Worker licence (formerly Tier 5 (Temporary Worker)) which will let you employ people on a temporary basis. Within these two types, there are a number of individual immigration ‘routes’. You can apply to be licensed in as many routes as you feel appropriate for your business or organisation.

Application process

The sponsor licence application process includes:

  • Demonstrating your eligibility.
  • Making an online application.
  • Submitting hard copy documents to the Home Office in support of your application.
  • Preparing for a visit can be unannounced, by the Home Office Compliance officials pre or post-grant of the licence.

The Home Office is looking to establish four main criteria:
a. Are you a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK?
b. Are the key personnel named in your application honest, dependable and reliable?
c. Do you have an effective HR system in place to carry out your sponsor duties?
d. If applying under skilled worker route, can you offer genuine employment that meets the skill level and appropriate rates of 

If your sponsor licence application is successful you will be placed on the Home Office register of sponsors and you will be able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship or Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.

Maintaining your licence

If granted, your licence will be valid for 4 years. The 4 years will run from the date your licence is granted. You must apply to renew it before the 4 years has expired if you wish to continue sponsoring workers.

Certificates of Sponsorship 

A Certificate of Sponsorship is a virtual document (an electronic record), which an employer is required to assign to a foreign worker they employ. There is a fee payable at the time of assigning a certificate of sponsorship.

The worker can then use the certificate number to make a visa application. 

There are two types of certificates of sponsorship:

  1. Defined certificates – These are for workers applying for a Skilled Worker visa from outside the UK.
  2. Undefined certificates – These are for workers applying from inside the UK under all workers and temporary workers categories. 

Immigration Skills Charge

The Immigration Skills Charge, which came into effect on 6 April 2017  is a fee paid by a UK employer for each skilled migrant worker they employ through the Skilled Worker and Intra-company Transfer routes. You will need to pay the charge when sponsoring both EU and non-EU migrant workers. The Immigration Skills Charge amount due is dependent on the size of the business, charitable status and length of sponsorship. Discounted rates apply to charities and small business. 

The charge applies only to the main applicant and is not payable for their family members (dependants).

Exemption from Immigration Skills Charge 

Sponsors are not required to pay the ISC when sponsoring skilled workers:

  • under certain PhD SOC codes
  • under the Intra company transfer graduate trainee route
  • to whom they assign a further CoS which does not extend their original period of ISC liable leave
  • switching from Tier 4
  •  that initially switched from Tier 4 and are now extending their skilled worker leave to remain in the same role with the same sponsor
  • who were granted Tier 2 leave using a CoS assigned prior to 6 April 2017 and have held continued Tier 2 leave, undertaking a skilled role, since then
  • seeking entry clearance to the UK for less than 6 months

There are ongoing duties that must be diligently performed by the sponsoring organisations during the span of the sponsor licence. Failure to carry out such duties can have serious ramifications for the sponsor as well as the migrant. Our team can help you understand the details of a Sponsor Licence application in London, opening you up to the UK.

Contact our Sponsor Licence Application Lawyers in London
At Karir Immigration lawyers in London, we have a wealth of expertise in successfully assisting sponsors to obtain their Sponsor Licences, as well as in developing compliance systems and auditing their compliance.

For expert advice and assistance with a Sponsor Licence application in London, please contact us.

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