Sponsor Licence

Sponsor Licence

In accordance with the immigration points system, those employers from the United Kingdom who would like to hire highly qualified employees from countries outside of the European economic area (EEA) now need to obtain a British sponsorship licence (Sponsorship Licence).

All applications for sponsorship are going thoroughly check in obedience to immigration rules and British International Affairs (Home Office). At the same time, companies applying for a sponsorship licence must confirm that they meet all the necessary requirements for employees. Experienced specialists of Immigration UK, who are explicitly familiar with the entire immigration process, will help you to go through the procedure of obtaining a sponsor’s licence as easily and effectively as possible.

In order to hire qualified employees from other countries outside the European economic area for permanent and temporary work, British companies must have a sponsorship licence issued by the visa immigration service (UKVI). Educational institutions with international students must also obtain such licence. British companies are not allowed to transfer foreign employees to other branches in the UK, renew a valid work visa, or apply for permission to hire employees from countries outside the EEA without a sponsorship licence.

Upon a receiving a sponsorship licence, the company will be assigned a applicable rating (licencerating). This will enable the employer to issue the sponsorship certificates required under the immigration points system to applicants from non-EEA countries to apply for Tier 2 visas. The Sponsorship licence is binding on the licence holder.

The company will have to prove that under the imposed obligations on it by the sponsorship licence are met. The sponsorship licence is initially issued for 4 years. If the company seeks to continue to sponsor a citizen of a country outside the European economic area (EEA), the licence may be renewed.

If the sponsor does not fulfill its obligations, the level of the issued licence may be lowered. In addition, the sponsor’s licence may be paused or even canceled.

The sponsorship licence is initially issued for 4 years and can be extended if the company seeks to continue to sponsor a citizen from another country outside the European economic area (EEA).

The UKVI immigration service can visit the company applying for a sponsorship licence to assess whether the organization meets all the requirements for issuing a sponsorship licence.

Employer’s responsibilities:

The company must meet all immigration requirements while applying for a sponsorship licence. Admissibility criteria are necessary to ensure that no one overuse the immigration system where employers can properly meet their obligations.

It is expected that companies and operating organizations legally operating in the UK will issue sponsorship certificates to employees who meet all immigration service requirements. The company must also have a reliable HR Department that can track the immigration status and employees workflow. Moreover, a company applying for a sponsorship licence is required to inform the British MFA (Home Office) about all significant changes.

Our experienced specialists will successfully guide you through the entire immigration process and obtaining a sponsorship licence. We will advise you with practical guidance that will help your company effectively fulfill all the necessary obligations and requirements.

How does the sponsorship licence obtaining process works?

The application process consists of 3 steps:

Employment test for residents to work in the local labor market (Resident Labour Market Test, RLMT).

The company is obliged to decide on the vacancy and make it available for free access for a period of 28 days. The RLMT insures that before hiring an immigrant requiring sponsorship, the organization has looked for a potential employee in the local labor market.

Prepare and submit all necessary documents and papers for a sponsorship licence that authorizes employers to hire foreign employees and immigrants.

The organization has the right to decide whether to add both subcategories to the sponsorship licence: Tier 2 General and Tier 2 (ICT) — or use only one of them.

An online application for a sponsorship licence must be submitted by an authorized person. The company must provide all necessary papers that meets the requirements listed in Appendix A of the sponsor’s Guide (Sponsor Guidance Appendix A). Supporting documents must be provided within 5 business days of submitting the online application. If all the necessary papers are not provided, it may lead to a delay in application processing or rejection, as well as additional costs.

As soon the company registered as a licenced sponsor, this organization will need to obtain a «limited» or «unlimited» sponsorship certificate (certificate of sponsorship, CoS), which allows to hire employees  immediately.

The unlimited sponsorship certificate is intended for new employees earning more than £155 300 per year who switch to a Tier 2 General visa in the UK, as well as for those applying for a visa extension.

During a sponsorship licence applying process, the company must evaluate how many Tier 2 certificates are necessary for them. As part of the sponsorship licence, the organization will be granted a fixed number of «unlimited» licences per year.

The limited sponsorship certificate is due for new employees applying outside the UK for a Tier 2 General visa who will earn less than £155 300 per year. This certificate is also intended for financially dependent family members of students with a Tier 4 visa who are changing to a Tier 2 General visa in the UK.

After receiving a sponsorship certificate (CoS), a potential employee can apply for a visa in order to join the UK company branch office or apply while being in the UK.

The application processing time:

Obtaining a sponsorship licence takes about 3 months. The decision to issue a licence is made within 3 weeks from the date of application.


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