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UK Sponsor Licences - How to apply?

May 13, 2024

Eligibility Criteria for Sponsor Licences?

To obtain the sponsor licence, businesses must meet the following criteria.
• Be UK-based.
• Not jeopardise immigration control.
• Be authentic, operating and trading legally in the UK.
• Have reliable and honest key personnel.
• Have a standard HR system that encourages them to execute their licensed sponsor obligations efficiently.

How to Apply for UK Sponsor Licence

As an employer, you can access the licence application form online via the Sponsorship Management System (SMS). While completing this application form ensure you save it regularly.
You will be required to state the type of licence you want to obtain, your contact information, the key personnel on the licence and other details about your business. Upon the completion of your sponsor licence online application form, you must send your documents together with the submission to the Home Office.

If you’re submitting physical copies of your documents, they must be officially certified or original copies. The documents you must attach to your submission include:

• Evidence of listing on approved stock exchanges (if applicable).
• Evidence of enrollment with HMRC (His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs).
• VAT (Value Added Tax) registration certificate.
• Evidence of lease or ownership of the building from which your business operates.
• Proof of liability insurance with at least £5 million coverage.
• Proof of planning permission at the address of your business.
• A registered accountant’s financial report.
• A chart specifying the hierarchy of your business. For example, showing the owner, director, board members, and more. You must list all employees if you don’t have more than 50 staff members.

What Is the Processing Time of Sponsor Licence?

As a UK employer, you must first of all obtain a sponsor licence from the Home Office to bring a US worker to come and work for you in the UK. The processing time for your sponsor licence application largely depends on whether you made a compelling application and there were no delays in its processing by the Home Office. However, it typically takes up to 8 weeks to get a decision on your sponsor licence application.

What Are the Fees for Sponsor Licences?

UK employers must make financial commitments when applying for a sponsor licence. Two factors can determine the amount of money you will pay to obtain the licence, namely, the type of sponsor licence you want to get (either worker or temporary worker) and the size of your business.
Below are the fees you must pay to obtain a sponsor licence:
Temporary worker licence worth £536 specifically designed for all types of charity and enterprise.
Worker licence worth £1,476 for small charities and businesses.
If you wish to add a worker licence to an already existing temporary worker licence for medium and large businesses you must pay £940. If you have a small business or charity, you’ll be exempted from paying the fees. Besides that, you’ll not be charged to add a temporary worker licence to an already existing worker licence.

What Are the Sponsorship Management Roles?

UK employers applying for a sponsor licence must choose some people within the business to play crucial roles in managing the sponsorship process via SMS. You must fill the following key roles in your business:

• Level 1 user. This individual must be accountable for daily management of the licence.
The key contact. This person is the contact point with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
• Authorising officer. This individual is a senior officer to all the employees in your business and is held accountable for the conduct of your employees and representatives.

If necessary, these above roles can be carried out by one individual.
In the set-up of these roles, at least one level 1 user must be an employee of your business. Whereas other level 1 and level 2 users can be working from third-party companies.

Note that everyone involved in the sponsor licence process must be assessed to know if they have been reported to the UKVI or if they have unspent criminal convictions.

In Conclusion

Obtaining a sponsor licence involves several rigorous processes. Sometimes an application may be rejected due to errors such as, incomplete documentation, not meeting all the requirements, not satisfying all the queries communicated by the Home Office and more. For this reason, it’s best to engage a professional immigration adviser from the onset. Immigration advisors already know how to navigate the sponsor licence application process without rejections. Call us today to see if we can help you obtain your licence. Call us on 01403 801801 or email us [email protected]

  • We have a great relationship with the UK Visas team, who provide a prompt, professional service and expert immigration advice. They take the worry out of the visa process, working efficiently even when dealing with numerous requests at once.

    Sarah Bond
    Human Resources Advisor
  • I can honestly say everyone that I deal with at UK Visas are very efficient, super helpful and informative and extremely nice (especially Ana and Garima). Also patient with all my questions – nothing is ever too much trouble, and very prompt with their responses.

    Jackie Thompson
    HR Assistant
  • I’ve worked with UK Visas for almost 10 years now, and the support and advice never fails. From the sponsorship of new employees to training for the whole team, UK Visas are always extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend their services!

    Helena Wittenbach
    Head of Human Resources,
  • Having worked with UK Visas for more than eight years, I cannot recommend their services enough. We have worked with them on a wide variety of immigration topics, including complex licence matters (following acquisitions), day to day sponsorship processes, and reporting; and we have always received an amazing service.

    Members of the team are responsive and come back to our queries quickly, they are always polite, and go out of their way to be as helpful as possible. Thank you to all of the team for the wonderful ongoing support you provide!

    Amy Gadsby
    Director, Human Resources - EMEA
  • We have worked with UK Visas for a number of years and the service that is provided is excellent.

    No query is too big or too small. Always accommodating and helpful. Thank you team!

    Louise Goddard
    Executive Business Partner to CEO and the Board
  • We have worked with UK Visas for over 10 years, since we initially requested obtaining a Sponsor Licence. From day one, their guidance, communication, professionalism, efficiency and support has been and continues to be exemplary, with no request too much.

    Thank you and we look forward to continuing the relationship.

    Sara Searle
    Head of Human Resources and Payroll
  • I’ve worked with UK Visas for over 6 years and always find them helpful, friendly and experts in what they do. I know I can always call them up or send them an email and I will get a detailed response, fast. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone to help and support with your visa journeys.

    Gerry Weiss
    HR Business Partner
  • We have been using UK Visas for many years and service is always expeditious, even as number of requests have increased in recent years. The team advise on a wide range of queries and are always supportive, informative and clear in their advice.

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    HR Administrator CVS Vets
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