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Why is a sponsor licence essential for businesses?

Jan 31, 2024

The aftermath of Brexit and the ongoing pandemic have had a profound impact on numerous organisations across various industries. These challenges have made it increasingly difficult for businesses of all sizes and shapes to address their recruitment needs and fill crucial skilled positions.


The primary means of economic migration to the UK is through the Skilled Worker visa. This visa is designed for skilled workers who have secured employment with an approved sponsor. It applies to both EU and non-EU nationals, except for those EU nationals who have obtained settled or pre-settled status, as well as Irish nationals who are exempt.


Additionally, multinational businesses may opt for the Global Business Mobility (GBM) routes, which allow them to temporarily send skilled workers to the UK.


However, other visa options may not be suitable for fulfilling the specific requirements of an organisation. They may restrict an individual from undertaking the necessary tasks or simply postpone the need for sponsorship to a later date, such as with graduate or high-potential visas.


To access the Skilled Worker or GBM routes, organisations must apply to UK Visas and Immigration for a sponsor licence. Holding a licence broadens the talent pool from which businesses can recruit. Without a licence, organisations are unable to utilise these visa routes.


Obtaining a sponsor licence is increasingly becoming a crucial strategic objective for businesses. The timely acquisition of the licence, along with submitting a successful application from the start, often holds significant importance.


The exponential growth in registered sponsors over the past year demonstrates this. Recent figures from the Home Office reveal that nearly 10,000 organizations registered to become sponsors between June 2021 and June 2022, bringing the total number of sponsors as of June 2022 to over 45,000, marking a 27% year-on-year increase.


The process of applying for a sponsor licence and becoming a sponsor entails a significant level of responsibility for immigration compliance. Sponsorship is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, when applying for a licence, businesses must demonstrate their ability to meet compliance obligations and understand the expectations moving forward.


Once a sponsor licence is obtained, sponsoring individuals require a comprehensive understanding of eligibility criteria under the Immigration Rules, the specific requirements for issuing Certificates of Sponsorship, and the timing of these applications. Organisations must also continue to meet detailed compliance requirements to maintain their sponsor licence.


Our team of experienced immigration specialists is here to alleviate the burden by providing guidance on the various visa options for recruiting into your organisation, along with the associated compliance requirements.


If you have any inquiries regarding sponsor licences or require assistance with applying for or managing a sponsor licence application, as well as making specific visa applications, please don't hesitate to contact one of our expert advisors at 01403 801801 or [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.

    Jodie Plom
    HR Administrator CVS Vets
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For more than a decade we have been assisting businesses and individuals with immigration and visa enquiries, providing sound advice and successfully handling applications.
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