How To Obtain A UK Visa Sponsorship Licence

All the United Kingdom employers must complete a sponsorship licence application if they want to bring employees from overseas. Depending on the type of job, the licence could be of two types, i.e. a temporary worker or a worker licence.

After shortlisting the applicants, you can begin applying for the application. You will also be required to prove that you have a legal business which requires immigrant talent to complete your application.

Sponsorship licence eligibility

The sponsorship licence process is complex so it is recommended to reach out to an experienced UK immigration lawyer Birmingham to assist with your application. However, to be eligible for the sponsorship licence, you must have never been known to breach sponsorship obligations in the past.

If the employer gets the licence then they can provide a Certificate of Sponsorship to their selected foreign workers. However, the company has to fulfil various duties and responsibilities as the employer of foreign workers.

Different types of UK sponsorship licences

There are two types of sponsorship licences that you can apply for. These include: 

Worker sponsor licence

This is for skilled workers who can work in the UK for at least 3 years to 5 years. There are three sub-categories that foreign workers can apply for within a worker sponsor licence. These are listed below:

  • Sportsperson Visa
  • Ministry of Religion Visa ( the workers can only work for 3 years under this visa)
  • Senior Specialist Worker Visa

Temporary work sponsor licence

This is for temporary workers, who will not work for a long time. These are divided into various subcategories given below:

  • Creative Worker (workers can get only work for 2 years under this visa)
  • International Sportsperson (a sports person can work for one year while an artist or entertainer can work for 2 years under this visa)
  • Charity Worker (these can work up to one year)
  • Religious Worker (these employees can work up to two years)
  • International Agreement Worker (these can work till the work has been completed as per the international laws)
  • Government Authorised Exchange (this visa is also valid till the work is done)

Cost for a sponsorship licence

The sponsorship licence fee depends on the size of your company and what type of sponsorship licence visa you are applying for. In general, the fee for small sponsors can range between £100 to £536 and for large sponsors, it can cost up to £1,476.

Sponsorship management

You will have to appoint people in your business to manage the sponsorship process as soon as you apply for a licence. The whole licence process will be conducted through SMS (sponsorship management system). You will be required to fill a few roles such as:

  • Key Contact (this person will act as the main person that contacts with the UK visa and immigration services (UKVI))
  • Authorising Officer (this person should be very experienced as they will be responsible for all the actions of their staff and other representatives)
  • Level 1 users (they will be the person responsible for everyday management of the licence, if provided)

You can give all these roles to a single person or if you’re hiring regularly, you can assign multiple individuals to take care of these requirements. Each new hire will have to undergo various background checks which will analyse their unspent criminal records to check whether the person has been ever reported to the UKVI or not.

Documentation for sponsorship licence

To make your case stronger, you have to provide supporting documents as they will decide whether your application is accepted or not. Each organisation type has its own documentation requirements. If you have already selected a candidate to work for your organisation, you’ll need to provide evidence of shortlisting through a proper recruitment process. 

Which could include the original job postings and details of other applicants who were not suitable for the job. This is done to remove all elements of personal bias, to ensure that the selection was done fairly. Other documentation requirements include the list of duties, salary, requirement of experience and skills, occupation code, and job title.

You have to provide all the documents within 5 working days after submitting the online application. Make sure the documents are original. Nevertheless, the home office might accept certified versions. 

After working in the UK for 5 years, if your employees are planning on applying for ILR, it is recommended for them to discuss their case with an experienced attorney to ensure a positive outcome.