Search

How can we help?

Icon

How to obtain a UK worker sponsor licence?

UK businesses must have a sponsor licence to employ workers who do not have immigration permission to reside and work in the UK. Following a successful application, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) grants a sponsor licence to a business, who is then permitted to employ migrant workers not already holding a visa allowing them to work in the UK.

How to obtain a UK worker sponsor licence?

Sponsor licence eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a sponsor licence, the Home Office must be satisfied that a business is a genuine entity operating lawfully in the mandatory documentation to demonstrate that your business’ activities are genuine, and that your business has an operating or trading presence in the UK.

Applying for a sponsor licence

To apply for a sponsor licence, you will need to register your business details with the UKVI and complete an online application form.

Appointing Key Personnel

Once your sponsor licence is granted, you will need to appoint Key Personnel on your licence, including an Authorising Officer, Key Contact, and Level 1 User. The Authorising Officer would need to be the most senior person within the organisation, responsible for the recruitment of migrant workers and ensuring the business meets its sponsor duties. The Key Contact is the main point of contact with UKVI, and a Level 1 User is responsible for day-to-day management of the licence on the SMS online. Multiple Level 1 Users may be appointed, including your legal representative.

 

 

Your sponsor licence will be valid for a period of 4 years, although there is a risk of having your licence suspended or revoked.

Assigning Certificate of Sponsorship

If your licence application is approved, you will be able to sponsor migrant workers by assigning them a Certificate of Sponsorship, provided you have jobs suitable for sponsorship. Your sponsor licence will be valid for a period of 4 years, although there is a risk of having your licence suspended or revoked by UKVI if you do not meet your ongoing obligations as a sponsor.

Cost of sponsoring migrant workers

The cost of sponsoring a migrant worker depends on the type of licence you are applying for and the size or status of your organisation, in addition to a fee for each Certificate of Sponsorship and, under some routes, an Immigration Skills Charge.

Legal Support

We can support your business with all aspects of setting up and maintaining your sponsor licence. Our UK immigration team provides a comprehensive approach, preparing the entire licence application, taking into account the commercial considerations for your business.

Check out our publication here

About this article

Disclaimer
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

art
  • 27 February 2024
  • Employment

Changing Attitudes to Menopause

We have set out some answers to the frequently asked questions that employers ask when considering how to support a menopausal employee.

art
  • 22 February 2024
  • Employment

Time to take the heat off menopausal women

On 22 February 2024, the EHRC released guidance and resources for employers designed to help employers understand their legal obligations in relation to supporting workers experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Pub
  • 22 February 2024
  • Employment

Talking Employment Law: What to do if you’re at risk of redundancy

In this podcast, Harry Berryman and Rebecca Dowle, members of the employment team, will talk through the steps that need to be taken for a redundancy to be fair and the range of criteria that can be used when determining which employees will be made redundant.

art
  • 12 February 2024
  • Employment

The World of Work in 2024- What Can HR Expect?

In many senses, 2024 is unlikely to be a year with radical ruptures from those that have gone before it. The significance of 2024 though, is that it is likely to build upon those megatrends impacting the world of work, which have been emerging for some time now and are only likely to strengthen as we move on in time.

art
  • 30 January 2024
  • Employment

Large-scale Redundancies – What to expect as an employee

In today’s uncertain economic environment, it is rare to see a week go by without a major employer announcing redundancies, be they as a result of a restructuring, a contracting business or a merger or acquisition.

art
  • 23 January 2024
  • Employment

Navigating Redundancy: Top Tips for Employers Considering Redundancies

Redundancy law in the UK can be tricky to get right. With that in mind, here are our top tips for employers who are considering making redundancies.