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Sponsorship Licence: How does this licence help my business?

If you are a company or business who wishes to sponsor foreign workers then you need to apply for a Sponsor licence. If the potential foreign worker is from within the EEA or Switzerland, you will not need a Sponsor licence. The licence also permits volunteer and unpaid work for charitable and educational institutions.

To apply, your business needs to meet the requirements.. The type of licence depends on the nature of your foreign employment needs  (Tier 2 for long-term skilled workers, and Tier 5 for religious and volunteer workers).  You also need to determine who will be responsible for the sponsorship by nominating an authorising officer from within your organisation.

Once the Home Office has issued your business a Sponsor licence, your business will be added to the Home Office’s register of sponsors. You will then be able to issue certificates of sponsorship to foreign employees.


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Due to the complex and confusing nature of the application process for the Sponsor licence, it is important to acquire expert help. Our Corporate immigration team at Optimus law are ready to assist and prepare your Sponsor licence applications. Sponsor license applications have a high refusal rate and therefore expert legal assistance  can be the significant difference between an approved application and a refusal.

Our expert lawyers will make sure you submit all the required documents and will ensure that you have selected the right Sponsor licence for your business needs. We will carry out the Resident Labour Market Test which is an essential requirement if the job your business is offering is not on the shortage occupation list. Our legal team will confirm that your business undertook the correct recruitment process and emphasise the need for the license and the foreign recruitment.

Contact us for expert help on the Sponsorship Licence application process.


Is my business eligible for a Sponsorship Licence?

All organisations may be eligible for a Sponsor Licence provided you do not have a history of bad practice as a sponsor. If you are a first-time applicant, you must have no unspent criminal convictions for criminal activities and you need to ensure that you monitor all sponsored workers using the Sponsorship Management System (SMS).

What sponsorship duties do I have to carry out?

As a Sponsor licence holder, your company needs to carry out its responsibilities.

You need to ensure that:

  • Your foreign employees have the necessary accreditations, qualifications, and skills to function in the positions given to them. You must keep a record of all the documents.
  • Only qualified employees are assigned certificates of sponsorship;
  • You inform the Home Office of sponsored employees’ activities that do not comply with the terms of their visa.
  • You need to monitor the employees using the Sponsorship Management System (SMS).

Which type of  foreign nationals employ under?

Depending on the type of licence acquired, you can employ under the Tier 2 or the Tier 5 for a wide range of roles. The Shortage Occupation List states the key roles that can be recruited from overseas however it is not exhaustive. If you are unsure about a specific role you wish to recruit for please contact us to discus the specific role.

As an educational provider, what Sponsorship Licence is needed?

For education providers, you need a Tier 4 Sponsor licence. You will need to sponsor students on a long course of study. Students on short courses do not require sponsorship.

How Can Optimus Law Help?

The application process for a Sponsor licence application is a complex procedure and is monitored very closely by the Home Office. You can expect an audit at any time and therefore it is essential you have the relevant policies and procedures from the outset.  We offer professional help that is tailored to your business objectives. The team of experts at Optimus law are ready to assist and prepare your applications.

Our comprehensive service includes:

  • Make sure you submit all the needed documents;
  • Make sure you select the right Sponsor licence type;
  • Prepare and organise the application;
  • Assist your business to implement the Sponsor Management System;
  • Help you carry out the resident labour market test. This is necessary if the job your business is offering is not on the shortage occupation list;
  • Make sure every recruitment process is carried out;
  • Provide you with appropriate legal advice depending on your circumstances.

Contact us for expert help on the Sponsorship Licence application process.

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