Sponsor Licence: Employing Foreign Workers

Any employer intending to employ a non-EU migrant worker in the UK must obtain a Sponsor Licence. The Licence is obtained by applying to the Home Office.

Once approved, the company will be listed in the Register of Sponsors licensed under the points-based system. This list of organisations licensed to sponsor workers under Tiers 2 and 5 is updated regularly and is publicly available. It includes information about the category of workers companies are licensed to sponsor and their sponsorship rating.

Holding a sponsor licence does not mean that the employer can then employ any migrant. The sponsor licence itself only confirms that the company was approved by the Home Office to potentially employ a migrant worker.

To obtain a licence sponsor must:

  • be genuine and operating or trading lawfully in the UK
  • be based in the UK
  • hold the appropriate planning permission or Local Planning Authority consent for the type of business operated at the trading address (if relevant)
  • be “honest, dependable and reliable”
  • not represent a threat to immigration control, and
  • be capable of complying with the sponsor duties and responsibilities, and evidencing that compliance.

Obtaining a Sponsor Licence: How can we help?

The application process for the Sponsor License itself can be confusing and drawn-out. We can take you through the entire foreign nationals employment process step by step. We have a team of experts that have been through the process on many of occasions with other clients and who have strong track record of successful sponsor licence and work visas applications.

We will guide you through your online application for the Sponsor License, which takes less than one hour. You must then submit the documents and fee directly to the Home Office – your Sponsor License will then be granted.

We provide professional legal services to sponsors (employers) and workers, including preparation and submission of the Sponsor License application, verification of the supporting documents, issuance of the Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS), assistance with Tier 2 work visa applications, etc. We also assist sponsor during the during the Sponsor Licence renewal process and during the Home Office inspection visits.

We offer corporate clients a service called “HR Compliance and Mini audit”. We will supply you and your HR team a document of all the documents you must keep on file for all workers to ensure you are compliant with the Home Office’s requirements.