Obtaining Sponsor licence
Obtaining a Sponsor Licence is a necessary requirement for UK employers who wish to hire non-UK nationals as skilled workers in their organisations. A Sponsor Licence is a legal document issued by the UK Home Office, which grants the employer the right to sponsor a non-UK national in order to work in the UK. The process of obtaining a Sponsor Licence is complicated, time-consuming, and requires a good understanding of immigration law, regulations, and requirements. It is therefore advisable to seek the assistance of experienced immigration lawyers who can guide employers through the process and ensure that they comply with all legal requirements.
In this article, we will explain the process of obtaining a Sponsor Licence and the benefits of seeking the assistance of the experienced immigration lawyers at Sterling Law to ensure a successful outcome.
What is a Sponsor Licence?
A Sponsor Licence is a document issued by the UK Home Office, which grants the right to an organisation to sponsor non-UK nationals to work in the UK. The Sponsor Licence is issued under the Points-Based System (PBS), which is the UK’s immigration system for managing the entry of non-UK nationals to the UK for work, study or investment. The PBS has five tiers and each tier has its own requirements, including the need for a Sponsor Licence.
Sponsor Licence Categories
There are two main categories of Sponsor Licence:
1. Tier 2 Sponsor Licence: This type of Sponsor Licence is required by employers who want to sponsor non-UK nationals to work in skilled jobs. Skilled workers are those who have a job offer in the UK and have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from their prospective employer. The Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is further divided into the following categories:
- Tier 2 (General): This category is for skilled workers who have a job offer in the UK and have a CoS from their prospective employer.
- Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer): This category is for multinational companies that wish to transfer their employees to a UK branch of the company.
- Tier 2 (Minister of Religion): This category is for religious workers who have a job offer in the UK and have a CoS from their prospective employer.
- Tier 2 (Sportsperson): This category is for elite sportspeople and coaches who have a job offer in the UK and have a CoS from their prospective employer.
2. Tier 5 Sponsor Licence: This type of Sponsor Licence is required by employers who want to sponsor non-UK nationals to work in temporary or charity jobs. The Tier 5 Sponsor Licence is further divided into the following categories:
- Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting): This category is for workers who are coming to the UK to work in the creative or sporting sector.
- Tier 5 (Charity Workers): This category is for workers who are coming to the UK to do voluntary work for a charity.
- Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange): This category is for workers who are coming to the UK to do work experience or training, an Overseas Government Language Programme or research.
- Tier 5 (International Agreement): This category is for workers who are coming to the UK under an international agreement.
Benefits of Having a Sponsor Licence
Having a Sponsor Licence has several benefits for UK employers who wish to recruit non-UK nationals:
- Access to a Larger Talent Pool. One of the primary benefits of having a Sponsor Licence is that it enables businesses to recruit skilled workers from overseas. With a Sponsor Licence, you can access a larger talent pool, including highly skilled workers who may not be available locally.
- Faster Recruitment Process. The process of hiring foreign workers can be complex, and it can take a considerable amount of time to obtain the necessary work permits and visas. However, with a Sponsor Licence, you can streamline the recruitment process, making it faster and more efficient. This can help you to fill vacancies more quickly, reducing the amount of time and resources spent on recruitment.
- Reduced Skills Shortages. With a Sponsor Licence, you can address skills shortages in your business more quickly. By recruiting skilled workers from overseas, you can plug gaps in your workforce, ensuring that your business has the skills and expertise it needs to thrive.
- Improved Business Reputation. Having a Sponsor Licence can help to enhance your business reputation. It demonstrates that you are committed to hiring and investing in talent from a diverse range of backgrounds. This can help to attract new business and partnerships, as well as improving your reputation in the wider community.
- Opportunities for Global Expansion. A Sponsor Licence can also provide opportunities for global expansion. By recruiting skilled workers from overseas, you can establish an international workforce, opening up new markets and expanding your business’s reach.
- Improved Compliance. When you hold a Sponsor Licence, you are required to comply with a range of immigration laws and regulations. This can help to ensure that your business is operating in a compliant manner, reducing the risk of fines and other penalties.
- Cost Savings. Recruiting foreign workers can be expensive, particularly if you are required to hire a specialist recruitment agency or legal support. However, with a Sponsor Licence, you can manage the recruitment process in-house, reducing your costs and providing greater control over the recruitment process.
- Flexibility. With a Sponsor Licence, you have greater flexibility when it comes to staffing. You can hire skilled workers on a temporary or permanent basis, providing you with the flexibility to meet changing business needs.
- Improved Diversity. Recruiting skilled workers from overseas can help to improve diversity within your business. By bringing in workers from different backgrounds and cultures, you can benefit from a wider range of skills, experiences, and perspectives. This can help to improve innovation, problem-solving, and creativity within your business.
Obtaining a sponsor licence is a complex process that requires careful preparation and attention to detail. It is important to understand the legal requirements and obligations involved in the process to ensure a successful application. Working with an experienced immigration solicitor can help make the process smoother and more efficient, while also reducing the risk of costly mistakes.
At Sterling Law, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who can provide expert advice and support in all aspects of sponsor licence applications. We have a deep understanding of the UK immigration system and can guide you through every step of the process.
Our Sponsor Licence solicitors can help you prepare for a Home Office visit, conduct an audit of your HR systems, and advise you on the steps you need to take to comply with your sponsorship obligations. We can also assist you with any compliance issues and represent you in any legal proceedings.