Sponsor license application process

With Seraphus by your side, you will receive expert guidance and personalised support for a smooth journey to securing a sponsor licence.

Which type of sponsor licence do I need?

The type of sponsor license you need will depend on the type of staff you need to recruit. You can apply for a worker licence if you need longer-term or skilled employees or apply for a temporary worker licence, if you need employees to undertake shorter term, temporary employment. You will need to obtain one of these sponsor licences to employ and sponsor non-UK national employees (including both EEA and non-EEA individuals) for specific roles in your organisation.

The application form and fees

A sponsor licence application can be made online through the Home Office sponsorship management system. Your organisation will need to meet certain eligibility criteria. This includes demonstrating that your organisation is genuine, operating legally, has the correct HR systems in place to manage sponsorship and does not have a history of non-compliance with immigration rules. 

Sponsor licence application fees depends on several factors, including whether the application is made inside or outside of the UK, the size of the company and whether the organisation is a charitable organisation. As an example, a small or charitable applicant will be expected to pay £536 per licence, whereas a medium or large applicant will pay £1,476. The sponsor licence fees will also depend on whether an applicant opts for a premium or expedited service. 

The size of an organisation can be assessed by referring to the Companies Act definition of a small or charitable business. Any organisation that does not fall into these definitions will be considered a medium or large organisation. 

Required document checklist

Your organisation will need to provide supporting documents to accompany the application. It is important to review the guidance well in advance of applying for a sponsor licence, so your organisation is fully prepared with the required documents. 

The types of documents expected will vary depending on the nature of the business and the type of potential workers sought. A full list of documents required can be found in the Home Office sponsor licence guidance (Appendix A Sponsorship Guidance). In most cases, applications should be accompanied by at least four supporting documents, including mandatory documents listed for specific licence routes, and other more general documents. For example, if you wish to employ seasonal workers, you will be expected to provide a mandatory document, your endorsement from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and at least three other documents. 

Successful sponsorship licence

If your application is successful, your organisation will become a licenced sponsor and will be placed on the UK’s sponsorship licence register. This means you can allocate certificates of sponsorship to non-UK employees. As an employer, you must conduct initial checks to ensure potential employees have the requisite skills, qualifications and accreditations for the role, and that sponsorship certificates are only allocated to employees where the job is suitable for sponsorship.

If your application is unsuccessful, you may be able to apply for an administrative review if you believe the Home Office made a mistake in coming to a decision. This means the Home Office will review whether they have made the correct decision. As there is no guarantee of a positive outcome, we suggest you instead take the time to thoroughly preparing the initial sponsor license application.

Employer responsibilities

If it very important to ensure your organisation complies with the terms of your sponsorship and in accordance with immigration law. If you do not do this, it could result in your licence being withdrawn, suspended or downgraded. It additionally places your employees at risk of breaching the immigration rules which could affect their suitability for future immigration applications. 

An employer’s responsibility is ongoing throughout the duration of the sponsor licence. You must ensure that requisite HR systems are in place to manage and record employee information and documents and inform UKVI within 20 working days if there are any significant business changes. You must also inform UKVI if an employee is not complying with the conditions of their visa during their period of employment. It is essential for an organisation to meet these responsibilities, as failure to do so can lead to a licence being withdrawn, suspended or downgraded.

Sponsor management roles

It is essential for employers to designate individuals within the organisation to manage and oversee the process of applying for a sponsorship licence. This can be one or multiple people who are required to undertake checks to assess any previous criminality or non-compliance with immigration rules. The individuals involved with sponsorship management need to fill the roles noted below. 

A pre-licence assessment visit may be conducted if further checks are required to check if an organisation has the resources to sponsor potential employees.

We’re here to help you

When it comes to obtaining compassionate legal advice, Seraphus is your dedicated source of expert guidance.

We specialise in providing personalised support to help you navigate the complexities of the application process, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free experience.

Contact us today using the details below or book a consultation with us.

Phone: 020 8142 8211
WhatsApp: 07538 208 096
Email: info@seraphus.co.uk

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  • "…(the) advice was invaluable in making the application, guiding us all the way through the process."

    Paul Clark