UK Sponsorship Licence

UK Sponsorship Licence (previously known as Tier 2 Sponsor Licence) allows employers from the UK to hire Non-Settled skilled migrants under the new point-based visa system representing the worker routes such as Skilled worker and Intracompany Transfer Visa (ICT) (Previously T2 Intracompany Transfer).

If you are a UK based business/employer looking to hire migrant skilled workers, you are required a valid Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence. Your business needs to be eligible to apply for Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence. Your business is required skilled workers above NVQ Level 3 to meet the job suitability requirements.

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Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence
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Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence

You need to assign Sponsor Management roles and responsibilities to the employees, you need to assign Senior persons to fill these roles. One person can fill all three roles or three people can be allocated to each position.

  • Authorising Officer
  • Key Contact
  • Level 1 User

Authorising officer has to be the senior employee of the business and should be a settled person in the UK (exemption applies) and have no criminal convictions.

The key contact has to be the employee of the business who will be communicating with the Home office.

Level 1 user- An authorising officer can be a level 1 user or another person can assign to fill this role. He will be the person who will be managing the Sponsorship Management System and performing tasks with the authority of Authorising officer.

Business needs to be compliant with the Home Office at all times and be ready for any unannounced visits from the Home Office. Businesses are required to have an integrated Human Resource Management System to be compliant with the Home Office. It is very important for the Businesses to meet the compliance to obtain and maintain the Sponsor Licence.

Failing to be fully compliant with the Home Office can lead to your Sponsor Licence application being refused. Furthermore, during any point whilst holding the licence any non-compliance activities or breach of sponsor licence duties within your organisation will likely have your licence downgraded, suspended and even revoked. Failing to be compliant can lead to a ban from 6 months to 5 years.

For a robust Sponsorship Licence application that meets the compliance of the home office criteria and HRM protocols, connect with our highly experienced Immigration Lawyers at Axis and get immediate personalised advice via a call to 0800 048 7573 or email:

Applying for the UK sponsorship licence- meeting the eligibility requirements

It is crucial to know before applying for a Sponsorship Licence application if your company/ business lawfully trading in the UK vacancy with an effective HR system, record keeping and maintaining them to be compliant to apply for Sponsor Licence.

Moreover, you are ONLY eligible to apply if:

  • Your sponsorship licence was not revoked or refused in the past 12 months
  • You were not involved in criminal/immigration offences, not limited to fraud and money laundering

Businesses are also required to comply with the right to work of the employees to prevent illegal work to be compliant with the Home Office.

Home Office can take up to 8 weeks to process the Sponsor Licence application and may take longer if the Home Office request a pre-compliance visit.

Homeoffice has introduced the priority service for the Sponsor Licence for £500. If Home Office accepts the request to consider the application for priority the application can be processed within ten working days.

The list of documents varies depending on the nature of the business as well as the types of licences.

You are required to provide a minimum of four mandatory documents from Appendix A. Businesses can provide more documents depending on the nature of the business and how long the business has been trading for to prove the genuineness of the business to the Home Office.

  • Employer’s Liability Insurance Certificate
  • Business Bank Statements or Letter from the Bank
  • PAYE Registration with HMRC
  • Annual Accounts
  • Lease or Ownership proof of the Business

Home Office started accepting documents Electronically since pandemic but may request original documents at any time. In addition to the above documents’ businesses are required to provide additional information from Appendix A.

For more professional and tailored advice, you can always approach our UK Business Immigration experts, specialists in Sponsorship licence application and compliance. With the correct supporting documents checklist, our team will put together comprehensive and sound evidence to ascertain you succeed in submitting a valid sponsorship licence application. It might be possible, in some cases, to apply for multiple subcategory worker licences. Hence, legal experts can offer you credible sponsorship licence guidance. To discover more about our sponsorship licence services, call us at 0800 048 7573 or approach us anytime via an email to

The cost of applying for the sponsorship licence depends on the company’s size (classified as small, medium and large organisations).

Thus, if you belong to a ‘medium’ or ‘large’, you will need to pay £1,476 before applying for a Sponsorship licence in the UK. For small businesses, including registered charities in the UK (having an annual turnover of £10.2 million or less), you will be required to pay £536.

If you add a temporary worker subcategory to an existing ‘worker’ sponsor licence, no Home Office fee will apply if you are a small or charitable sponsor.

However, for ‘medium or large sponsors’, a fee of £940 is required to be paid first, even if you are applying for additional worker subcategory licences with an existing licence.

There are additional costs associated with Sponsor Licence including CoS assigning fee, Immigration Skill Charge.

To apply for a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence and to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), you must comply with Home Office requirements, which means, you will be required to have an adequate HR monitoring system.

The complete list of occupations on the Shortage Occupation can be found on the updated guidance published by the Home Office (Guidance Skilled Worker Visa Shortage Occupations).

These include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers

An online application is required to be submitted by an employer. Supporting documents with the submission sheet is required to be send to the Home Office. The necessary eligibility checks will be carried out against your application by the Home Office.

In line with new changes due to Brexit, you are no longer required to advertise the vacancy for any specific time, as long as the job vacancy meets the skills requirement and the Home Office guidelines.

The minimum job skill requirement will be RQF 3, which is equivalent to A-levels. Skilled Occupation Codes (SOC) list jobs which are eligible under the skilled worker route.

Previously, one of the requirements was that a job had to meet the RQF 6 requirement which was equivalent to Bachelor’s level.

Different minimum salary levels apply to different types of occupations. The applicable threshold depends on the job role and whether the worker is classed as a new entrant or an experienced worker.

The employer must pay whichever is the higher of the ‘going rate’ or the relevant general minimum salary threshold. New salary requirements from 1st January are between £20,480-£25,600. This has been reduced from £30,000.

Our highly experienced Business Immigration Solicitors will meticulously prepare and submit all the necessary paperwork and advise you on the necessary requirements to apply for a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence. We will assess your eligibility and consider all the relevant circumstances to ensure that you are compliant with Home Office requirements. We provide expert advice on procedures required to meet the Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence. Our solicitors will assist you with the Home Office audit visits and in maintaining an adequate HR system for your business.

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