UK’s points-based immigration system gives non-UK people who want to work in the country options, such as supported work visas like the Skilled Worker visa, Global Business Mobility visas, Health and Care Worker visas, and Temporary Worker visas. Employers must get support from a licenced organisation to hire people with any of these visas. The UK sponsor licence application is submitted to UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI), the Home Office division handling UK immigration. Once received, the sponsorship licence allows an organisation to sponsor employees inside its firm. Notably, only organisations, not individuals, may get the title of licensed sponsors.’
The UK visa sponsorship policy is a key part of the Home Office’s plan to stop people from working illegally and abusing the immigration system. When an organisation chooses to get a sponsor licence, it takes on specific compliance duties. This means that the Home Office will be looking closely at the organisation.
The sponsorship regime serves to ensure that:
- The sponsor fulfils all expected compliance duties when sponsoring migrant workers.
- Sponsored workers meet the required points, possess suitable qualifications and skills, and meet language proficiency standards.
- The roles designated for sponsored workers adhere to the stipulated skill level, salary, and authenticity requirements.
Not doing these things can lead to police actions ranging from significant fines to losing the advertising licence. If this happened, visa workers would lose their jobs, and their visas would be limited, forcing them to leave the country early.
Sponsor Licence Requirements
The UK sponsor licence application process is how the Home Office checks to see if the company can meet the standards for qualifying and fitness. A team at the Home Office handles explicitly funding applications.
There are no limits on the number or type of company that can have a funding licence as long as they meet the requirements for the category or tier they are asking for.
You must meet the requirements for admission or fitness to ensure your application is turned on.
- The organisation must be confirmed and legally operating and trading in the UK to apply. For example, the organisation must be real, and limited companies must be registered with Companies House. Even though there aren’t any specific rules about how long a business has to be open, it must have a UK person on staff in case the Home Office has any questions during the application process.
- There must be a place for the organisation in the United Kingdom. We will not accept applications for business or trade with no location in the UK. Even if the organisation only does business online and has no location, it can still apply for a support licence. However, the application must clearly show that it can meet the responsibilities and obligations of the sponsor, along with proof that it can legally operate or trade in the UK.
How Long is a Sponsor Licence Valid For?
It takes four years to get a sponsor licence. You must ask for an extension before it ends because it doesn’t renew itself. This way, you can ensure your sponsored workers’ visas go smoothly.
It’s easier to renew than the first time. You can pay the fee through SMS and ask the Authorising Officer (AO) to make the request. In general, though, it’s a little harder because the Home Office will look at SMS and document data from four years ago to see if you followed the licence responsibilities.
If there hasn’t been a compliance visit in the last four years, the Home Office will check out your home before updating your licence. Before you try to refresh, ensure everything is in order, and your SMS is up to date.
Applying For a Sponsor Licence
You must use the online Sponsorship Management System (SMS) to request a sponsor fee. The application form is easy to fill out, but the system is old, so make sure you save your work often so you don’t lose anything.
This is what the form needs:
- Choose the type of licence you’re applying for.
- Provide your contact information.
- Nominate key personnel for the licence.
- List the supporting documents you’ll be submitting.
You can get help from a lawyer to fill out the form, but someone from your company needs to click the “Submit” button. This individual should be relevant to your company.
You must pay the UK Sponsor licence application fee when ready to send it in (see below for information). A filing sheet will be made after payment is made. It’s important that the Authorised Officer (AO) signs it and sends it in with your supporting papers.
Documents Required For a UK Sponsor Licence Application
Many companies need help getting the documents required to apply for a sponsored licence. According to the instructions in Appendix A, the application needs the following papers and details. You must show that your organisation is genuine and legally operating in the UK by submitting at least four required documents.
Employers need to consult Appendix A to determine the required papers for each application. Different types of organisations and times of operation in the UK have different paper needs. Some possible papers are:
- The latest audited annual accounts
- Employer’s liability insurance certificate
- Certificate of VAT registration
- Latest corporate bank account statement
- HMRC registration evidence, like PAYE number and accounts office reference number
- Evidence of ownership or a commercial lease for business premises
Even though only four papers are required, it’s better to send more, especially if the Home Office might have worries about any of the entries.
Submitting the UK Sponsor Licence Application Form
The person in charge should only let you send in the online sponsor licence application form if they are sure your UK company has all the systems it needs to do its job as a sponsor. Before you send it in, make sure that all of the supporting papers are in order.
The Authorising Officer (AO) can only send in the finished online sponsor licence application form. The AO’s lawyers can help them fill out the draft online application but need help sending it in.
The applicant should save a copy of the printed submission sheet after applying, as you won’t get another copy after the window closes. Keep a copy of the online support licence application you’ve filled out for your organisation’s records.
Need Help With Your UK Sponsor Licence Application?
You must get a support licence to bring skilled workers from other countries to the UK. However, the rules are strict, and the application process can be complex. We can help with that at UK Immigration Solicitors.
The people on our team who work on immigration know the whole process inside and out. We can take care of your application for an employer support licence, making the process easy and stress-free. We understand precisely what paperwork and proof you need to give for a good application.
We don’t just help you apply; we also give you advice on how to keep your licence in good shape so that you don’t have any problems with the police. Get in touch with us if you need help with asking for a sponsor licence.
We excel at handling challenging situations, including processing applications for group organizations, addressing urgent cases promptly, and even re-evaluating rejected applications. The Home Office could sometimes be more specific when telling you your application didn’t work. Because we’ve done this before, we can look at the original application, find the parts that need work, and show you how to fix them for a new or updated application.
If the Home Office makes mistakes with the facts, we can help you fix them. We will assist you in determining the best way to proceed so that things go faster and cost less, and your chances of success are higher. Don’t try to apply for a support licence yourself; let UK Immigration Solicitors help you.