Sponsorship Licence for Employers – Expert Legal Support
Barar & Associates is a top-rated team of UK immigration lawyers, specialising in all types of UK visa and immigration advice for clients from all backgrounds. If you are looking to obtain a sponsorship licence for your business to enable you to take on skilled workers from overseas, we can help.
Since the introduction of the Skilled Worker pathway (formerly Tier 2 Sponsor Licence), we have successfully helped dozens of businesses receive sponsorship licences from the Home Office. However complex or urgent your requirements may be, our skilled solicitors will provide the support and representation you need for the best possible chance of a successful outcome.
For more information on sponsorship licences for employers or to discuss the services we provide in more detail, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates today.
Who Needs a Sponsorship Licence?
In order for an overseas nation to work in the UK long-term (and potentially qualify for settlement), they must first obtain the appropriate visa from the Home Office. One of the more popular pathways for migrant workers is the Skilled Worker Visa, which can grant those who qualify indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
However, anyone looking to enter or remain in the UK under the Skilled Worker pathway must first receive a formal job offer from a qualified and approved sponsor. Only businesses with a sponsorship licence issued by the Home Office are able to issue this Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), which is the main requirement that must be fulfilled to obtain a Skilled Worker Visa.
This is why any business interested in hiring workers from overseas in any capacity must first determine whether they need to obtain a sponsorship licence. Where a business employs overseas workers without the appropriate licence, it can lead to heavy fines and penalties.
Obligation- Free Initial Advice on Sponsorship Licences
At Barar & Associates, our experience and expertise extend to all types of visa and immigration issues – including sponsorship licence applications. To help you determine your eligibility and suitability for a sponsorship licence, we would be delighted to hear from you at your convenience.
With no obligation to go ahead, you will have the opportunity to ask all the questions you need to understand your obligations and entitlements, and to decide what to do next.
For more information on any of the above or to discuss sponsorship licences in more detail, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates anytime.
What is a Sponsorship Licence?
A sponsorship licence (formerly known as Tier 2 sponsor licence) enables businesses in the UK to legally employ skilled workers from overseas. Skilled workers may enter the UK in the first place via the Skilled Worker pathway, or “switch” to a Skilled Worker visa from other visa types, such as a Graduate Visa.
Where a sponsorship licence is successfully obtained, a business is permitted to employ workers for a period of four years. After which, an application can be submitted to renew the licence.
If you would like to learn more about the features and benefits of sponsorship licences or have any questions regarding your eligibility as an employer, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates today.
Why Apply For a Sponsorship Licence?
Over the course of several decades, UK businesses spanning a number of sectors have become increasingly reliant on the skills and talents of overseas workers. In particular, sectors such as agriculture, tech, hospitality, and finance have been built largely on overseas talent.
Post-Brexit, it has become increasingly difficult for workers based outside the UK to legally seek employment in the UK. A sponsorship licence is now mandatory for businesses looking to take on workers under the Skilled Worker pathway, and other legal entry-points to the UK.
Hence, any business interested in capitalising on the talent, enthusiasm, and availability of the international workforce must now successfully obtain a sponsorship licence.
For more information on the sponsorship licence application process or to discuss any aspect of your case in more detail, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates today.
Why Do I Need a Solicitor to Apply for a Sponsorship Licence?
While it is technically possible to apply for a sponsorship licence without legal support, the input of a solicitor could give you the best chance of a successful outcome.
It is important to remember that if your initial application is rejected, you will need to apply from scratch once again at the full initial cost. No refunds are provided by the Home Office for declined applications, and you may also be subject to a six-month cooling off period, before you are able to apply once more.
Barar & Associates can provide the tailored advice and support your organisation needs to negotiate the complexities of applying for a sponsorship licence. Whether ready to go ahead or simply considering a future application, we would be delighted to chat with you at your convenience.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Sponsor Licence?
How much it costs to get a sponsorship licence depends on the size and type of organisation applying for it. Businesses that fall within the “small” sponsor category must pay a fee of £536, while all other businesses classified as “medium” or “large” are subject to a standard licence fee of £1,476.
The same fee is payable each time the licence is renewed (every four years), subject to any changes that may be implemented in the meantime by the Home Office.
However, the figures above refer only to the basic costs of the sponsorship licence, and not the legal support and representation needed to successfully process an application. At Barar & Associates, we tailor the services we provide to suit all requirements and budgets, with a dynamic fee structure to ensure our costs remain competitive.
For more information or to discuss any aspect of your case in more detail, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates anytime.
How Much Do Sponsorship Licences Cost in the UK?
The cost of a sponsor licence for a UK business is tied to the size and nature of the organisation itself.
As it stands, an organisation will be classified as a “small” sponsor by the Home Office, a upon meeting at least two of the following requirements:
- your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less
- your total assets are worth £5.1 million or less
- you have 50 employees or fewer
All registered charities are also classified as “small” sponsors, irrespective of their size, nature, or combined value.
For businesses that fall within the “small” sponsor classification, a standard licence fee of £536 is payable (renewable every four years)
Elsewhere, and all other businesses that do not meet these requirements are categorised as “medium” or “large” sponsors, and must pay the higher £1,476 fee (renewable every four years).
However, there are occasional instances where no fee is payable. For example, where a business has already been granted a ‘Worker’ sponsor licence (formerly known as Tier 2 sponsor licence) and decides to add a subcategory, an additional fee does not need to be paid.
Ask the Experts at Barar & Associates
Due to the complexities involved in successfully obtaining a sponsor licence in the UK, expert legal support should be sought at an early stage. At Barar & Associates, we can provide you with the full legal representation you need to ensure the best possible chance of a successful outcome.
For more information on any of the above or to discuss any aspect of your case in more detail, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates anytime.
How Much Does A UK Sponsor Licence Cost?
For businesses that fall within the “small” sponsor classification, a standard licence fee of £536 is payable (renewable every four years). Elsewhere, and all other businesses that do not meet these requirements are categorised as “medium” or “large” sponsors, and must pay the higher £1,476 fee (renewable every four years).
The size and nature of the business you run will therefore determine the amount you will pay for your sponsor licence. In order to be eligible for the smaller fee (under the small sponsor classification), your business needs to fulfil two or more of the following requirements:
- your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less
- your total assets are worth £5.1 million or less
- you have 50 employees or fewer
Organisations that are classed as a charitable sponsor also qualify for the lower fee. This applies to organisations that are:
- a registered charity in England or Wales
- a registered charity in Scotland
- a registered charity in Northern Ireland
- an excepted charity
- an exempt charity
- an ecclesiastical corporation established for charitable purposes
All organisations that do not fall within one of these categories or classifications are liable for the full £1,476 application fee.
UK Sponsorship Licence Costs: Types of Fees
Along with the initial application fee itself, there are other costs that must be taken into account for businesses looking to hire skilled workers from overseas. Examples of which include the following:
- Sponsor Licence (£535 – £1,476)
- Each Certificate of Sponsorship issued to foreign workers (£21 – £199)
- Immigration Skills Charge for specialist roles (initial cost of £364 – £1,000)
In addition, these costs do not take into account the cost of any legal advice or representation you are provided with, chargeable on the basis of the nature and complexity of your requirements.
At Barar & Associates, we take pride in the honesty and transparency of the information we provide. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a complete overview of our fee structure, and ensure you know exactly how much you can expect to pay for our support.
With no obligation to go ahead, we will help you determine your eligibility and suitability for a Sponsor Licence, and advise on the most appropriate course of action – if you choose to go ahead.
For more information on any of the above or to discuss UK Sponsorship Licence fees in more detail, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates today.
How Do You Become a Licensed Sponsor?
The official guidelines issued by Gov.UK regarding how to become a licensed sponsor are as follows:
- Check your business is eligible.
- Check if your job is suitable for sponsorship.
- Choose the type of licence you want to apply for – this will depend on what type of worker you want to sponsor.
- Decide who will manage sponsorship within your business.
- Apply online and pay the fee.
Before applying to become a licensed sponsor, it is advisable to carefully consider whether you meet the eligibility requirements set out by the Home Office. This is to avoid delays or disruptions during the application process, along with the potential for your application rejected (with no refund payable).
At Barar & Associates, we can help you determine your eligibility to become a licensed sponsor, while providing all supplementary support needed throughout the application process. For more information or to discuss applying for a Sponsor Licence in more detail, call or email today.
What Are the Criteria for Becoming a Licensed Sponsor?
In order to be considered eligible to become a licensed sponsor, the Home Office states that your business must have a UK presence and be operating lawfully in the country. If your business operates with multiple branches, you can apply for a single licence to cover all of your entities, or separate licences for each branch – in accordance with your requirements.
You must provide the Home Office with satisfactory evidence that you are able to offer overseas workers valid employment in a skilled capacity and sector, and that you will be able to pay them the minimum salary requirements applicable at the time.
Upon becoming a Sponsor Licence holder, the business in question agrees to abide by all of the responsibilities and duties of being such a licence holder, outlined by the Home Office. It is not normally possible for a sole individual to become a recognised sponsor, but exceptions may apply in the case of some sole traders.
Depending on the type of business you run, it may also be necessary to submit evidence that you are registered with an appropriate trading body, and/or that you have the appropriate planning permission needed to run the type of business you operate at its registered address.
For more information on any of the above or to discuss any aspect of sponsorship licensing in more detail, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates today.
How Do I Get Sponsorship for My Employer UK
The process of applying for a Sponsor Licence (formerly known as Tier 2 Sponsor Licence) often differs from one organisation to the next, depending on the type of business being run and its requirements for workers from overseas. As a bare minimum, an application form must be submitted online complete with at least four supporting documents, complete with a cover letter providing an overview of the company and its background.
Following submission of a Sponsor Licence application, it is not uncommon for the Home Office to request further documentation and evidence. A compliance visit at the premises of the company may also be conducted by the Home Office, as part of the application screening process.
At Barar & Associates, our goal is to make it as straightforward as possible for UK businesses to apply for and obtain Sponsor Licenses. Whether this is your first application or you need support following a rejected application, we’re standing by to take your call.
Contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates anytime for more information.
What Documents Do I Need to Submit with a Sponsor Licence Application?
The documents that have to be submitted with a Sponsor Licence application will be determined by the type of business applying for the licence and its requirements.
Some of the most common forms of evidence the Home Office is likely to request include the following:
- A recent business bank statement
- Evidence of employer’s liability insurance of at least £5 million.
- Certificate of VAT registration
- Evidence of registration as an employer with HMRC – i.e. PAYE and Accounts Office Reference Number
- Proof of ownership or lease of business premises or rent agreement
- Latest audited or unaudited accounts
- If you are required to be registered with and/or inspected/monitored by a regulatory body to operate lawfully in the UK, evidence of your registration.
There are several different types of sponsorship licences available, each with its own unique requirements in terms of evidence and general eligibility. At Barar & Associates, we can help you determine which of these licence types best suits your business, and conduct a full eligibility check on your organisation before applying.
For more information on any of the above or to get your Sponsor Licence application underway, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates for a chat.
What are the main ‘Worker’ licence categories?
There are two general license categories for foreign workers. They are:
Skilled Worker (formerly Tier 2 General)
Those who hope to qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa must:
- Have employment arranged with a UK employer that is approved by the Home Office.
- Be designated to perform work that is on the government’s list of eligible occupations.
- Have a certificate of sponsorship from their employer.
- Have a salary that satisfies established immigration rules.
Applicants must have a confirmed job offer before they apply for a Skilled Worker Visa. They must also be able to read, write and speak English to a certain degree and will likely be tested regarding their English abilities when they apply for the Skilled Worker Visa.
Senior or Specialist Worker Visa – Global Business Mobility (GBM) (formerly Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer)
The Senior or Specialist Worker Visa enables the holder to come to or continue to stay in the UK and work at the employer’s UK branch, as long as the applicant is performing an eligible job. The Senior or Specialist Worker Visa replaced the Intra-Company Transfer Visa, also known as the Tier 2 Long-Term Staff Visa.
Note: Graduates on a trainee programme will need to apply for a Graduate Trainee Visa, not a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa.
Senior or Specialist Worker Visa Eligibility
Those hoping to qualify for a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa must be an existing employee working for an organisation that is approved by the Home Office. They must also have a certificate of sponsorship from said employer that includes details about the type of work the employee will be performing, and they must be slated to earn at least £45,800 per year.
How long you can stay on a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
The person holding the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa may stay in the UK for the amount of time indicated on their certificate of sponsorship, plus 14 days, or 5 years. Whichever is shorter. The holder may also apply to renew their visa or get another one should they want to up to the maximum length of stay allowed.
Those already working in the UK on the now discontinued Tier 2 Intra-Company Visa may apply to extend their stay with a Senior or Specialist Worker Visa.
Maximum Stay Allowed for the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
- For those earning less than £73,900 annually: 5 years out of any 6-year period
- For those earning more than £73,900 annually: 9 years out of any 10-year period.
In addition, any time the holder of the Senior or Specialist Worker Visa spends in the UK on one of the following visas will be counted toward their Maximum Allowed Stay:
- An Intra-Company Transfer Visa
- An Intra-Company Trainee Visa
- A Graduate Trainee Visa
- A Secondment Worker Visa
- The Service Supplier Visa
- The UK Expansion Worker Visa
What is a Tier 2 Sponsorship License?
A Sponsorship License is an agreement a company or institution reaches with the Home Office that enables them to recruit skilled workers from overseas. These skilled workers must meet certain visa requirements, the type of work they are recruited to perform must be approved and there are also certain financial requirements in place that must be satisfied in order for the sponsored individual to enter and work in the country.
Once a company is granted a Sponsorship License it will appear on a list of Sponsor License Holders. The Sponsorship License is typically valid for 4 years. If the company wishes to renew their license they will have to do so before the current one expires. Failing to renew the license will mean the company can no longer employ skilled foreign workers.
How Can I Get a Sponsorship License in the UK?
The government maintains an online portal called the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) through which businesses and institutions can apply for a Sponsorship License. The Home Office also requires that any company granted a Sponsorship License must appoint at least one person from their existing staff to act as an Authorising Officer. This person will act as the point of contact for issues related to the License and be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Sponsorship License.
Before they can apply for a Sponsorship License the company or institution must prove that:
- They are a genuine licensed business or organisation conducting lawful business or other activities in the UK.
- They maintain a competent Human Resources department that exhibits full knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of any highly skilled foreign workers they may take on.
- The person designated to be the Authorising Office is reliable and of good character.
Any business or other organisation approved for a Sponsorship License will receive a sponsorship rating of “A”, meaning it can commence employing skilled foreign workers with the proper visa. The business will also be added to the government’s Tier 2 Sponsor List of approved Home Office sponsors.
After being granted a Sponsorship License the business or organisation will be continually assessed. If they fail to meet their sponsorship obligations or behave in a reckless or irresponsible way they may have their rating downgraded, or the Sponsorship Licence may be suspended or revoked entirely.
Why do I need specialist legal advice from Barar & Associates?
Immigration law is complex and ever-changing. New administrations often want to leave their fingerprints on immigration law which means rules and regulations are prone to frequent changes. Brexit has also muddied the waters somewhat when it comes to the employment of foreign nationals, and visa types are constantly changing or being modified.
If you are to navigate the choppy waters of UK immigration policy you need a law firm on your side with a proven track record of effectively representing both skilled foreign workers who find their way here and the businesses and institutions that employ them. That law firm is Barar & Associates.
Don’t risk being declined for a Sponsorship License or missing out on the Skilled Worker Visa you need to start your new job in the UK. Work with the experts at Barar & Associates and rest easy.
How Long Does It Take For a Company to Get a Sponsorship License?
It is a legal requirement for UK businesses looking to hire workers from overseas to first obtain the appropriate Sponsor Licence. As it can take several weeks for a Sponsor License application to be processed, it is advisable to begin your application as early as possible.
At Barar & Associates, we can provide you with the expert legal support and representation you need to streamline and simplify all aspects of your application. Processing times vary significantly from one application to the next – anything from a single working day up to eight weeks. The more time-critical your requirements, the greater the importance of hiring the right legal team to support your case.
For more information or to discuss sponsor licence applications in more detail, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates today.
Why Was My Sponsor Licence Application Refused?
If your Sponsor License application is rejected by the Home Office, you will be provided by a brief explanation as to why. In most instances, the most common reasons for rejected Sponsor License applications are as follows:
Your application can be refused by the Home Office for a number of reasons. Some of the most common are:
- Failure to pass the Home Office’s Compliance Audit
- Your business does not have appropriate policy and procedure in place to meet its sponsorship duties
- The business does not pass its ‘genuineness test’
- Failure to provide all requested evidence
- The business has not responded to Home Office enquiries on time
As with most visa and immigration applications, no refunds are provided by the Home Office in the case of rejected Sponsor Licence applications. If your application is rejected, you will need to start the process again from scratch and pay the full fee once again.
This is why it is important to ensure your application has the best possible chance of succeeding the first time around. At Barar & Associates, our experienced legal team will help you determine your eligibility for the various types of Sponsor Licences available, and support you throughout the application process.
For more information on any of the services we provide or to discuss your requirements in more detail, contact a member of the team at Barar & Associates today.
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