If you are applying for a UK sponsor visa for the purpose of facilitating a would-be employee’s UK immigration, you will have to fulfill a number of sponsor licence business requirements and submit a sponsor license application. In addition to submitting the basic documents, you are required to submit a number of supporting documents as part of your sponsor license application. The materials you submit will vary depending on your organization or business type, whether you are sponsoring a worker or a student, and (if the former) whether he or she is a classified as a “worker” or “temporary worker.” Read on to find out what kind of supporting documents you will need to submit on a sponsor license application, for an overview of the basic application processes, and for additional information about the sponsor license guide. This includes the “sponsor guidance appendix A,” which presents the supplemental documents for the various types of sponsor licence applications. 

UK Sponsor Visa

  • If you are attempting to hire someone from abroad, you will likely have to apply for a UK Sponsor visa (license) on behalf of your business, for the purpose of facilitating their immigration.
  • There are two kinds of licences available to those seeking to become sponsors: Worker Licences and Temporary Worker Licences. The one you apply for is determined by how long the person you seek to employ intends to work for you. 
  • Once you successfully apply for UK sponsorship, you will receive a licence rated “A.” Your A-rated licence will result in your company being placed on the official register of licenced sponsors, which will guide would-be employees to your company. 
  • Additionally, an A-rating also will also allow you to begin granting sponsorship certificates to your would-be employees.
  • Please note that certificates of sponsorships are pieces of paper (visas); they are electronic in form and are accessible online. 
  • You will have to pay a fee for your worker’s certificate (£199 or £21, for a Worker’s or Temporary Workers certificate, respectively), unless your employee is from one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey (employees from these countries are free). 
  • As a newly certified sponsor, you are responsible for bestowing certificates of sponsorship onto any of your foreign would-be employees. While being sponsored does not entitle a would-be employee to automatic UK immigration, it is a mandatory requirement for immigration should he or she go forward with a UK business visa application. 

UK Sponsor License Guide

  • The following guide makes publicly available critical information to those pursuing sponsorship in the context of both education and employment.
  • Click here to access the guide.

UK Sponsor Guidance Appendix A

  • This appendix includes all of the supplemental documents that a UK business, organization, or company will need to provide when they apply for a Sponsor Licence.
  • Access the complete appendix here.
  • Locate your particular of organization type under Tables 1-3; whichever type best describes your business will determine the kind of documents you need to provide. Finally, Table 4 presents additional supplemental documents you could potentially be asked to submit.
  • These documents are relevant for the sponsorship of would-be employees on Worker Visas, Temporary Worker Visas, and/or Students.
  • The majority of companies will need to provide a minimum of four documents in total (exceptions to this requirement can include businesses on the London Stock Exchange and local authorities).
  • Any required supplemental documents should be photographed or scanned and sent via email to the posted address.
  • Please note that materials will only be accepted if they written in English or Welsh. Documents written in another language must be translated into one of those two languages, via official translation.

UK Sponsor License Application

  • Access your UK sponsor visa application here.
  • In addition to the main application, your business will have to upload a number of supplement documents. Please keep in mind that the supplemental documents you will need if you are sponsoring a foreign worker will be different from the supplemental documents required if you are an educational institution that is sponsoring a student from abroad.

UK Sponsor Licence Business Requirements

  • While most individuals who seek to employ someone from abroad are eligible to apply for a sponsor licence, please note that your eligibility could be negatively affected if your business is judged to lack the appropriate mechanisms to monitor your sponsored employees.
  • Pursuant to the objective of responsibly overseeing your sponsored employees, you must formally select someone in your employ to oversee the application process, in the positions of “Sponsorship Management Roles.” These include an authorizing officer, key contact, and level 1 user; all three individuals will facilitate this collective task by accessing and utilizing the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), which is accessible here.
  • Additionally, you could be denied a licence in the event that you have any previous criminal history, particularly in the areas of immigration or fraud, or if you experienced the cancellation of a previous licence.
  • In addition to the above requirements, individuals who pursue sponsorship must also make sure they alert Visas and Immigration (UKVI) in the event that one or more of the persons they hired violates any of the terms of their UK immigration visa.
  • As a sponsor, you are also responsible for ensuring your offer for employment corresponds with the requisite pay rate and skill set.
  • Please note that once you obtain a sponsor licence, your failure to meet any of the above requirements could result in your licence rating being reduced from an A to a B rating-. In the event that this occurs, your business will be prevented from assigning certificates (and in effect, hiring workers from abroad), pending the reversion of your A-rating.
  • Remember that the requirement for applying for the sponsor licence falls to the employer of the would-be immigrant. Independent of their employer applying for a licence, the immigrant must also obtain their own UK business visa in order to be considered eligible for immigration to the country.

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