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Sponsor Licence Application Guidance For Employers

Published 22 July 2024

Interested in expanding your business skilled professionals from an international talent pool?

If these individuals aren’t already established workers or lack the necessary immigration clearance to work in the UK for your company, acquiring a Sponsor Licence from the Home Office is essential.

What is a Sponsor Licence?

A Sponsor Licence is an authorisation granted by the UK Home Office, permitting a UK-based organisation to employ foreign nationals.

This is necessary for employing most categories of overseas workers, including Skilled Workers and UK Expansion Workers. This encompasses both non-EU nationals as well as citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who have arrived in the UK post-December 31, 2020.

To obtain a Sponsor Licence, organisations must submit an application to the Home Office and remit the applicable application fee. Sponsor Licences are accessible to businesses of all sizes and industries, as long as specific business eligibility and job suitability criteria are met.

What are the benefits of a Sponsor Licence?

Businesses that obtain a Sponsor Licence are able to take advantage of an extensive range of overseas talent, filling the ever-growing skills gap in the UK workforce.

With a diverse, talented team, businesses experience an enhanced reputation as global employers, allowing organisations to obtain talent from across the world.

A Sponsor Licence facilitates compliance with immigration regulations and provides a structured framework for legally employing non-resident workers, granting organisations the ability to quickly onboard specialists from around the globe.

All in all, obtaining a Sponsor Licence is a strategic investment in the long-term growth and diversification of your workforce.

How much does a Sponsor Licence cost in the UK?

The application fee for a Sponsor Licence will be dependent on the size of the organisation. Small enterprises or charities are subject to a fee of £536, while medium or large organisations will incur a fee of £1,476 (correct as of December 2023).

Additional costs for the Immigration Skills Charge (£1,000 per year per sponsored worker for larger employers) and £199 to issue each Certificate of Sponsorship will also be required if your application is successful.

How long does a Sponsor Licence last?

An approved Sponsor Licence lasts four years.

To ensure you can maintain sponsorship beyond this, organisations must renew the licence before its expiration.

UK Expansion Worker and Sponsor Licences are exceptions to this, as they are not renewable; these licences presuppose the establishment of a UK trading presence within two years from the date of initial issuance.

How long does a Sponsor Licence take?

The standard processing time for Sponsor Licence applications by the Home Office is usually eight weeks. For a faster decision within 10 working days, you can opt for the priority service at an additional cost of £500.

What documents do you need for a Sponsor Licence?

To complete a Sponsor Licence application, you must include at least four mandatory documents.

These are outlined in Appendix A of the Home Office guidelines. The exact documents you’ll need will depend on your specific situation.

How can you get a Sponsor Licence in the UK?

By working with Five Star International’s specialist team, you can take advantage of tailored assistance to secure a Sponsor Licence, maintain top-tier licence ratings and fulfil sponsor obligations.

We’re committed to being both accessible and proactive in addressing the unique requirements of our business clients.

Our team is highly motivated and focuses on delivering straightforward, dependable immigration advice to UK employers through a professional yet personable service.

Speak to our team to get started today.

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