Bartender working at bar counter in oriental restaurant

Sponsor Licences for UK Restaurants

Published 12 April 2024

Within the UK economy, the hospitality sector stands as a fundamental industry, bringing together employment opportunities with the excitement of tourism.

Despite its successes, the hospitality sector is subject to various challenges, with post-Brexit labour shortages being a major issue to deal with.

For restaurant owners or hospitality establishments struggling to find skilled staff, a Sponsor Licence may be the answer.

What is a restaurant Sponsor Licence?

A restaurant Sponsor Licence is the authorisation granted to a restaurant or hospitality establishment, that enables them to recruit and employ foreign nationals across various professions in the industry to meet workforce demands, including chefs, managers and waitstaff.

Any business wishing to employ overseas workers must possess a valid Sponsor Licence issued by the UK Home Office.

Who can apply for a restaurant Sponsor Licence?

To be eligible for a Sponsor Licence, restaurants or hospitality establishments must be genuine, registered businesses operating within the UK that demonstrate a valid requirement to recruit overseas workers.

As well as applying for the Licence, businesses must show their ability to fulfil the financial and managerial responsibilities associated with sponsoring employees from overseas, implement suitable systems to oversee sponsor personnel and designate specific individuals to oversee the sponsorship process.

Applicants must not possess any unspent criminal convictions, including offences related to fraud or money laundering, nor have had a Sponsor Licence revoked within the preceding 12 months.

What are the benefits of a restaurant having a Sponsor Licence?

As the labour shortage across the UK hospitality sector continues, a Sponsor Licence offers businesses the opportunity to reach a global market of talented workers to enhance their workforce.

With a Sponsor Licence, your business can be opened to a world of talent to supplement your team.

If you’re a hospitality business owner looking for skilled staff, speak to our sister company Recruitment Solvers who can assist with sourcing overseas talent for your business.

How to apply for a restaurant Sponsor Licence

If you’re looking to apply for a Sponsor Licence for your restaurant, you must meet certain criteria set forth by the Home Office.

General requirements for a Sponsor Licence application:

  1. Prove that your organisation is genuine and lawfully operating in the UK.
  2. Demonstrate that your organisation is trustworthy, and reliable, and has not engaged in activities that are harmful to the public.
  3. Show that your organisation can fulfil sponsor duties and comply with guidelines within the timeframes established by the Home Office.

To establish lawful operation, you’ll need to submit various business-related documents, the details of which may vary based on your type of organisation and the immigration routes you aim to use for sponsorship.

Route-specific requirements for a Sponsor Licence

In addition to the general criteria, organisations must also meet specific requirements that pertain to the immigration route through which they aim to sponsor an overseas national.

Read our breakdown of requirements for a Sponsor Licence

When you’re confident you meet these requirements, your application process can begin.

Help with Sponsor Licence applications

Should you need tailored guidance on the appropriate business documents for a Sponsor Licence application, specialised support in formulating a compelling business case that meets UKVI requirements, or expert advice on the responsibilities essential for obtaining and maintaining a Sponsor Licence, we can customise our assistance in any of these areas or manage the entire application process on your behalf.

We’re committed to being proactive in addressing the unique requirements of your business. Our team is highly motivated and focuses on delivering straightforward, dependable immigration advice to UK employers through a professional yet personable service.

Speak to Five Star today to find out more

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