When applying for a sponsor licence, you will need to evidence to the Home Office that your organisation meets the eligibility requirements by providing certain supporting documents. Appendix A of the Sponsor Guidance sets out what these documents are.
Failure to submit the correct documents can result in your application being rejected – which is a preventable and frustrating delay in obtaining your licence and permission to sponsor overseas workers.
In this guide for sponsor licence applicants, we look in detail at how to use Appendix A to ensure you are providing the relevant and correct documentation to the Home Office.
What is Appendix A for sponsor licence applications?
“Appendix A: supporting documents for sponsor licence applications” is the document for organisations that want to apply for a sponsorship licence. It is an appendix to the full policy guidance on sponsoring someone under the ‘Worker’ or ‘Temporary Worker’ routes, listing the documents that must be provided to evidence eligibility in support of a successful licence application.
Appendix A sets out the different types of documents that must be sent, based on the nature of your organisation and the type of licence sought. It also outlines the format of documents, any documents or information available online, and how soon you must send your documents.
Appendix A & sponsor licence applications
When applying to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI – the Home Office division responsible for administering UK immigration) for a sponsor licence, there are strict documentation requirements that must be met. In all cases, a minimum number of required documents must be submitted in support of an application, together with a submission sheet, signed and dated by the employer’s Authorising Officer. For your application to be valid, and a case-working decision to be made, these documents must also be submitted within 5 working days of the date on which you submitted your online application.
If any of the mandatory documents specified in Appendix A are missing or incorrect, your application will be deemed invalid. In these circumstances, UKVI will reject your application and refund the application fee. If any other documents are missing, other than mandatory documents, or if UKVI require any additional documents, they will contact you by email. You will be given 5 working days to submit those documents, where your application will be refused, and your fee not refunded, if you fail to do so within the time provided.
UKVI also reserves the right to ask for more documents at any time during the licence application process and may even ask for documents not listed in Appendix A. If you fail to send any information, evidence or documents requested within 5 working days, your application for a sponsor licence will again be refused and your fee will not be refunded.
Appendix A supporting documents
Appendix A comprises four tables which list the documents and information to send in support of your sponsor licence application. In most cases, you must send at least 4 documents — or, where stated, 4 combinations of documents — including any documents described as mandatory. The only exception to the 4-document rule is if you are an organisation listed in Table 1. If you are applying under either the ‘Skilled Worker’ route or the ‘T2 Minister of Religion’ route, in addition to the 4 minimum documents, you must also provide extra information about your organisation, why you are applying, the types of job roles you wish to fill and any migrant workers already identified to fill those roles.
The four tables set out under Appendix A are as follows:
- Table 1: specific bodies and organisations
- Table 2: start-ups, franchises, charities and organisations subject to regulation or inspection
- Table 3: route-specific documents
- Table 4: other documents you can send
By far the easiest way to determine which documents you will need to submit in support of your application is to carefully read through each of the tables, starting with Table 1. As you work through the tables, you may find that an online check can be carried out to obtain the information needed instead, although you will still need to identify in a covering letter or email the address of the relevant web page where the information can be found.
Additionally, you should read the full “Workers and Temporary Workers: guidance for sponsors” before applying for your sponsor licence, as this guidance contains illustrative examples which explain how to put together the right documents to validate your licence application. This also explains the procedure when sending certified copies by post, as well as the procedure used by UKVI, known as the standard procedure, for verifying the correctness or genuineness of documents sent in support of your application. If you are new to sponsorship, it may be helpful to read the relevant route-specific guidance first.
Table 1 of Appendix A
Table 1 of Appendix A for specific bodies and organisations sets out some limited circumstances when you may not have to submit 4 documents in support of your application. This includes where you are an organisation of the type listed in Table 1, where you need only send the documents or information described. In some cases, you may not need to send any documents at all, unless there are items listed in Tables 2 or 3 specifically required for your type of organisation or the route on which you are applying to become a sponsor. The specific bodies and organisations listed under Table 1 include:
- Government departments, government agencies or other public bodies listed on the ‘Departments, agencies and public bodies’ page at GOV.UK
- Public bodies not listed on ‘Departments, agencies and public bodies’ at GOV.UK
- Local authorities or local councils
- Those applying under the International Agreement route as either a diplomatic mission or a consular post, or as a recognised international organisation included in the ‘Exempt organisations list’ and whose employees qualify for exempt entry clearances
- Those listed on the London stock exchange (main market)
- Those applying under the ‘standard’ or ‘endorsing body pathway’ of the Scale-up route.
Reference should be made to the specific requirements set out under Table 1 of Appendix A based on your organisation type, where relevant. Otherwise, if your organisation is not of a type listed in Table 1, you should turn to Table 2 of Appendix A.
Table 2 of Appendix A
Table 2 sets out the documents you must submit if you are either a start-up, a franchise, a charity, or an organisation subject to mandatory regulation, inspection or monitoring. The documents set out under Table 2 are mandatory for the organisations listed in this table.
The requirements set out under Table 2 are as follows:
If you are a start-up, operating or trading in the UK for less than 18 months on the date of application, you must submit evidence that you have a current corporate account with a bank registered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority in the UK (unless applying under the UK Expansion Worker route).
If you are a franchise, you must submit your franchise agreement signed by both parties.
If you are a charity listed on the register or website for the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland or the Scottish Charity Regulator under the same name in which you are applying for a sponsor licence, you do not need to submit any evidence of your charitable status. Your entry can be checked online, unless you are applying under a different name. For the additional evidential requirements for charities, reference should be made to Table 2 of Appendix A.
If you are required to be registered with, or inspected or monitored by, a regulatory body to operate lawfully in the UK, you will need to state who you are regulated by and provide your registration number. However, you must submit documentary evidence of your registration and, where relevant, your latest inspection report, if your regulatory body does not maintain an online public register. For the additional evidential requirements here, reference should again be made to Table 2 of Appendix A.
Once you have identified any relevant mandatory documents in Table 2, you should turn to Table 3 of Appendix A for any route-specific documents.
Table 3 of Appendix A
Table 3 refers to route-specific documents, setting out the documentation which is mandatory for the route, or routes, on which you are applying for a sponsor licence. This section is especially detailed, making provision for a number of different routes, including:
- The International Sportsperson route
- The Global Business Mobility (GBM) – Service Supplier route
- The Government Authorised Exchange route
- The Seasonal Worker route
- The T2 Minister of Religion or Religious Worker route
- The GBM – Senior or Specialist Worker
- The GBM – Graduate Trainee route
- The GBM – UK Expansion Worker route
- The GBM – Secondment Worker route.
When applying on any one of the relevant routes for which provision is made under Table 3, reference should be made to the route-specific documents needed, in addition to the other tables. For example, if you are an England-based sports club and registered charity applying under the International Sportsperson route, you must submit 3 documents and UKVI will conduct one online check, giving a total of the following 4 pieces of evidence:
- Appendix A, Table 2: UKVI must have evidence of your charitable status, but this can be checked on the Charity Commission for England and Wales website, where this will count as one piece of evidence
- Appendix A, Table 3: UKVI must have evidence of your endorsement from the governing body for your sport, where you must submit the relevant document from Table 3. This will again count as one piece of evidence
- Appendix A, Table 4: you must also choose 2 more pieces of evidence from Table 4 to bring your total number of documents to 4.
In all cases, if you have not identified 4 documents to submit in support of your application after looking at Tables 1, 2 and 3, you must turn to Table 4 of Appendix A.
Table 4 of Appendix A
Table 4 deals with other documents you can send in support of your licence application if you still need to make your total number of documents up to a minimum of 4, including:
- Evidence of £5m+ employer’s liability insurance cover from an FCA-authorised insurer
- Proof of your listing on either the London Stock Exchange (AIM market), as an overseas company on the London Stock Exchange International Companies listing or on one of the FCA-approved international stock exchanges
- Proof of registration with HMRC as being self-employed, either by way of original or certified copies of documents issued by HMRC, or your latest self-assessment tax return
- Proof of registration with HMRC as an employer for PAYE and National Insurance by way of a HMRC-issued document
- Your latest acknowledgement of a Company Tax Return, or completed return and notice
- Your HMRC VAT registration certificate, or your VAT registration number in a cover letter or email so UKVI can check your registration online
- Evidence of submitting returns to the HMRC – Foreign Entertainers Unit
- Proof of ownership of your business premises or a lease signed by all parties concerned
- Evidence of appropriate planning permission to operate your type or class of business at your trading address where this is a local authority requirement
- A licence for your premises to serve alcohol issued by the local authority or court
- Your most recent annual accounts, or annual financial statement or report, with the name of the accountant (who should be a member of an accredited accounting body), or the relevant website in a cover letter or email if this information can be viewed online
- Your latest corporate or business bank statement, and/or a letter from your bank setting out the nature and duration of its dealings with you, although submitting both these documents will only count as one (unless you are a ‘Start-up’ as described in Table 2).
When selecting a document or documents from Table 4 of Appendix A to make up the minimum total of 4, the instructions for the type of document selected must be carefully followed. This applies to all documentation or information prescribed by Appendix A, where any failure to follow the requirements exactly can result in your application for a sponsor licence being rejected as invalid or even refused by UKVI.
DavidsonMorris are recognised specialists in UK sponsorship licence applications. We provide expert guidance to organisations through the sponsorship application process, including advice on Appendix A requirements for supporting documents. Contact us if you have a query or require support with your licence application.
Appendix A FAQs
What is Appendix A in immigration?
What documents are required to apply for sponsor licence?
When applying for a licence to sponsor migrant workers under one of the ‘Worker’ or ‘Temporary Worker’ routes, you will usually need to submit at least 4 documents, or 4 combinations of documents, as set out under Appendix A.
What documents do I need for sponsorship licence UK?
There are certain mandatory documents you must submit when applying for a sponsorship licence, as well as various route-specific documents, which can be found in the tables set out under Appendix A of the policy guidance on sponsoring migrant workers.
What happens if I lose my sponsorship?
If you lose your sponsorship licence, you will no longer be able to assign Certificates of Sponsorship to migrant workers, including any existing workers. The leave of any sponsored workers currently on your payroll may also be curtailed.
Last updated: 30 September 2023