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Appendix A Sponsor Licence Documents

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Appendix A supports the Home Office policy guidance on sponsoring a non-UK resident worker. It lists the documents you must provide to support your application and evidence your organisation’s eligibility for a sponsor licence under the Worker, Temporary Worker or Student routes.

In most cases, you will need to provide at least four supporting documents from those cited in Appendix A. The documentary requirements do however vary, for example, based on the type of organisation that is applying.

In limited cases you may be exempt the documentation requirements, for example, if you are listed on the main market of the London stock exchange or are a recognised public body.

Any documentation required to validate your application will need to be submitted within five working days of the initial online application, or your application will not be processed.


Documents required under Appendix A

An application for a sponsor licence will need to be made online via the Home Office’s Sponsorship Management System. You will also need to pay an application fee.

The online form is, in itself, relatively straightforward. It is seeking to establish the nature of your business and that you are a legitimate organisation. Additionally, as part of your sponsor licence application, you will need to provide key documentary evidence in support within a limited timescale.

The minimum number of documents are to be made up from the list of mandatory documents based on the type of employer you are, and the list of mandatory documents based on the tier and category of licence you are applying for.

For example:

  • Businesses operating under 18 months will be subject to more extensive documentation requirements.
  • Food businesses must send evidence of registration or approval by food authority.
  • Franchises must submit their Franchise Agreement signed by both parties.


The Home Office tables detailing the documentation are extensive. Taking advice on your circumstances from experienced advisers will help to ensure you avoid issues or delays with your application.


Appendix A tables 

Appendix A is made up of five tables, which should be used as follows:

  • Table 1 Details exemptions to the requirement on licence applicants to provide four items of supporting documentation. Those listed in table 1 should follow the specific instructions and submit only what is requested. Employers not referenced in table 1 should move on to table 2.
  • Table 2 Lists the documents that must be provided to support your licence application if you are a start-up (operating for under 18 months), franchise, charity, or are subject to regulation, inspection or monitoring. The documents will vary depending on the type of organisation that is applying. Where further additional documents are needed, go to table 3.
  • Table 3 Further documents that are required, relating to the type of application you are making. Where you have not been able t identify four documents from tables 1, 2 or 3, you should refer to table 4.
  • Table 4 This list applies if you are unable to identify four documents from tables 1, 2 or 3. Use this list to make the number of documents to submit a minimum of four.

Depending on the instructions from tables 1-4, your supporting documents could include:

  • Organisation details, Authorising Officer, Key Contact, Level 1 user, other users and representatives
  • The number of Certificates of Sponsorship you need and your reasons for this number
  • The names and trading dates of your organisation if it has traded under another name in the last four years
  • Your organisation’s size and sector
  • Articles of association must be for the overseas business in respect of UK Expansion Worker applications
  • The name and registration number of any accrediting or governing body
  • The name and registration number of any Stock Exchange your organisation is registered with
  • Details of any criminal convictions or civil penalties payment card details
  • Any other mandatory documents applicable to your organisation under Appendix A


Additional supporting information

When applying for a skilled worker or Minister or Religion licence, further mandatory information will be required in addition to the documents from tables 1-4. Failure to meet this additional requirement will result in a rejected application.
With a licence application, in addition to the four mandatory documents you should also provide the following information:

  • Why you are applying for a sponsor licence
  • Which sector you operate in
  • What your opening/operating hours are
  • An up to date organogram detailing the organisational hierarchy including owners, directors & board members
  • If you have 50 employees or fewer, list all employees’ names and job titles
  • Which jobs you are recruiting for including:
    • Job title & Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code – Job description & duties
    • Where each job sits on the organogram
    • Expected salary level
    • Skills, experience and qualifications required for each job


In the event you have already found a candidate for the role, you should provide the following details with your application:

  • Candidate’s full name
  • Candidate’s date of birth
  • Candidate’s nationality
  • Candidate’s current immigration status
  • Candidate’s current job title and duties
  • Candidate’s 3 months’ payslips, if applicable


Documents that are not originally in English or Welsh have to be accompanied by a certified translation. The certified translator must state in writing:

  • that it’s a ‘true and accurate translation of the original document’
  • the date of the translation
  • the full name and contact details of the translator or a representative of the translation company

If you are submitting any affidavits or statutory declarations, these must have been witnessed by a suitable qualified, independent professional such as a solicitor, Notary Public, Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Oaths, or (in Scotland only) a Councillor.


How to submit your Appendix A supporting documents 

Having completed and submitted the application from through the SMS, you have to email the required supporting documents, as well as your submission sheet, signed and dated by your organisation’s appointed authorising officer.

You have only five days after completing the form to submit the supporting documents. These should be provided in electronic format – either PDF, or JPEG or PNG – by email to the email address on the submission sheet.

When compiling the documents:

  • You can take a photocopy or photograph of the original documents.
  • Avoid large file sizes but ensure image quality is appropriate.
  • Save as black and white rather than colour for low file size.
  • File name should be no longer than 25 characters.


The Home Office reserves the right to request documents in original form or certified copies, to be sent by post. The documents will then be returned for the attention of the Authorising Officer at the address listed in your application.


What if I can’t provide the right documents from Appendix A for my Sponsor Licence Application?

In the event that you fail to provide the necessary documentation in support of your application for a sponsor licence, you risk your application being significantly delayed, or even completely denied.

The most common grounds for delays or refusals are linked to applications in which the supporting documentation has not been submitted within the permitted timescale (five days of submitting the form), it is incomplete or out-of-date, or copy documents have not been correctly certified.

It is at the discretion of the Home Office to request additional documentation, where failure to comply with the documentary requirements first time round runs the risk of outright refusal.

Where a request is made for further documentation, you will be given seven days to submit these to the Home Office. Any failure to do so will almost certainly result in your application being denied, and your fee will be non-refundable.


What are the criteria for a sponsor licence?

When employing a skilled worker under the Worker or Temporary Worker routes, a sponsor licence is required to show that:

  • The foreign worker will fill a genuine vacancy, and
  • As the sponsoring employer, you agree to meet all of the duties and responsibilities associated with the grant of a sponsor licence.


In your application for a sponsor licence you must show you meet certain eligibility and suitability requirements, in particular, you must show that you are a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK.

You must also demonstrate the following:

  • Your organisation can offer a genuine vacancy that meets the category-specific skill level and minimum rates of pay.
  • Your organisation has appropriate systems in place to meet your sponsorship duties and responsibilities. It is not uncommon for the Home Office to attend on site to inspect your HR systems and interview key personnel either before or after granting a sponsor licence, and new guidance in August 2022 stated new powers to conduct digital compliance inspections as well as, or instead of, on-site compliance visits.
  • The key personnel named on your licence application are suitable to undertake the necessary sponsorship duties and do not present any threat to UK immigration control. The Home Office will consider any history of immigration violations or unspent criminal convictions for a relevant offence.


What are the criteria for a sponsor licence?

If your application is successful you will be granted a sponsor licence for a period of four years. As a licensed sponsor you will be allowed to issue certificates of sponsorship for any foreign workers that you wish to employ.

However, this does not in itself guarantee that any prospective workers will be given permission to enter or stay in the UK.

Each individual must still meet the necessary visa requirements to obtain entry clearance or further leave to remain. They must also remain compliant with the conditions of their stay once they are in the UK.


Appendix A Sponsor Licence: What are my sponsor licence duties?

Having been granted a licence to sponsor a migrant worker, you will be given access to what’s known as the Sponsor Management System (SMS) run by the Home Office.

The SMS is an online tool that allows you to administer your day-to-day sponsor activities, such as assigning certificates of sponsorship.

It will also allow you to report any changes in the circumstances of an individual foreign worker. As a licensed sponsor you have a number of duties and responsibilities so as to ensure compliance with the immigration rules and prevent abuse of the system.

These duties include keeping accurate and up-to-date records of foreign nationals working for you, as well as monitoring and reporting certain migrant activities, such as non-attendance, non-compliance or disappearance.


Failure to comply

When you are granted sponsorship status, you will be placed on the register of sponsors and given an “A” licence rating.

In the event that you fail to comply with your duties as a sponsor, you are at risk of having your licence rating downgraded or, worse still, your licence can be suspended or revoked.

You are also required to carry out “right to work” checks on the individuals that you sponsor to ensure that they are legally entitled to work in the UK and to undertake the work in question.

If migrants are found to be working illegally in circumstances where you have failed to carry out the prescribed document checks, or are unable to prove this with reference to proper records, you are at risk of a civil penalty, or even criminal prosecution.


Need assistance?

The application process for a sponsor licence can be complex, not least collating the necessary documentation in support. It is always best to seek advice from a specialist with experience in helping employers with skilled worker licence applications.

As UK business immigration specialists, we can help you identify the correct documentation to submit, and manage the application process on your behalf, helping you to avoid any unnecessary and costly delay or a refusal.

We work with UK employers to advise on all aspects of sponsorship licence applications and management. It may be that there are other immigration options available to support your recruitment needs. We can assess your needs and make recommendations based on current routes.

If the sponsorship licence is the best way forward, we can guide you through the application process, helping to compile a comprehensive application, and support with the ongoing management and compliance with your sponsor duties. For advice with your sponsor licence, contact us.


Appendix A Sponsor Licence FAQs

What is Appendix A?

Appendix A of the sponsor guidance details the supporting documents that organisations must provide with an application for a sponsor licence.

Which documents must be provided with a sponsor licence application?

The mandatory documents and information required with the licence application will vary by type of organisation and type of sponsor licence being applied for.

How do you submit the supporting documents?

The supporting documents must be emailed to the Home Office within 5 working days of the online application form being submitted.

Last updated: 23 August 2022

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