Sponsor Licence Application

For your organisation to hire skilled migrant workers, you must first apply to the Home Office for a sponsor licence.

Do you need help with a Sponsor Licence Application?

Why Sponsor licence applications are refused:

  • Failure to correctly apply the Resident Labour Market Test where required 
  • Failure to pass the ‘genuineness test’
  • Failure to comply with UKVI security standards
  • Failure to pass a UKVI compliance audit
  • Failure to respond to UKVI’s enquiries in a timely manner

Applying for a Sponsor Licence 

To make a successful sponsor licence application, the Home Office will be looking for you to prove that:

  • You are a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK.
  • Your key personnel named on the sponsor application are honest, dependable and reliable.
  • You are aware of and capable of carrying out their visa sponsorship duties ie they have appropriate human resources and recruitment systems and practices in place
  • You are offering genuine employment that meets the Tier 2 (General) skill level and appropriate rates of pay.

You must complete an online licence application and provide supporting documentation to meet the necessary evidentiary requirements. This must be supplied within five days of the initial application.

Failure to submit all required documents will result in an application being delayed or rejected and further costs being incurred.

Following the receipt of these documents, your organisation may then be subject to a compliance visit from UK Visas and Immigration, who will assess whether or not to grant the licence.

You will also be required to comply with the illegal working requirements which states that all non-EU employees are required to provide documentation that proves their right to work before being employed by a UK company. You must retain copies of this information.

How we can help you

DavidsonMorris can support throughout the sponsorship licence application process:

  • Assisting with initial considerations as to the most appropriate type of sponsorship application and suitable key personnel
  • Drafting your online sponsor licence application
  • Helping you to collate the appropriate supporting documentation that you must submit
  • Auditing your HR systems and procedures to get them in order before the UKVI visit
  • Briefing or training staff on their duties and responsibilities
  • Advising on the UKVI ‘genuineness’ test and assessing whether a prospective employee satisfies the points criteria before the sponsor issues a certificate of sponsorship
  • Advising on the alternatives available to you if you decide not to make a sponsor licence application

Do you need help with a Sponsor Licence Application?

Sponsor Licence Application Videos

Sponsor Licence Articles

Sponsor Licence Brochure

Sponsor Licence brochure

Featured Videos

What is the sponsor licence application process?

Employer considerations when applying for a sponsor licence

Why do sponsor licence applications fail?

What if your sponsor licence application is refused?

How long does the sponsor licence application process take?

Who can apply for a sponsor licence?

Why choose DavidsonMorris?

We are a team of immigration lawyers and former Home Office employees, with an established reputation for supporting employers and HR professionals on all aspects of Tier 2 sponsor licence applications.

We are highly experienced in all the document and evidentiary requirements vital to a prompt and stress-free sponsor application.

Sponsor Licence Application Articles

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Proposal to change rehabilitation periods for spent convictions A private members bill has been put to Parliament in July 2019 which [...]


To employ skilled personnel from outside the EU, UK employers must first apply to UKVI for a sponsor licence.

The Home Office uses the sponsor licence application process to ensure your organisation is genuine in its need and motivation to hire from overseas. Here are some key sponsor licence guidance tips for employers looking to make a sponsor licence application.

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Disclosing Spent Convictions

Proposal to change rehabilitation periods for spent convictions A private members bill has been put to Parliament in July 2019 which [...]


Essential information before you make a sponsor licence application.

The sponsor licence application is in two parts. You have to get both stages right to be successful in your application for a sponsor licence.

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After 4 years, you will be required to apply to renew your sponsor licence, when your HR systems and processes will be scrutinised by the Home Office.

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Sponsor licence holders must meet a number of duties on an ongoing basis, requiring HR systems and processes to support compliance.

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You should expect to receive a Home Office visit as part of a sponsor licence renewal. They can be daunting, making early preparation essential.

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Immigration audit helps as part of your sponsor licence application or renewal preparation to you meet the duties of a sponsor licence holder.

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Sponsor licence holders must comply with Home Office requirements through effective HR systems and processes.

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Advice on the use of restricted and unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) under your Tier 2 sponsor licence.

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