Under the Points Based System UK employers have to be licensed by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) before they can employ non-EEA workers. Employers who do not have a sponsor licence will be unable to hire new workers from outside the EU or extend work permits for current employees.
Sponsor Licence How Long Does it Take?
On average, we advise our clients to anticipate that their application will be processed in approximately 2 – 3 months. The complexity of your organisation’s structure and size will determine how long it will take for the application to be processed as well as the volume of other applications they have to process.
Why Sponsor licence applications are refused:
- Failure to pass a UKVI compliance audit
- Failure to have retained the required documentation on sponsored migrants
- Failure to have advised UKVI of significant changes to company structure and personnel
- Failing to respond to UKVI’s enquiries in a timely manner
- Failure to pass the ‘genuineness test’
- Failure to comply with UKVI security standards
What do employers have to do?
To apply for a licence companies must prove that:
- They are a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK.
- Their Key Personnel named on the application are honest, dependable and reliable
- They are aware of and capable of carrying out their sponsor duties ie they have appropriate human resources and recruitment systems and practices in place
- They are offering genuine employment that meets the Tier 2 (General) skill level and appropriate rates of pay.
Companies must complete an online 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, the company may then be subject to a compliance visit from UK Visas and Immigration, who will assess whether or not to grant the licence.
Companies 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 and copies of this information must also be retained by the employer.
Do you need help with an application?
DavidsonMorris can provide clients with a complete employer sponsorship licence application package which includes:
- Assisting with initial considerations as to the most appropriate type of sponsorship application and suitable Key Personnel
- Drafting your online 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 apply for a sponsor licence
With our team of UK immigration specialists well-versed in all the document and evidentiary requirements that can be vital to a prompt and stress-free application.