Under the Points Based System UK employers have to be granted a sponsorship licence 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.
Why sponsorship 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 sponsorship licence, employers must prove that:
- They are a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK.
- Their key personnel named on the sponsor application are honest, dependable and reliable.
- They 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.
- They are offering genuine employment that meets the Tier 2 (General) skill level and appropriate rates of pay.
Employers 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, the company may then be subject to a compliance visit from UKVI, who will assess whether or not to grant the sponsorship 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.
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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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BEFORE YOU APPLY
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.
We can also help with:
SPONSOR LICENCE RENEWALS
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.
Sponsor licence holders must meet a number of duties on an ongoing basis, requiring HR systems and processes to support compliance.
HOME OFFICE INSPECTIONS
You should expect to receive a Home Office visit as part of a sponsor licence renewal. They can be daunting, making early preparation essential.
Immigration audit helps as part of your sponsor licence application or renewal preparation to you meet the duties of a sponsor licence holder.
Sponsor licence holders must comply with Home Office requirements through effective HR systems and processes.
CERTIFICATES OF SPONSORSHIP
Advice on the use of restricted and unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) under your Tier 2 sponsor licence.