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Sponsor Licence Application

In order to employ a worker from outside of the UK for your business expansion you need to ensure that you have the right permission to do so from the Home Office.


As such you need to have a Sponsor Licence which enables you to employ migrant workers from outside of the UK. This is even if you need someone to do unpaid work such as a charity or work experience member.


Once you have the Sponsor Licence you can then employ a migrant worker under the Skilled Worker route.

1. What is a Sponsor Licence?


A sponsor licence enables a UK business to employ foreign workers in the UK.

The Immigration Rules provide 3 main routes for non-UK residents who are working in the UK, these are:

  • The Skilled Worker Visa

  • The Intra Company Transfer Visa

  • The Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa

There are a number of rules and guidance’s that must be followed by the employer to ensure that they do not fall foul of the requirements as each of the above requires sponsorship by a business that is a licenced employer with a sponsor licence.


In order to employ a worker from outside of the UK now any business would need to apply to the Home Office for a sponsorship licence. Once the licence is obtained the employer will have permission to sponsor workers as employees.


The purpose of this licence is to ensure that illegal working is prevented and there is no misuse of the immigration system hence why there are so many requirements that need to be met even after the sponsorship licence has been approved.

2. Benefits of a Sponsor Licence?


Once the application for the company is approved you can then sponsor workers from outside of the UK to join you and help your business expand as you want.


You can use this system to ensure that you are employing the most talented people from outside of the UK or even if it is someone who works for you in the UK and you wish for them to stay and need to sponsor them.


We find that companies with Sponsor Licence’s tend to show good growth and direction as compared to companies who rely heavily on the local worker market only, furthermore it means that if there is a shortage of the type of worker that you want and can only find the person with the right skillset from outside the UK then having a Sponsor Licence gives you the competitive edge.

3. What are the requirements for a Sponsor Licence?

When applying for a Sponsor Licence for your business it is important that you are advised from the offset on what documents and information you will need to provide to ensure that you get the licence at the first time of asking.

One of the main requirements is eligibility, for this requirement you cannot have:

  • An unspent criminal conviction for immigration offences or certain other crimes, such as fraud or money laundering

  • Had a sponsor licence revoked in the last 12 months

You will also need to demonstrate that you have appropriate systems in place to monitor the sponsored employees and people to manage sponsorship in your business.


There are different requirements for businesses as to what documents you will need to provide when applying for the sponsor licence.

Some of the key documents that you will need to provide amongst many others are:

  • Evidence that you have employer’s liability insurance cover for at least £5m from an authorised insurer.

  • Your latest audited annual accounts with the name of the accountant clearly shown.

  • HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) VAT registration certificate confirming VAT registration number and ‘effective date of registration’ if business’ VAT taxable turnover is more than the ‘threshold’.

  • Latest corporate/business bank statement and/or a letter from your bank setting out the dealings it has had with you, including the nature and duration of its dealings.

  • Proof of ownership or lease of your business premises.

Apart from the requirements on eligibility and the documents that you must provide, the Home Office has also placed responsibilities that you must meet if you are to obtain a sponsor licence for your business to employ migrant workers.


Some of these responsibilities include checking that your foreign workers have the necessary skills, qualifications and or accreditations to do their jobs. You must also tell UK Visas and Immigration if the worker is not complying with any of the conditions of the visa if this ever occurs.


In addition to the above your company has many other responsibilities that must be followed which can be advised on once you have instructed us to act for you in obtaining a sponsor licence for your business.

4. What can NIDO do for you?


At NIDO we are here to help and assist you whilst offering you advice when applying for your sponsor licence application. We have experience and the resources to help your business obtain a sponsor licence to employ migrant workers and help your business grow. Our experts guide you through the complicated documents and correspond according to the Home Office requirements.

With the offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester, we are one of the very few Business Immigration Solicitors that can be found by businesses around the world as we are listed on the Government's Department for International Trade Platform. Also our support will not come to a stop once you have been granted your licence as we can continue to help you with advice and assistance on the Sponsor Management System and with your workers applications as skilled migrants. Unlike other firms we aim to continue supporting you throughout the period that you have the sponsor licence, assisting you and your business in the UK.

5. Fee

At NIDO, we offer a Professional Service with Reasonable Costs. All of our Fees are excluding VAT where VAT is applicable. For a Sponsor Licence Application, our fees are between £3,500 to £5,000. Any costs payable to the Home Office will be advised at the stage when you contact us.

+44 (0) 333 300 3497

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+44 (0) 333 300 3497

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