Sponsor Licence

Sponsor Licence Visa Application Guidance UK | RD Laws


Employers who want to hire someone who is not a settled worker or who does not have any other immigration clearance to work in the UK are required to first acquire consent from the Home Office. The Home Office will issue a sponsor licence to a business that has been given permission to recruit workers from other countries and will refer to this document as the same. The term sponsor is used to describe an employer who has a valid sponsor licence.

Those individuals who have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme as well as those individuals who have been granted indefinite permission to enter or stay in the United Kingdom do not require a sponsor licence in order for their employers to hire them.

It is possible for the process of acquiring and maintaining a valid sponsor licence to be time-consuming and complicated.

With Brexit, the free movement of people has ended, and the new points-based immigration system has salary and language requirements that change the way Employer hire from the EU.

The new system treats EU and non-EU citizens equally and transforms the way in which employers recruit from outside the UK excluding Irish Citizens.

Every employer needs a sponsor licence to hire most eligible employees from outside the UK. You will need to apply to be a licensed sponsor

Q) How to become a sponsor

Before applying to be a sponsor you should:


  • check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work;
  • check your business is eligible



Q) What is needed for making application for Sponsor Licence:


  • Employer should choose the type of skilled/ temporary worker licence they want to apply for;
  • put appropriate systems in place to act as a sponsor;
  • apply for licence and pay appropriate fee



Each case is decided on its own merits and we would therefore advise every individual considering appropriate visa route to the UK to book a Consultation with our sponsor licence specialist to obtain advice specific to your particular needs.

However, we have briefly outlined the requirements an individual will need to satisfy in order to obtain a Sponsor Licence to employ a foreign worker in the UK.

The Business will need to demonstrate that it is a genuine business and is legally allowed to trade or offer services in the UK. The Business will need to appoint a “Key Contact” who will ensure that the Business carries out its duties as a Sponsor and ensuring compliance with appropriate Rules and Regulations. You will also need to demonstrate that there is a genuine position available for the potential worker and can be paid according to the skill level specified by the Home Office.

Q) How long does it take to get decision on Sponsor Licence;

You’ll usually have a decision within 8 weeks

Q) For what duration licence is granted:

Being a sponsor allows you to recruit skilled workers globally for 4 years from its grant.

Q) Requirements for skilled/ temporary worker application

People coming to work in the UK will need to meet certain requirements:


  • A job offer from an approved sponsor
  • That job offer must be at the required skill and salary level
  • They must speak English at the required level


Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence Application

Employer that needs to sponsor skilled workers must obtain a skilled worker sponsor licence. Once it is granted sponsor licence, it can recruit overseas workers under the Skilled Worker route.

Q) What are the main requirements for Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence Application

In order to obtain a Skilled Worker sponsor licence, Employer must show to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that it is a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK, it has relevant HR processes and systems in place and that it has a genuine need for a Skilled Worker sponsor licence.

Q) What assessments does UKVI make prior to grant of licence.

In order to assess whether an Employer has a genuine need for a sponsor licence, UKVI will either expect to see evidence of future plans that involve the need to recruit individuals with specialist skills that are not generally available in the local market, or it will expect to see evidence that there is a genuine vacancy.

At the moment, such evidence generally includes confirmation that the sponsor has a genuine need to sponsor workers.

Q) What constitute Genuine Vacancy Test

Sponsors seeking to recruit workers through Skilled Worker or Intra-Company Transfer routes must satisfy the Home Office, if required, that they can offer genuine employment that meets the relevant salary and skill level of the route. This is known as the genuine vacancy test.

Q) What will the Home Office assess?

The Home Office can consider a range of issues including:

  • does the role actually exist?
  • has the description been exaggerated?
  • has the role been created primarily to enable an overseas national to come to, or stay in, the UK?
  • if the role has been advertised, are the requirements listed inappropriate or incompatible with the business? Have they been tailored to exclude resident workers?

Q) Is a Resident Labour Market Test needed before issuing COS?

It is not necessary for employers to conduct a formal resident labour market test.

However, the Home Office can ask for information on how and why an individual has been offered a role. If they do not consider that the genuine vacancy test has been met, they can refuse to grant a CoS, refuse an application for a visa or initiate alternative enforcement action or withdraw the licence.

Q) What does the Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence Application process involves

In order to apply for a Skilled Worker sponsor licence, the potential sponsor must complete an online application form. A number of documents will then need to be submitted to UKVI in order to demonstrate that the organisation is genuine and trading in the UK.

All supporting documentation must be sent to UKVI within five working days of the online form being submitted.

All supporting documentation must be sent to UKVI within five working days of the online form being submitted.

In addition to the documentation, the organisation is required to provide UKVI with some general information relating to the organisation.

Q) Will there be any mandatory compliance visit from Home Office?

Prior to making a decision on a Skilled Worker sponsor licence application, UKVI may visit the Employer in order to carry out a compliance review in order to determine whether or not the organisation will offer genuine vacancy to overseas workers and will be capable of carrying out its sponsor duties.

As part of a compliance visit, UKVI carries out a number of checks, including a review of the Employer’s current practices, policies and HR procedures in order to ensure that it has suitable systems in place.

If, following a review, UKVI has any concerns, the application can be refused. It is therefore essential that the Employer reviews relevant systems and policies prior to submitting a sponsor licence application.

Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence Application: How we can help

We are experienced in preparing Skilled Worker sponsor licence applications to ensure a successful outcome and will provide expert guidance and assistance to Employer throughout the process of identifying documents, providing letters, assistance in form filling and submission of application.

If your Company requires legal assistance or you would just like to discuss your situation with one of our experts on a no obligation basis, please give our team a call or make an enquiry below.

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