3 Top Tips when applying for a Sponsor Licence

26 Jul 2023, 07 mins ago

– Make sure to send your supporting documents to the Home Office within 5 working days.

– Make sure to pay for priority service if you want a faster decision.

– Be prepared for a pre-licence compliance check.

When applying for a Sponsor Licence, you need to ensure that your business or organisation is eligible. Amongst other things, you must show that:

  • You are a legally operating UK organisation;
  • You understand fully what your duties and responsibilities as a sponsor will be, and have appropriate HR systems and processes in place to meet these; and
  • You meet the route-specific requirements (e.g. if you are applying under the Skilled Worker route, the Scale-up route or any of the Global Business Mobility (GBM) routes, you must be able to offer genuine employment that meets the skill level and any salary requirements of the specific route). 

The application process may seem cumbersome and daunting for some. Therefore, we suggest 3 Top Tips to keep in mind when applying for a Sponsor Licence:

Make sure to send your supporting documents within 5 working days

  • You must send all relevant supporting documents to the Home Office within 5 working days of submitting your online Sponsor Licence application form. You should scan or take pictures of your supporting documents and send them to the email address provided on the submission sheet that is made available to you upon online form submission.
  • If you do not send the required documents to the Home Office within 5 working days, your Sponsor Licence application will be rejected and the fee paid may not be refundable.
  • The Home Office may contact you if they require further documents or information in support of your application, and this must also be provided within 5 working days of the relevant request, unless a longer time frame is specified by the Home Office.

It is therefore advisable that you gather all relevant supporting documents before you start drafting your Sponsor Licence application. 

Make sure to pay for priority service if you want a faster decision

  • Sponsor Licence applications are typically processed within 8 weeks from the date that you provide all of your supporting documents to the Home Office. However, you may be able to pay an extra fee of £500 to reduce application processing times down to 10 working days. This is called the pre-licence priority service.
  • You can request the pre-licence priority service when submitting your Sponsor Licence application online, if this option is available at such time.
  • You can also request the pre-licence priority service after you have submitted your application. To do this, you will need to log back into your Sponsor Licence application account using your username and password, and select ‘Finish incomplete applications’.

It is therefore vital that you make a note of your user ID and password because if you forget it, you will not be able to log back in to make your request for priority service.

Be prepared for a pre-licence compliance check

  • Compliance visits may be carried out by the Home Office before granting a Sponsor Licence (this is called a pre-licence compliance visit) and after a Sponsor Licence has been issued (this is called a post-licence compliance visit).
  • The Home Office will want to assess your organisation’s readiness to meet the duties of a sponsor, and see that relevant HR systems and processes are in place before granting the Sponsor Licence.
  • When conducting a compliance check, the Home Office may visit you and interview your Authorising Officer and any relevant personnel at your main office address. Compliance checks can also be via remote video conference.

As compliance visits may be announced or unannounced, it is essential that you are always ready for an inspection.

How Gherson can assist

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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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