How do I get sponsorship as a care worker in the UK?

24 Apr 2024, 35 mins ago

Obtaining a sponsor licence will allow you to hire care workers from overseas and issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) for them so that they can apply for a visa to work in the UK. Knowing the requirements will take you one step closer to hiring your employee.

Securing a sponsor licence can be a stressful experience. Here at Gherson, we will support you every step of the way. From the information you need to provide to the documents that need to be submitted, the information below will guide you through your first steps to sponsoring a care worker wishing to work in the UK.


First and foremost, if you have unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or certain other crimes, or have had a sponsor licence revoked in the last 12 months, you will, unfortunately, not be eligible for a sponsor licence. You must be a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK and you need to have systems in place to monitor and manage the sponsorship licence and your sponsored workers. UKVI may pay you a compliance visit, so you must ensure that you are carrying out your sponsorship duties.

Key people

There are three mandatory roles that you need to assign, as well as one optional role.

  • Authorising officer – senior person responsible for recruitment and users of the SMS
  • Key contact – main contact between your business and the Home Office
  • Level 1 user – day-to-day sponsorship activities
  • Level 2 user (optional) – to support the level 1 user

Job suitability

The vacancy you intend to recruit for must be genuine and meet the skill level and salary requirements. It must comply with the National Minimum Wage and Working Times Regulations, as well as the Skilled Worker visa rules. If you want to sponsor care workers or senior care workers in England, you must be undertaking at least one regulated activity and be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).


If you do not provide the right documents as required, your sponsor licence application may be refused. The type of documents you need to provide will vary depending on your circumstances, but will usually include the following:

  • Corporate/business bank statement
  • Employers liability insurance certificate
  • Governing Body Registration – CQC registration (Care/Senior Care Workers)
  • Audited annual accounts
  • Covering letter
  • Supporting letter from your bank manager
  • Hierarchy chart for your organisation (if less than 50 employees)
  • HMRC Registration – PAYE
  • HMRC Registration – VAT
  • HMRC Company Tax forms
  • Proof of business ownership

There may be additional documents that you will be asked to provide if necessary.

Sponsor Licence Application Fees

If you are a small or charitable sponsor, the sponsor licence application will cost £536. If you meet any 2 out 3 criteria from the list below, you will be considered a small sponsor.

  • Your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less
  • Balance sheet total is £5.1 million or less
  • Less than 50 employers

If you do not meet these requirements, then you will be considered a medium to large sponsor, and your sponsor licence application will cost £1,476.

Processing times

It can take around 8 to 10 weeks to get a decision on your application. If you require faster processing times, there is a pre-licence priority service that may be available, under which you can get a decision in 10 working days. However, if you have not submitted all the mandatory and supplementary documents, if you fail to respond to a request for further information, or if further checks are required to assess your case, your application could be delayed.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

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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