What is a sponsor licence?
Acquiring a sponsor licence is the first hurdle for a company looking to employ a migrant worker.
Once a company has obtained a sponsor licence they will be in a position to sponsor a potentially unlimited number individuals to apply for a visa to work for them.
The Home Office looks to establish four key criteria before issuing a company with a sponsor licence:
- That the company is a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK;
- That the key personnel named on the application are deemed honest, dependable and reliable;
- That the company is capable of carrying out the duties of a sponsor; and
- That the company has a genuine need for a licence, and the role or roles they are planning to sponsor will meet the requirements of the Skilled Worker or Intra Company Worker visa routes in terms of the skill level, pay rates and how the candidates were identified.
Before applying for a sponsor licence, we would always recommend that we carry out a mock audit to ensure that the company is fully compliant with their human resource and recruitment systems. We advise Human Resources departments on compliance with their obligations to check employees’ right to work and their human resource systems.
A sponsorship licence allows a company to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship for migrant workers and is the process implemented by the Home Office to vet UK businesses to ensure they are reputable and have a genuine need for migrant workers to fill a skills gap.
How do you maintain a sponsor licence?
Once the company is granted a sponsor licence it will be valid for 4 years. During this time the company must ensure that they keep all the relevant details on the Home Office’s Sponsor Management System (SMS) updated. Gherson is able to provide bespoke training and advice in respect of the Sponsor Management System and on compliance with the Immigration Rules. Gherson are also able to register as a Level 1 user on the Sponsor Management System and make many of the necessary changes to the Sponsor Management System on behalf of the company.
Renewing a sponsor licence
A Sponsor Licence must be renewed every 4 years. Gherson advises clients to carry out a mock audit to ensure that the company is compliant with their obligations before applying for the sponsor licence to be renewed.
Gherson is able to advise on all aspects of the sponsor licence renewal process, as well as ensuring that corporate clients are compliant with their obligations before the application is made.
For further information on the services that we offer with respect to Sponsor Licence applications and compliance with obligations for Sponsor Licence applications, please Contact us.
Consultant & trainee solicitor, specialising in all aspects of corporate immigration
Paralegal in our General and Corporate Immigration Teams, specialising in sponsor licence applications, Tier 2 ICT, Tier 2 General visas and Tier 5 visas