The benefits of sponsoring local, overseas Graduates. A Guide to the Immigration Law & application process.

Applying for a sponsor licence

You will need to be an approved sponsor by the Home Office if you wish to employ a non-settled worker or an individual that otherwise doers not have a right to work in the UK.

You must select the category and type of licence you wish to be granted, which will depend on whether you wish to employ permanent or temporary workers, and the sector you operate in.

Understanding your responsibilities

You must have a genuine vacancy to fill. A genuine vacancy is one which requires a worker to perform specific duties and responsibilities. A vacancy is not genuine if it is created to facilitate or to regularise an individual’s immigration status in the UK.

You must have appropriate monitoring systems in place and understand your duties as a sponsor. As an approved sponsor licence holder, you must ensure that the immigration system is not abused, comply with immigration and wider UK laws, and you must not behave in a manner that is not conducive to the public good.

Employment Agencies and Third-party employment

Your organisation can become an approved sponsor for sponsoring workers that are employed directly by you and for running of your business. You cannot sponsor a worker to supply to another organisation regardless of a genuine contractual relationship. If you have a sponsor licence and are found supplying workers to other organisations, your licence will be revoked.

You must ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Do you have genuine responsibility for deciding all duties for the role the worker is performing?
  • Do you exercise control over the role and duties of the worker?
  • Are you responsible for paying the worker’s salary?

Application process

The application for a sponsor licence is submitted online and all supporting documents and other mandatory information must be submitted by email within 5 working days of submission of the online application.

You must decide the category in which you wish to become an approved sponsor. You may select more than one category but should only do so if you have a genuine vacancy and meet the criteria for the relevant category.

You will need to appoint an Authorising Officer, a Key Contact, and a Level 1 User as part of the application process. You may appoint a different individual for each role or may nominate one suitable person to fill all key positions.

A legal representative may help you with the preparation of the application, however, the online application must be submitted by the Authorising Officer only. Your application would be rejected if it is submitted online by any person other than the Authorising Officer. If your application is granted, and it is later discovered that the application was submitted by another person, your licence will be revoked.

The Home Office aim to make a decision within 8 weeks of submission of the application. You can pay an additional £500 for the priority service to get a decision within 10 working days, which is subject to the approval of your request. The Home Office have limited this to the first 30 requests received in the dedicated inbox on each working day.

Your application may take longer than 8 weeks if the Home Office decide to conduct a pre-licence visit.

If your application is successful, the Authorising Officer would be notified of the decision by email, and the Level 1 User would receive a password to access the Sponsor Management System (SMS).

Duration and cost of a sponsor licence

The sponsor licence is granted for 4 years and can be renewed prior to the expiry of the licence. The Home Office fee for the licence depends on the size and status of your business.

£536 Small or charitable sponsors

£536 Temporary Worker licence

£1,476 Medium or large sponsors

You are a small sponsor if at least 2 of the following apply:

  • You have 50 employees or fewer;
  • Your annual turnover is £10.2m or less;
  • Your total assets are worth £5.1m or less.

Sponsoring a migrant worker

You must assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to each migrant worker you wish to sponsor. There is no limit on the number of workers you can sponsor provided the vacancy is genuine.

You would need to pay the CoS assignment fee and the Immigration Skills Charge, unless an exception applies.

Benefits to employers

Some of the key benefits of becoming an approved sponsor are, but not limited to:

  • Staff retention: sponsored workers are less likely to change employers during the first 5 years of sponsorship as this is the duration they must work under sponsorship to qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
  • Staff Shortages in the UK: your business may be suffering from a labour shortage in the sector or facing a shortage due to your geographical location. A sponsor licence allows you to bring the best talent from across the globe to fill the genuine vacancy without the need to show that a suitable worker was not available in the UK.
  • Applications from overseas students: it is estimated that more than 500,000 international students enrolled in UK higher education. A large majority of international students are seeking opportunities to work in the UK; not offering sponsorship significantly reduces the chances of receiving job applications from international students seeking employment following the completion of their course. A job advert specifying “UK Visa Sponsorship available” could attract a wider pool of candidates.
1500 1000 Silicon Lancashire