If you want to recruit a skilled foreign worker from outside the UK, your organisation will need a sponsor licence.A sponsor licence allows a UK based employer to employ skilled workers from overseas or from within the UK (if they are switching from an alternate visa category).
How to obtain a sponsor licence:
To obtain a sponsor licence, you will need to fulfil the following requirements:
- You are offering genuine employment
- The worker will be employed in a role at skill level RQF3 or above
- The worker will need to be paid a salary of at least £25,600 or the going rate for the job (whichever one is higher); unless they are able to trade points under specific characteristics (e.g. if the role is on the shortage occupation list or the worker has a PhD in a related field).
You will need to complete an online application form and pay the relevant fee. You will also be required to send a minimum of 4 supporting documents with relevant information about your company to the Home Office. The Home Office usually wants to ascertain that the employer is legally trading in the UK.
You must satisfy the Home Office that you are able to provide genuine employment and that you are able to fulfil all the duties associated with being a sponsor.
As part of the licence application you will be required to appoint members of staff who will have access to the sponsor management system after the licence application is approved. You must assign the following three roles:
- Authorising officer- Must be a senior person responsible for ensuring all your sponsor duties are met
- Key contact – The main point of contact between you and UKVI
- Level 1 user- The person responsible for the day-to-day sponsorship activities
The above roles can be carried out by the same person.
The Home Office fee for a licence application is £536 for a small company (or a charitable organization) and £1476 for a large company.
As a sponsor you will be required to pay the immigration skills charge for each sponsored worker. The immigration skills charge is £364 per year for a small company and £1000 per year for a large company.
UKVI may visit you to carry out compliance checks before deciding on your licence application. The purpose of the visit is to ensure that:
- The information provided is accurate
- You are a genuine company legally operating in the UK
- You can offer genuine employment
- You have appropriate HR systems in place to ensure compliance with your sponsorship duties
- You do not pose a threat to immigration control
Compliance visits can also be carried out after a licence application is approved.
Certificate of sponsorship:
After the licence application is approved, you will need to request and assign a certificate of sponsorship to the prospective employee. A certificate of sponsorship is a virtual document confirming details of the employee and the role they will carry out. Each certificate generates a reference number which you must provide to the employee in order for them to submit their application.
The fee for the certificate of sponsorship is £199.
How we can help:
Mulgrave Law is committed to helping you successfully obtain and maintain your sponsor licence. The Home Office is extremely stringent about compliance and we aim to work with our clients to ensures that they do not fall foul of this requirement which can have serious repercussions should it be flouted. At Mulgrave law we are noted for hiring some of the best UK lawyers and trusted immigration solicitors in London. Our diligent team will
Provide the following services as part of our sponsor licence package:
- Initial advice and detailed explanation of the process
- Advise on documents required for the sponsor licence application
- Review of documents to ensure they fulfill the Home Office requirements
- Drafting the online application form
- Drafting Representations in support of the application
- Meeting with the key contacts to explain their obligations
- Liaising with the Home Office on your behalf
- Conducting mock HR audit (in preparation for the Home Office compliance visit)
- Requesting and assigning the first Certificate of Sponsorship
- Assistance with reporting on the Sponsor Management System as and when required for the duration of the licence
Get in touch with us today to request more information or book a free consultation.
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