Tier 2 Sponsor License

Our team of business immigration solicitors specialises in advising businesses on all aspects of Tier 2 sponsor license application. To speak with our business immigration lawyers in London, call us on 0203 909 8399 or contact us online.

A sponsor licence is a permission given to an organisation by UK Visas and Immigration to sponsor workers in its business from outside the EU. Employers who do not have a sponsor licence will be unable to hire new workers from outside the EU or extend work permits for current employees.

If you have a number of different offices, UK based subsidiaries or entities, locations or campuses, which we call ‘branches’ in this guidance, you can register in a number of ways, including by:

  • applying for a single licence that includes your head office and all branches in the UK
  • each branch applying for a separate licence
  • grouping a number of branches in a single licence, such as a large UK wide company might find it more convenient to register all of its operations in a particular region under a single licence

Types of Sponsor License

The licence you need depends on whether the workers you want to fill your jobs are:

  • Tier 2 – skilled workers with long-term job offers
  • Tier 5 – skilled temporary workers

You can apply for a licence covering either tier or both.

Sponsor licence requirements

In order to sponsor applicants, an employer will need to be on the register of licenced sponsors with UK Visas and Immigration. The Tier 2 Registration process can be quite difficult.  In many cases, you will have to also do the resident labour market test. The employer will need to submit an online application and provide a number of original documents to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsor licence and must accept a considerable number of responsibilities as a Tier 2 Sponsor. Typical documents include the following::

  • You must be a genuine organisation (such as a corporation or a limited liability partnership), or a sole trader.
  • You must be operating legally in the United Kingdom.
  • There must be no evidence that your organisation or key personnel could present a threat to UK immigration control (for example, by having a history of immigration violations).
  • You must nominate at least three staff members to fulfil the immigration-related roles in your organisation: an Authorising Officer, a Key Contact and a Level 1 User.
  • You must be able to meet your responsibilities as a sponsor, which is judged by ensuring that you have effective HR systems.
  • You must supply the Home Office will all documents requested.
  • Meet any other requirements for the specific immigration tier under which your prospective employee is working.

Certificate of sponsorship

An employer must assign a certificate of sponsorship to each foreign worker you employ. This is an electronic record, not a physical document. Each certificate has its own number which a worker can use to apply for a visa. Certificates must be used within 3 months from when they’re assigned.

Why Connaught Law for Sponsor License application?

Our business immigration solicitors can assist with initial considerations as to the most appropriate type of sponsorship license, online application, and collating the appropriate supporting documents. We can also brief and train staff on their duties and responsibilities on the UKVI ‘genuineness’ test and assessing whether a prospective employee satisfies the points criteria before the sponsor issues a certificate of sponsorship.

For further help or information Get In Touch

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply again if my previous application has been refused?

If you have been refused a licence, you should not make another application until 6 months after the date of the Home Office decision letter refusing your application.

Similarly, if you withdrew a previous application while we were undertaking checks on you which revealed something that was likely lead to a refusal of that application, you should not make another application until 6 months after the date of the Home Office letter accepting the withdrawal of your application.

What will happen if I do not comply with my sponsor duties?

Where the breach is a minor issue, you are willing and able to correct it, and pose no continuing threat to immigration control, Home Office will in most cases support you in making the relevant improvements by issuing an action plan, which sets out the steps you must take in order to retain your licence.

Where there is a serious breach indicating:

  • a significant or systematic failing
  • you no longer meet the eligibility or suitability requirements for holding a licence
  • Where Home Office consider that you constitute a serious threat to immigration control

Home Office may decide either to suspend your licence and investigate further or to revoke your licence without prior suspension.

If my licence is revoked, can I apply again?

Once your licence has been revoked, you cannot make a further application for a sponsor licence until the end of the appropriate cooling off period from the date your licence was revoked. If you do make an application before this period has passed, it will be refused. The only exception to this is if your licence was revoked in error.

If my application is refused, can I apply again?

There is no right of appeal against the refusal of an application for a licence if you applied before 1 April 2016. If your application was sent on or after this date and you believe that the refusal decision is either:

  • the result of a caseworker error – for example, if we have incorrectly applied the 6-month cooling off period and you send evidence to us to support this
  • the result of supporting evidence sent as part of your application not being considered by us – for example, if we have not considered a specific piece of information and you send evidence to show this was received by us

The request must be sent within 14 calendar days from the date of the refusal decision letter.

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