Since free movement between the EU and the UK ended at the end of 2020 all UK companies wishing to employ non-settled workers (who don’t otherwise hold a visa permitting them to work in the UK) must sponsor the worker in question via one of the available sponsorship routes. For long-term/permanent hires, this will usually be done under the Skilled Worker scheme, though there are a number of other sponsorship categories available, to cater for different organisations’ needs including T2 Minister of Religion and Intra-Company Transfer sponsorship routes.
In order for an organisation to offer sponsorship to a migrant worker, the first step is for an application to be made to the UK Home Office for a Sponsor Licence to be issued in the relevant category.
The purpose of the Sponsor Licence application is to verify that the organisation applying is registered and trading in the UK and that it has a genuine need to sponsor a migrant worker. Evidence must be provided to demonstrate the organisation’s presence in the UK as an employer or potential employer. The exact nature of the documentation needed varies depending on circumstances and which category of Licence is being requested.
As part of the Sponsorship License Applications, organisations must also nominate at least one person. This would usually be a Director or senior employee of the UK office, who will take responsibility for the Licence, once issued. The person(s) nominated must be both settled in the UK and ordinarily resident in the UK.
Once issued the Sponsor Licence is valid for a period of four years and provides an umbrella permission enabling the organisation to offer sponsored worker visas, such as Skilled Worker visas and T2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) visas, to migrant workers. The Licence can be renewed at the end of the four-year period, with no restrictions on how long an organisation can hold a Licence, provided it is meeting with its sponsorship compliance duties. Sponsoring organisations must hold a valid Sponsor Licence throughout the period that they are employing any migrant workers under the scheme.
Once the Sponsor Licence is issued the Director/employee who has been nominated within the organisation will be granted access to the Sponsor Management System (SMS); an online portal via which the Sponsor Licence will be managed throughout the life of the Licence.
The Home Office charges a fee of £536 to issue a Sponsor Licence to a small or charitable organisation. Or £1,476 to issue a Sponsor Licence to a medium or large organisation. It currently takes roughly 8 weeks for the Sponsor Licence application to be processed by the Home Office.
Contact Breytenbachs for your Sponsorship Licence Application
Working with Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants can greatly simplify the complex UK Business and Corporate Immigration process. Breytenbachs are registered at Level 3 by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). This is the highest level of accreditation. It means we can advise on the most complex UK immigration matters, providing you with peace of mind. Contact Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants today to help your company with its Sponsorship Licence Applications.