All UK employers must apply for a sponsorship licence application to employ a skilled worker from overseas through skilled worker visa.
Sponsor Licences have different categories depending on the need of the organisation. Typically, the type of job decides which category of licence, the sponsor needs to apply for. The types of Sponsor Licence are:
It is the responsibility of the organisation to adhere various activities as the sponsor of a foreign worker from hiring him till the period of his employment.
Representative must be someone with a senior position within the organisation.
To achieve a successful outcome of your sponsor licence application, you should be in position to prove that you are a legitimate business having a genuine position to fill within your organisation.
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To secure a sponsor licence, the employer must:
To achieve a successful outcome of Sponsor Licence, the employer should provide the detailed information of their organisation.
The new immigration rules exempted the sponsors to advertise for the role for 28 days under a RLMT. However, the Home Office may still expect the employer to conduct proper selection and recruitment procedures to prove that the employment of the foreign worker is genuine.
The organisation is obligated to fulfil a number of other duties and responsibilities as the employer of an overseas worker.
The employer will need to complete the Appendix A sponsor licence form to apply for a sponsor licence.
Anyone who is applying for a skilled worker visa should acquire a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an employer. The employer should have a sponsorship licence in order to request for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), which is subsequently assigned to the employee to apply for skilled worker visa.
The CoS must be requested with the detailed information of the job description of your prospective employee. You must include information on their job role and expected salary on the request. If there is any discrepancy between the CoS and their actual duties, the sponsor licence can be suspended.
UKVI issues two different types of Certificates of Sponsorship –
The undefined CoS is assigned to the foreign workers wanting to extend or switch their visa in the UK.
The fee for the application varies depending on the size of the organisation, as per the table below.
|Small or charitable sponsor fee (SME)||Medium or large sponsor fee|
The Sponsor will need to assign duties to various members within the organisation for managing sponsorship process when the licence is applied. The sponsor licence duties will be conducted via the sponsorship management system (SMS).
There will be specific roles which you need to fill to carry out the necessary tasks:
The roles above can be performed by only one person if needed. At least one of the level 1 users must be an employee within the business. However, other level 1 and level 2 users can be a part of the third-party organisations or representatives.
In order to apply for Sponsor licence, you will need to provide certain supporting documents. To apply for a skilled worker sponsor licence for a migrant worker, you will need to provide at least four documents. The documents vary from organisation to organisation and the job you need to fill.
After submitting the online application for the sponsor licence on the UKVI, you will need to provide the necessary documents within 5 working days. The documents should be either a scanned copy of the original or certified copies, which will be uploaded on the link provided by the UKVI in their email sent to the Authorising Officer.
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Once your Sponsor Licence is approved by UKVI, the organisation will be given an A-Rated Licence
If you do not perform your duties in line with the guidance as a sponsor, the licence could be downgraded to a B rating or even suspended.
In this situation, the UKVI will put you on action plan which you will need to follow to upgrade your licence back to an A-rating. The action plan fee is £1,476.
You will be restricted to issue a new certificate of sponsorship until you suffice the action plan requirements that you have made improvements and allow you to upgrade the licence back t