Sponsor Licence Application and Procedure

A sponsor license is an authorization from the UK Home Office for a corporate body to employ a migrant worker. It is common knowledge that for organizations in the UK to recruit foreign workers, they must have this permit.

While we would think this process should be a walk in the park, the reality doesn’t speak the same. Several companies that apply for sponsor licenses do not get a nod due to several reasons. Most of the time, the problem comes from the organization filing for the permit.

A reason to get the application right is that once denied, it takes no less than six months before you can apply for another. To avoid this complication, continue reading this post to know the necessary procedures to apply for a sponsor license.

Procedures for Applying for a Sponsor License

1. Meet the Eligibility Criteria

Though the business size does not matter, there should be at least two people working there already. Equally important is that the business must be functional and located in the UK. Moreover, you must have some staff on the ground to respond to inquiries from the Home Office and UK Border Agency (UKBA). One person would play the management roles of the key contact, authorizing officer and level 1 User.

2. Determine the Type of Sponsor Licence you need

There are two types of sponsor licence. The first is the skilled worker sponsor licence which requires bringing in neutral personnel to work with you. The second is the Intra-Company Transfer Sponsor licence, which is possible for companies with branches overseas wishing to relocate one of their employees. The latter requires less process and gets resolved more quickly than the former.

3. Apply Online

Registration with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is a prerequisite to apply for this warrant. The online application requires that you follow a link sent to you upon registration.

To apply, you must fill in all the required information and supply the necessary documents. These documents include:

·    A lease or rental agreement for your business location. It could be a space in your house if you are working from home.

·    A statement about your business from a UK bank.

·    VAT Certificate (downloadable from your HMRC account)

·    Proof that your business is registered for PAYE and the company involved in National Insurance Contributions.

·    A recent annual audit of your business.

·    Employer’s liability insurance certificate from an authorized insurer, covering £5 million at the minimum.

At least four from the above list will be required to fill the online sponsorship licence form. The mandatory documents would vary with business type and the vacancy you need to fill. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, submission of these documents must be online too.

After payment, you have five working days to make the hard copy of the original documents available at the UKVI office.

Also, accompanying these documents will be a cover letter written by you and addressed to the Home Office. The letter should address several questions that could arise. However, the contents of the letter are not usually detailed as they demand. That’s why you should get some professional help for the sponsor licence application.

4. Get the Employee Ready

The UK uses a point-based system to issue visas to applicants. As an employer, the onus rests on you to get the proposed migrant employee ready. The employee must gain enough points for consideration for a work visa. Without this, the migrant employee would not have access to the country.

You can recommend that the client take the English language test approved by UKVI to amass some points.

Payment during Application

As expected, applying for a sponsor license doesn’t come cost-free. Below is a breakdown of the expenses you’ll incur in the application.

You’ll have to pay for this when you are applying online. Small businesses and charity groups pay £536.

Some criteria determine either your company is small or not. First, your company’s annual turnover must not exceed £10.2 million, and the balance sheet totals not greater than £5.1 million. Besides, your total staff strength shouldn’t surpass fifty.

Fulfilling two or more of these means your enterprise’s Sponsor Licence fee and Immigration Skills Charge would fall under the lower fee scale. Meanwhile, large companies have to pay £1476.

Other fees you would pay come after you’ve gained approval and given the permit. The sponsor license allows you to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to your would-be worker when they apply for their work visa. Each certificate you issue to a foreign applicant attracts a fixed fee of £199.

Final Thoughts

The sponsor licence application remains the only way to gain legal approval to hire workers outside the UK with non-British or Irish origins. Although the processing can take up to two months, the wait is always worth it. After all, directly hiring a migrant worker is often more advantageous than outsourcing.

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