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1. What is the UK Sponsorship Licence?

After the 31st December if you wish to hire foreign workers you must be applied for a sponsor licence.

The applicant organisation must hold the sponsor licence to be able to issue a sponsorship for a candidate who will apply for a UK visa to live in the UK and work for the sponsored organisation.

The organisation will not need a sponsor license to employ someone who is Irish Citizen, settled or pre-settled under the EU Settlement Scheme and has indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

At the initial stage, the organisation must apply for a sponsorship licence and pay a fee which is dependent on their size and area of work. They might be exempt from this fee if they are charitable according to the requirements which were set by the UK government. The licence can be obtained in different ways.

2. How to obtain a sponsorship licence and become a Sponsor

The Organisation should:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements:
    • The organisation cannot have unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or other specific crimes such as fraud or money laundering.
    • The organisation cannot have had a sponsor licence revoked in the last 12 months.
    • The organisation will need appropriate systems in place to monitor sponsored employees.
  • Choose the type of licence you want to apply for - this will depend on what type of worker you want to sponsor.
    • There are two types of licences: “Worker Licence” and “Temporary Worker Licence”

Worker Licence will let the organisation employ people long-term or permanently.

Temporary Worker Licence will let the organisation employ people on a temporary basis.

  • Decide who will manage the sponsorship within your business.
    • authorising officer
    • key contact
    • level 1 user

These roles can be filled by the same person or different people.

  • Make an online application and pay the application fee

UK Visas and Immigration will review the online application form and supporting documents. Supporting documents differs according to the organisation’s characteristics.

Note: UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may visit the business to check you are trustworthy and capable of carrying out your duties.

3. If the Sponsorship Licence application is Successful

The organisation will be given a licence rating which are either A-rating or B-rating:

  • A-rating - full sponsor licence: The organisation will be listed in the register of sponsors and will be able to assign certificate of sponsorship.
  • B-rating sponsor licence: The Organisation’s A-rated licence may be downgraded to a B-rating at a later stage if you do not continue to meet your sponsor duties. The organisation who has a B-rating sponsor licence will not be able to issue new certificates of sponsorship until it has upgraded back to an A-rating licence. The organisation will still be able to issue certificate of sponsorship to workers who were already employed and want to extend their permission to stay.

The organisation will be able to issue certificate of sponsorship if the organisation has jobs that are suitable for sponsorship.

  • The organisation can sponsor a worker if the job they are going to do has a suitable rate of pay and skill level.
  • Also there are some additional requirements for the workers of some specific sectors such as workers in religious, creative and sporting sectors.

The licence will be valid for 4 years. The organisation may lose its licence if it does not meet its responsibilities as a sponsor.

Note: If you get second B-rating in the 4 years that your licence is valid, you will lose your licence.

4. Skilled Workers

A Skilled Worker visa (formerly known as Tier 2 General Work Visa) allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.

The organisation can sponsor Skilled Workers.

A Skilled Workers must be awarded 50 mandatory points:

  • 20 pts: A Certificate of Sponsorship
  • 20 pts: A job at an appropriate skill level
  • 10 pts: English language skills at level B1(intermediate)

Additional to these, a Skilled Worker must be awarded 20 tradeable points. Tradeable points differ according to the specifics of the applicant and the job.

The specifics of the job is that it must meet the minimum skills and salary that the government has published:

  • The minimum skill level will be set at RQF3
  • The minimum salary threshold will be the higher of £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for that job –
    • Some employees may be paid less than £25,600, for example, if their job is in a shortage occupation or,
    • If the applicant obtains some specific qualifications.
  • All applicants must be able to speak, read, write and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

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