Immigration Law Expert

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Employer Sponsorship Licence


All UK employers wishing to hire an employee from outside of the European Union must have an Employer Sponsorship Licence under the new points-based system for UK Immigration


Sponsor Licence is the 1st step in the process of employing the non-EU workers. Sponsor, such as an Employer, must have a Tier 2 or Tier 5 Sponsor Licence from the UK Home Office. If employer does not have such a Licence then the company can apply for it and our company can help with the application. Very often a company is happy to hire a worker who comes to us for an advice and are willing to apply for a Sponsor Licence and comply with the rest of the Sponsor’s duties, especially if the job is very skilled or on Shortage Occupation List.


Once the company has a Sponsor licence, it will be placed on the Register of Sponsors (Employers) on the UKVI website and will have access to the Sponsor Management System, known as SMS. A licence can be just for one category, for example, Tier 2 General or can be for more than one type, such as Tier 2 General and Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer


Once the licence has been issued, an employer can proceed to the 2nd step. An authorised person from the company can log in to Sponsor Management System (SMS) on the UKVI website and assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). A COS relates to a specific migrant.


In case of Intra-Company Transfer, Minister of Religion and Sportsperson a Sponsor can login into SMS and assign a COS. In case of Tier 2 General there are 2 types of certificates: restricted and unrestricted.

Once a COS has been assigned, a migrant can finally apply for a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa, which is the 3rd step in the process of securing a work visa. More on Tier 2 visas can be found on the Tier 2 Work Permit page.


Our firm can help with applying for a Sponsor Licence, including when a licence is needed urgently, such as when the migrant’s current UK visa is about to expire. Our ‘record’ is 3 working days from the point of submission to the Home Office, although we cannot guarantee it in each case!


The Home Office will conduct spot checks on UK employers who hire foreign workers. Under the new UK immigration system, employers found to be in violation of their licence or with workers who are not compliant with UK immigration law may face criminal penalties.


Employers are responsible for the immigration status of the foreign workers they employ


The process is heavily based on submitting the right documents about the Sponsor (the company). The documents themselves are quire logical, every active and genuine company in the UK would have most of them or can request them from the relevant authorities. However, the main problem the companies find (and while their applications end up being refused) is not the documents but the details on the documents and especially, the format of the documents. Most common problem is the electronic documents, which are normally not accepted by the UKVI.



For help with the Sponsor Licence please contact us.



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