020 3372 5125 Email us today
Enquire today

For many businesses, particularly those who operate in the hospitality, technology, finance, and agricultural sectors, being able to recruit talent from outside the EEA is crucial.  And to do this, you must have a valid Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor Licence.

Applying for a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor Licence is relatively straightforward, provided you enlist the help of a professional advisor to ensure your HR processes and procedures can meet Home Office compliance requirements.

It is also important to remember that obtaining a UK Sponsor Licence is only the beginning of the process.  Failure to conduct Right to Work checks properly and meet all Sponsor Licence holder duties and responsibilities can result in your licence being downgraded, suspended, or revoked, in addition to crippling fines being meted out.

One of the best ways to ensure your organisation is fully compliant is to have an immigration solicitor act in the role of ‘Key Personnel’ (see below), maintain the Sponsor Management System (SMS), run Resident Labour Market Tests (RLMT), and oversee all other compliance issues on your behalf.

But before organising such matters, the first step is to apply for a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor Licence.

What type of organisations can apply for a UK Sponsor Licence?

To be considered eligible for a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor Licence, it must be shown your business is:

  • genuine and operating lawfully within the UK
  • holds appropriate planning permission or Local Planning Authority consent for the type of trade that is operated from the premises
  • be honest, dependable and reliable, and not present any threat to UK immigration control
  • be capable of complying with the required duties and responsibilities attached to a Sponsor Licence

If you are operating a restaurant or other food business, you will need the appropriate food safety certificates and be registered with a relevant food authority.

What is the procedure for applying for a Tier 2 or 5 Sponsor Licence?

To successfully apply for a Sponsor Licence, the following process will need to be followed:

Step 1 – Determine the type of Sponsor Licence to apply for

Before applying for your Sponsor Licence, you will need to determine the type of workers you wish to recruit.  The two options are:

  • Tier 2 – this is for skilled workers for whom you can provide long-term positions
  • Tier 5 – applies to skilled temporary workers

The next decision surrounds the type of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) you will need.  There are two types: restricted and unrestricted.

Unrestricted COS are offered to employees who will be earning over £159,600 or those switching to a Tier 2 visa within the UK.  As the name suggests, there is no limit to how many unrestricted CoS you can apply for.

Restricted CoS are for skilled employees who will earn less than £159,600 per annum and dependents of Tier 4 migrants switching to a Tier 2 visa.  These are subject to an annual restriction and are allocated on a monthly basis.

Step 2 – appoint key personnel

You will need to nominate certain people in your company to fulfil certain key roles, namely:

  • Authorising Officer
  • Key Contact
  • Level 1 user
  • Level 2 user

The same person can fulfil all these roles.  The roles can also be contracted out, for example, assigned to your solicitor; however, there must be one Level 1 user who is an employee of the organisation.

Step 3 – Fill in your application and collate supporting documentation

An application for a Sponsor Licence is made online.  All supporting documents must be submitted within five days of the application being made.  Preparation prior to submission is essential, as any delays can result in additional costs being incurred (not to mention lost productivity time).

Step 4 – Prepare for a visit from the Home Office

It is likely the Home Office will pay a visit to your premises before granting you a Sponsor Licence.  The purpose of the visit will be to ensure your HR systems are robust enough to meet the compliance requirements, which include detailed record-keeping and visa monitoring.

One of the best ways to prepare for a Home Office visit is to have a mock audit performed by an immigration solicitor who can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your HR policies and procedures and advise you on improvements you will need to make.

Is there anything I can do if my application for a Sponsor Licence is refused?

Unfortunately, there is no option for an appeal if your application for a Sponsor Licence is refused.  There is an opportunity to apply for a ‘pre-decision error correction’ procedure, whereby you can challenge the refusal on grounds there has been a ‘simple case working error’ or where supporting evidence sent with the initial application has not been considered.   If this does not elicit a positive result, an application for Judicial Review can be considered.

If you have any questions about the Sponsor Licence applications or compliance, please call us on 020 3893 2547 or contact us online.

Please call us on 020 3372 5125 or get an online consultation




    Contact our experts in Paralegal
    Paralegal
    For legal advice
    call us today
    020 3372 5125
    Or complete our online enquiry form to make an appointment




      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      Dealing with Rakhi was more like having In house counsel than hiring a law firm
      So Rakhi Singal of RVS has just handled my divorce, it was a very complex case and I came to Rakhi at the very last minute on a friend’s recommendation. My case was a mess and I stood to lose everything.

      Dealing with Rakhi was more like having In-House counsel than hiring a law firm, she does not approach her clients as a cash machine like many law firms do, she works with you to manage and minimise your costs and de-escalate conflict rather than throw wood on the fire.

      She took a huge personal interest in my case, she was always available on the phone, very quick to respond to emails and is very honest and trustworthy.

      My ex had huge spending power and used a team of high profile solicitors against me, Rakhi literally saved me from complete ruin and helped me get a very fair deal with me spending 6 times less than my ex on legal fees.

      Thank you, my new family and I will be forever grateful!!!!
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      Rakhi’s passion for her profession supersedes the norm
      On dealing with a very stressful and emotional situation involving my young child. I was personally directed to Rakhi Singal. From the very outset of my situation, Rakhi identified the immediate difficulties I faced and offered me a sympathetic and rational approach to my situation, ensuring that she had a full understanding of my issues and concerns. Rakhi’s approach to my case was monumental and customary to my needs and that of my child, which was a fundamental point for me.

      The communication and support I received in and outside of court was nothing short of extraordinary. Rakhi’s passion for her profession supersedes the norm and is clearly demonstrated through her results.
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      Really impressed with Rakhi’s dedication to our case
      Could not be more pleased with the results!

      I approached RVS solicitors as they were highly recommended and now I completely understand why. Soon as I contacted Rakhi I knew I wanted to use her, she was so professional and easy to get along with. I was faced with clients who were refusing the pay invoices, Rakhi immediately reassured me that she was able to help me and recoup these costs. She dealt with the whole process very professionally.

      Really impressed with Rakhi’s dedication to our case and her knowledge and experience on dealing with the case. She communicated with us throughout the process, providing me with regular updates. Thank you so much, I cannot vouch for her work enough and RAW Invites are happy for you to continue to act for all their matters in the future.
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      Very detailed advice, friendly and approachable
      Excellent service for my wife's spousal visa from Lusine: very detailed advice, friendly and approachable. Also flexible in contact by email and provided an excellent cover letter.
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      She is professional, intelligent, hard worker and cheerful!
      I highly recommend Dr. Lusine Navasardyan, as she is professional, intelligent, hard worker and cheerful, she helped us from the beginning of our case until the very end, when she prepared a strong bundle with over 385 pages, which helped us get a successful victory in our Asylum case . I strongly recommend her as I really appreciate all the professional work that she has done . Many thanks to her.
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      She has been very professional and a reliable person
      Dr. Lusine has been working on my case. She has been very professional and a reliable person. She was always attending to my queries and she has always been very friendly throughout my case.
      What Our Clients
      Say About Us
      Testimonials
      She is very professional while creating a friendly and comforting relationship with her clients
      I am very happy with the level and quality of service I got from Dr. Lusine Navasardyan. She is very professional while creating a friendly and comforting relationship with her clients. The service from Lusine was professional,efficient and well organised. Lusine worked extremely hard at resolving my all issues while getting the best result.