Due to recent changes in the Immigration Rules, there are likely to be a huge backlog of applications for UK Sponsor Licence so employers are encouraged to apply early to avoid disappointment of waiting longer periods before being granted the UK Sponsor Licence. This article sets out the 5 important rules for a successful UK Sponsor Licence application.
What is the UK Sponsor Licence?
The UK Sponsor Licence entitles an employer in the UK to be registered on the Home Office’s register of Licenced Sponsors in order to be given permission to employ overseas workers in the UK. As of 17 February 2021, there are 33,148 licenced sponsors on the Home Office’s register of UK Sponsor Licence holders under the Skilled Worker routes. You will need a UK Sponsor Licence to employ an overseas worker, which now also includes citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020.
5 Important Rules for a Successful UK Sponsor Licence Application
The 5 important rules for a successful UK Sponsor Licence Application are:
1. Show that you are a genuine organisation operating legally in the UK
It is important for you to demonstrate that you operate a genuine business in the UK. The Home Office have set out some essential documents in Appendix A: supporting documents for sponsor licence application, which you must submit with your sponsor licence application. The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to our expert immigration lawyers for legal advice.
2. Show that you are honest, dependable, reliable and are not engaged and have not engaged in behaviour or actions that are not conducive to the public good
In order to demonstrate this, you will have to show that you no criminal convictions, no civil judgments and no significant debts and a stable credit rating. The documents you could submit in order to demonstrate this include: a business credit report and a personal credit report from reputable credit reference agencies and a DBS check from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
3. Show that you are capable of carrying out the Sponsor Licence duties
The two main duties that a UK Sponsor Licence holder needs to maintain are: (a) Record Keeping Duties; and (b) Reporting Duties. It may be necessary to demonstrate that you have a suitable HR department in your organisation or outsourced to our firm that manages these duties and ensures that your organisation remains compliant. The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to our expert immigration lawyers for legal advice.
4. Show that you can offer genuine employment that meets the skill level and salary requirements
It is important that you are able to explain why employing overseas workers is necessary for your organisation and that you could not fill the role with a suitably qualified settled worker. You can only sponsor jobs on the Skilled Worker Visa that are listed in the UK Home Office’s eligible occupations and codes for Skilled Worker Visa and that you can meet the minimum salary requirement of at least £25,600 per annum or the salary requirement specific to the job you are sponsoring.
PLEASE NOTE that the UK Home Office may carry out a Pre-Compliance Site Visit before granting the UK Sponsor Licence to determine whether the eligibility requirements are met. You may want to speak to our expert immigration lawyers for preparation for the Pre-Compliance Site Visit.
5. Show that you have the right personnel and key users in your organisation
It is important that you decide and think about the key users to the Sponsor Management System (SMS), where you will need to appoint Authorised Users and Level 1 and Level 2 Users. It is important that you select the right key personnel for your organisation as any errors or wrongdoing by any person authorised to access the SMS system can risk your organisation losing its UK Sponsor Licence. A Level 1 user can access all applicable functions of your SMS system and a Level 2 user has restricted access and are unable to view or access certain sections of the SMS system which is available to a Level 1 user.
Consequences of not applying for a UK Sponsor Licence
If you fail to apply for a UK Sponsor Licence , you could be subject to an immigration offence of hiring an illegal worker and you could face a jail sentence of up to 5 years and pay a large fine. The punishment will depend on:
(a) Whether you knowingly or unknowingly without due care and attention employ a person that does not have the right to work in the UK; and
(b) the seriousness of the offence and the number of illegal workers involved.
You could also damage your prospects of obtaining a UK Sponsor Licence if you are convicted of an immigration offence.
How to apply for the UK Sponsor Licence
It is important for you to take legal advice from our experienced Immigration Solicitors and Barristers to ensure that you are applying under the correct immigration route, with the correct supporting documents and that you meet all the eligibility requirements for a UK Sponsor Licence. The reason why this is so important is that if you are unsuccessful in applying for the UK Sponsor Licence, you may have to apply for it again causing significant delay and costs for you.
How much does the UK Sponsor Licence cost?
The UK Sponsor Licence fee is dependent on the size of your organisation. The UK Sponsor Licence application fee for a small sponsor or charity is £536 and for a medium or large sponsor is £1476.
In addition to the UK Sponsor Licence application fee, you should also be aware of the following additional charges after you have been granted a UK Sponsor Licence.
(a) Certificate of Sponsorship Assignment Fee of £199.00 per certificate assigned; and
(b) Immigration Skills Charge of £364 for small sponsor or charity and £1000 for a medium or large sponsor for the first 12 months and thereafter every 6 months the sum of £182 for a small sponsor or charity and £500 for a medium or large sponsor.
You will have to pay the above fees in one go after you assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to a worker using the Sponsorship Management System.
Make a UK Sponsor Licence application with OneLaw Chambers
At OneLaw Chambers, our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers regularly assist with Immigration and Visa applications in order for applicants to relocate to and settle in the UK. We have assisted many foreign nationals to prepare and submit successful Immigration and Visa applications and we have represented clients from all over the world. We are well equipped to prepare and submit your UK Sponsor application.
Whether you require expert immigration advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent immigration assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a UK Sponsor Licence or professional immigration representation with preparing your UK Sponsor Licence application, our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers can help you.
We are committed to ensuring that our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers prepare every immigration visa application with utmost quality and skill so that a successful outcome is achieved every time. Our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire immigration application process.