What is a Sponsorship Licence

A Sponsorship Licence enables a UK based organisation to employ a non-EEA worker or transfer existing employees from a sister organisation overseas to the UK. Tier-2-General-Visa-UKIn order to offer the job to such applicants (sponsorship) an employer will first need to apply to the Home Office for a Sponsorship Licence.

Before employing or sponsoring a non EU worker, the employer must obtain the relevant Sponsorship Licence, issue a Certificate of Sponsorship and wait for the relevant work visa to be granted.

Once the licence has been granted, the employer will become a Licenced Sponsor and will be issued access to a Sponsorship Management System (SMS) using which he will be able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the employee and manage other sponsorship related duties. The employee will then be able to use the CoS to apply for a Tier 2 (General) or Tier 2 (ICT)  or Tier 5 (Temporary worker) visas from the UK or from his country of origin.

For the employer to successfully receive the Tier 2 Sponsorship licence, he will need to meet a number of legal requirements relevant to the Tier 2 subcategory in which the employee is required, namely, Tier 2 (General)Tier 2 (ICT) or Tier 5 (Temporary Workers). The employer will also need to demonstrate that he meets the applicable legal requirements and has a legitimate business which:

♠ genuinely requires the overseas employee;
♠ cannot fill the position with a EU based employee unless the position is listed on the National Shortage Occupation List;
♠ has a good track record as an individual and or business; and
♠ has the systems in place to effectively manage the employee and his own duties as a sponsor under the immigration regulations.

Sponsorship Duties

A Tier 2 Sponsor has a number of reporting and record keeping with regards to the employee being sponsored and the sponsorship licence.

♠ Record keeping

Keeping records of the applicant’s passport, biometric residence permit and contact details in addition to other key information.

♠ Reporting

The Home Office must be  informed of:

♦ Non-attendance of the employee after arrival in the UK;
Absence of more than 10 working days, without the sponsor’s permission;
Employee’s resignation or dismissal;
Expiration or revocation of any professional or regulatory registration enabling migrant to work in the UK;
If the Sponsor no longer being the sponsor for any reason , for instance, migrant switching into another visa;
Any significant changes in the migrant’s circumstances, for instance, change of job or salary etc.
Any breach of conditions of leave;
Engagement in any criminal activity.

Penalties for employing migrant workers without a valid licence

There are civil penalty for employers who employ illegal migrant workers as a result of negligent recruitment and unlicenced employment practices. It is also a criminal offence for those employers who knowingly employ migrant workers without a sponsor licence or valid visa. Such employers can be subjected to two year prison sentence and/or a very high fine.

Use of representatives for licensing and sponsorship

We are authorised by the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner to provide legal advice and representation services to employers with regards to Tier 2 & 5 Sponsor Licence application and compliance.

We specialise exclusively in immigration regulations and charge affordable fixed fees – delivering value far beyond what general legal practices may offer. Contact our offices in Central London or Birmingham today for quality legal advice and representation to increase your prospects of success.