Applying for a Tier 2 & Tier 5 Sponsorship Licence
If your organisation or company wishes to recruit a skilled migrant from outside of the EU, the organisation will be required to obtain a Sponsorship Licence from UK Visas & Immigration (‘UKVI’).
A sponsor licence is permission given to an organisation to sponsor migrant workers in the UK.
It is worth noting that employing a non-EU national without adhering to strict compliance and due diligence obligations set out by UKVI, could result in severe civil or criminal repercussions for an organisation, e.g. a large fine or even imprisonment.
Obtaining a Sponsor licence
In order for an organisation to obtain a sponsor licence, UKVI will assess the following key requirements:
- Is the organisation a genuine company currently operating in the UK?
- Does the organisation have Human Resources (‘HR’) systems and relevant recruitment processes in place?
- Is the organisation honest, dependable, and reliable?
- Will the organisation be able to carry out the sponsor duties and evidence compliance in an adequate time frame if and when required?
- Can the organisation offer genuine employment that meets the Tier 2 skill level and rates of pay?
To meet the criteria above, the organisation will be required to provide detailed reasons explaining why they should be granted a sponsor licence to enable the recruitment of skilled migrant workers from outside of the UK and the EU.
If UKVI feel that at least one of the key requirements as mentioned-above are not met, the sponsor licence application will be refused. Therefore, it is imperative that the application is conducted correctly and in detail.
The application process
The application for a sponsor licence must be completed online. Once the online application has been submitted, supporting documents will have to be sent to UKVI within 5 days.
Failure to submit all the required supporting documents will result in the application being delayed or rejected. This could also result in further unnecessary costs for the organisation.
Whilst an organisation’s sponsor licence application is being considered, there is a possibility that UKVI may conduct a compliance visit to the business premises.
During a compliance visit, UKVI will examine the organisations HR procedures in relation to compliance requirements, e.g. verify any information given as part of the sponsor licence application or, UKVI may conduct a review of the organisation’s existing filing of employee identification records and right to work checks, etc.
After the compliance visit has been conducted, if UKVI feel that the correct employment compliance procedures are not in place, the sponsor licence application will be refused.
What happens if the application is refused?
If the sponsor licence application is refused, an organisation will not be able to make another application until 6 months after the date of the UKVI decision letter refusing the application, also known as the ‘cooling off period’. Therefore, it is very important that the application and supporting documents are correctly submitted.
Furthermore, there is no right of appeal for sponsor licence refusals.
Failing to comply with UKVI sponsor licence duties
If UKVI believe that an organisation is breaching it’s sponsor licence duties and pose a threat to immigration control, UKVI may suspend or revoke the organisation’s sponsor licence.
If an existing sponsor licence is suspended or revoked, it could have severe implications for both workers and the organisation.
How we can help
Complying with UKVI sponsor licence duties and responsibilities throughout the sponsor licence period could be extremely stressful and complicated for organisations and HR personnel.
Our business immigration experts at Muldoon Britton have substantial experience and knowledge in advising businesses in relation to complying with UKVI sponsor licence duties and obtaining sponsor licences.
If your organisation is interested in applying for a sponsor licence require further advice, please contact us on 0161 826 6922.
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