Can My Business Apply for a Sponsorship Licence UK

Can My Business Apply for a Sponsorship Licence UK

Can my business apply for a Sponsorship Licence UK? What do I need to know before applying? Read this article to get the answers.

“I want to get a sponsorship licence, but can my business apply for a sponsorship licence UK?”

Sponsorship licences are one of the most popular routes for people to live and work in the UK after Brexit, and the skilled worker visa has proven particularly popular. However, organisations still need to get sponsorship licences if they want to sponsor someone to work in their company, and it is not always easy to determine who can and cannot apply.

Not only that, but there are so many questions surrounding these licences. From whether you can still get them in 2024 to how to apply and how long it can take, it’s easy to get confused. If you want to find out if your business can apply for a sponsorship licence, we will go through what you need to know in this article.

Eligibility Criteria for a Sponsorship Licence

Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Sponsorship Licence

If you want to know if your business can apply for a sponsorship licence, you should review the company and check its eligibility. Not only that, but any company that chooses to apply for a sponsorship licence must be prepared to become responsible for various things.

The Home Office will scrutinise an organisation and make sure that the following are complied with:

  • All roles that are being sponsored meet the salary and skill requirements, and are genuine roles
  • The organisation sponsor meets all duties with compliance when sponsoring migrant workers
  • All sponsored workers have the points necessary and are adequately qualified, including having the correct language skills necessary

Your Business Must be Suitable

In order for a business to get a sponsorship licence, it must be suitable and meet the following criteria:

  • Not pose a threat to immigration control
  • Have the recruitment and HR systems necessary
  • Be offering a real vacancy that meets the criteria for a skilled worker
  • Have the necessary planning permission/local planning authority if needed
  • Be “honest, dependable, and reliable”

If even one of these are not met, then your business will not be able to get a sponsorship licence and the application will fail. Remember that if there is any question about suitability, UKVI will carry out an announced or may be an unannounced inspection on the business premises to see for themselves.

You Might Get a Visit from the Home Office

Because the Home Office is very serious about licences and visas, do not expect the process to be quick or easy. If UKVI is not sure about your eligibility, a compliance visit may be carried out and an inspection of your business premises will take place. During the inspection, the organisation’s immigration compliance will be checked to see if you are suitable for getting your sponsorship licence.

You might be given a notice before they arrive, allowing you time to amend any issues and fix anything that may result in the inspection failing.

Documents You Will Need for a Sponsorship Licence

Your business can apply for a sponsorship licence if it can also provide all the necessary paperwork and documentation for the application. The documents you need will vary depending on how long you have been operating within the UK and the type of organisation you are.

Some documents you may need to supply include the following:

  • Most recent corporate bank account statement
  • Certificate of employer’s liability insurance
  • VAT registration certificate
  • Evidence of an HMRC registration (e.g. a PAYE number)
  • Evidence that you own or lease your business premises
  • Most recent audited annual accounts

Please Note: This is not an exhaustive list

You may also need to provide any of these additional documents, such as a covering letter, that included the following information:

  • Say their operating hours and weekly opening times
  • Say why they are making a sponsor licence application
  • If the organisation has fewer than 50 employees, all names and job titles must be submitted
  • Say which industry they operate in
  • State who has access to the email address they used for the application
  • Add a chart of hierarchy that includes all board members, directors, and owners
  • Provide a landline number (if available)

Can My Business Apply for a Sponsorship Licence UK

Can My Business Apply for a Sponsorship Licence UK

Wondering, ‘can my business apply for a sponsorship licence UK’? Most organisations or businesses can apply for one of these licences, but that doesn’t mean that all applications will be accepted. Provided you meet all the criteria, however, your application is likely to be successful.

Key Personnel are Required

Another crucial area that needs to be considered when asking if you can apply for a sponsorship licence is key personnel. These will be employees that handle all licence-related tasks, so they need to be trustworthy and be given roles, as UKVI outlines.

There are three key roles that need to be filled:

  • Authorising officer – someone who is competent and settled in the UK, they will be responsible for everyone who uses the SMS and be responsible for their actions
  • Key contact – this will be your primary contact with UKVI
  • Level 1 user – this will be someone who will do all the daily management regarding SMS and the licence

Both your staff and you will be checked to ensure that you are appropriate people for the role. In the case where anyone who is a part of the sponsorship has any of the following, you may not get your licence:

  • Any unspent criminal convictions for particular crimes
  • Broken the law
  • Received a fine from UKVI in the last year
  • Been reported to UKVI
  • Not paid VAT or another excise duty
  • Been a ‘key person’ at another sponsor business that that its licence revoked in the last year

Does Your Business Require One of These Licences?

You will only require one of these licences if you want to employ someone who does not live and work OR non-British in the UK for a particular, suitable role. There are a variety of roles that different terms include when looking at licences, so we encourage you to have an in-depth look.

For example, roles like models, TV and film workers, dancers, and more, are included under the “creative worker” umbrella term. 

What do Sponsorship Licences Cover?

What do Sponsorship Licences Cover?

A sponsorship licence will cover a variety of visa types, not just the skilled worker visa. Your organisation will require one of these licences if you want to hire any of the following worker or visa types, too:

  • Skilled workers
  • Scale-up workers
  • Workers on an International Sportsperson visa
  • Workers on a government authorised exchange
  • Charity workers
  • Health or care workers
  • Creative workers
  • Workers on an international agreement
  • Ministers of religion or religious worker
  • Seasonal workers
  • Global Business Mobility visa workers

How to Apply for a Sponsorship Licence

Applying for a sponsorship licence can be daunting, but if you meet all the requirements, have the correct documents, and appoint the right key personnel, the process should not be too challenging. Any organisation who wishes to apply for one of these licences can do so on the government website.

The process takes around half an hour, and most licences are approved or denied within 8 weeks, so you will not be waiting for an answer forever. 

Final Thoughts

How to Check UK Certificate of Sponsorship

Here at MAK25 London Limited, we also help with defined and undefined CoS, and we have consulting services to give you practical answers to your business problems. We take pride in our expertise, and can help you make the most of your business through Mock audits and Compliance training. So, if you think you could do with some extra help with your business, we would love to hear from you.

If you want to learn more about us, why not get in touch to discuss questions and concerns? Whether you want to find out more about personal immigration, why your sponsorship licence can be downgraded, suspended, or revoked, or different business mobility routes, we can guide you through it.

So, can my business apply for a sponsorship licence UK? If you meet the criteria and have all the right information and documentation, you can apply for a sponsorship licence.

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