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Applying For A Sponsorship Licence

Applying For A Sponsorship Licence


In order to sponsor skilled non-European migrants, employers must have a sponsor licence, granted by the Home Office.


If you are a company or employer, Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ specialist business immigration lawyers can advise on, and guide you through, the sponsor licence application process. We have a dedicated Sponsor Licence team assisting various companies in successfully obtaining Sponsor Licences for a wide range of companies.


What must I show, as an employer, to obtain a sponsor licence?


The process of obtaining a sponsorship licence is often described as a ‘privilege and not a right’. The concept is essentially one of self-policing and the Home Office often cite the fact that they are placing significant “trust” in businesses holding a licence to work together with the authorities to maintain effective immigration control.


There are a number of requirements that an employer, must satisfy before they can be granted a licence. Employers will be required to send all relevant documentation to prove they satisfy the following requirements:


  • you are a genuinely trading entity with operations based in the UK and are acting lawfully, this includes ensuring that all of your non-EEA workers are appropriately documented and have the right to work in the UK;
  • Your leading personnel – e.g. board members, CEO, etc. – are honest, dependable and reliable;
  • You have no previous history of immigration non-compliance or any relevant criminal convictions.
  • You have effective human resource procedures and recruitment practises in place to meet your sponsorship duties; and, finally,
  • You are offering employment that is considered genuine and is in accordance with the terms of the Tier 2 skill levels and rates of pay.


Once the Home Office have received the relevant evidence, they will decide whether to grant a licence. However, it is possible that they could subject you to a compliance visit whilst the application is pending. A site visit usually involves the Home Office attending your premises and assessing whether or not to grant the licence.


Common mistakes: Applying for a Sponsorship Licence.


Approximately 20% of sponsor licence applications are refused and the most common reasons include:


  • failing to provide the correct supporting documentation within five days of submitting the licence application;
  • not meeting the requirements, including the ‘genuineness test’ for the role you are seeking to recruit for;
  • not having sufficient systems in place to fulfil sponsor specific duties;
  • key staff members not being properly prepared on an audit visit by the Home Office


It is therefore vital to ensure that you apply for the correct type of licence and submit all the relevant supporting documentation.


My Sponsorship Licence Application has been refused what can I do?


If your application is refused due to a simple case working error on the basis that supporting documents provided were not considered, it is possible to submit an “Error Correction” request for the application to be reconsidered.


If it has been refused for other reasons such as a failure to meet sponsorship requirements , you will be subject to a “cooling off” period and will only be able to apply after six months have passed, following the decision.


If you were unable to submit further documents due to circumstances outside your control you may be able to resubmit your application immediately without waiting for six months


If your sponsor licence application has been refused please contact us for further information on today on +44(0)203 114 1198 or e-mail us at privateimmigration@duncanlewis.com/ businessimmigration@duncanlewis.com.


Sponsor Licence: What can Duncan Lewis Solicitors offer me?


Duncan Lewis Solicitors have a dedicated team of specialist immigration lawyers who handle all aspects of business immigration matters.


Our experts work with a wide range of individual clients and businesses. We regularly advise foreign investors, entrepreneurs, international corporations, start-ups, religious organisations and educational institutes on all their business immigration legal issues. 


We have an extensive working knowledge of the law and offer bespoke legal and compliance advice with the least amount of disruption to the workings within a company and at excellent value. 


We provide businesses with full support in the process, from initially assessing your HR /reporting systems, to advising on the supporting documents and drafting the licence application after careful consideration of the requirements of your business.


We have recently assisted with sponsorship licence approvals on behalf of IT companies, architects and dental practises, which were processed and approved within five days of submission.


Please contact us for further information on +44(0)203 114 1198 or e-mail us at privateimmigration@duncanlewis.com/ businessimmigration@duncanlewis.com.


How do I renew my sponsorship licence?


You will normally be contacted by the Home Office, at least four months prior to the expiry of your licence, reminding you of the need to renew your licence.


It is important that you undertake a review of your monitoring and reporting procedures, including ensuring where migrants have worked on third party contracts at various locations the records are accordingly updated.


You should also review your company’s structure to ensure that there have been no changes in the organisation and if necessary arrange to report these changes before you submit your renewal application.


For more information please contact our specialist compliance team today on +44(0)203 114 1198 or e-mail us at privateimmigration@duncanlewis.com / businessimmigration@duncanlewis.com..


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