You’ll usually need a sponsor licence to employ someone to work for you from outside the UK. This includes citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020.
You will not need a licence to sponsor certain groups, for example:
- Irish citizens
- those with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- those with indefinite leave to remain in the UK
Types of licence
The licence you need depends on whether the workers you want to fill your jobs are:
- ‘Workers’ – for those with long-term job offers
- ‘Temporary workers’
You can sponsor a worker if the job they’re going to do has a suitable rate of pay and skill level, or meets the other criteria needed for their visa.
How to get a sponsor licence?
- Check your business is eligible.
- Choose the type of licence you want to apply for – this will depend on what type of worker you want to sponsor.
- Decide who will manage sponsorship within your business.
- Apply online and pay the fee.
Link to apply: https://www.gov.uk/apply-sponsor-licence
Sponsorship management roles
You need to appoint people within your business to manage the sponsorship process when you apply for a licence.
The main tool they’ll use is the sponsorship management system (SMS).
The roles are:
- authorising officer – a senior and competent person responsible for the actions of staff and representatives who use the SMS
- key contact – your main point of contact with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
- level 1 user – responsible for all day-to-day management of your licence using the SMS
These roles can be filled by the same person or different people.
How much is the licence fee
You need to pay a fee when you apply. The fee depends on the type of licence you’re applying for and what type of organisation you are.
You’re usually a small sponsor if two of the following apply:
- your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less
- your total assets are worth £5.1 million or less
- you have 50 employees or fewer
You’re a charitable sponsor if you’re either:
- a registered, excepted or exempt charity
- an ecclesiastical corporation established for charitable purposes
|Type of licence||Fee for small or charitable sponsors||Fee for medium or large sponsors|
|Worker and Temporary Worker||£536||£ 1,476|
|Add a Worker licence to an existing Temporary Worker licence||No fee||£940|
|Add a Temporary Worker licence to an existing Worker licence||No fee||No fee|
How long it takes to get a decision
Most applications (8 out of 10) are dealt with in less than 8 weeks. UKVI may need to visit your business.
You may be able to pay £500 to get a decision within 10 working days. You’ll be told if you can after you apply.
Sources from gov.com: https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers