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Sponsorship licenses are complex: what you need to know


This guide outlines types and requirements for sponsorship licenses that allow you to recruit foreign nationals to fill employment vacancies. In the United Kingdom, most businesses rely on recruitment agencies to help them discover skilled staff. After all, the additional workers help ease competition among enterprises.

Sponsorship is available to applicants from any country, and UK citizenship is not necessary to apply. When companies need to hire more talented employees, these organizations will look abroad and provide a list of qualified individuals they may sponsor for a visa.

Understanding sponsorship licenses

Companies in the United Kingdom may apply for sponsorship licenses to legally recruit foreign nationals living within or outside the country for specific job positions. After the UK government analyzes and approves your first application for a sponsorship license, you will need to reapply every after four years.

Your company must be legally established in the United Kingdom before you apply for a sponsorship license. Aside from that, you also need to show proof of eligibility for work and that your company can sustainably pay a living wage.

Types of sponsorship licenses

Regarding sponsor licenses, the UK government offers two primary sponsor license categories. And each category has its own set of subcategories. The first type of sponsor license is the Temporary Worker Sponsor license, where employers may legally hire foreign nationals temporarily. The subcategories under this category include seasonal workers, International Agreement workers, Government-authorized exchange workers, religious workers, charity workers, and sporting or creative workers.

The second type of sponsor license is a worker sponsor license. Businesses with this license type can legally hire permanent foreign workers to work in the United Kingdom. Some subcategories under Worker Sponsor License include Minister of Religion, Intracompany visas, and skilled workers.

Tips for Applying for a Sponsorship License in the United Kingdom

Any business in the United Kingdom that plans to hire foreign nationals, whether permanently or temporarily, must first get a sponsorship license. An employer or educational institution obtaining such a license is legally allowed to hire or enroll foreign people.

However, getting sponsorship licenses is not a walk in the park, and many considerations must be made beforehand. This section will share some tips you can do to apply for a sponsorship license.  

Prepare All Necessary Documents

Preparing the required papers and documents well in advance for applying for a sponsorship license is essential. Your application may be rejected if you miss the deadline for submitting the required materials. Having all the required paperwork at hand is huge assistance when applying for such a license.

These documents must be presented in either an original or a copy certified by an attorney. If you submit an unsolicited copy of a crucial document via email without verifying its legitimacy, your application will be more likely to be rejected.

Apply as Early as Possible

In all likelihood, the process of getting the UK visas and for the Immigration office to accept your sponsorship license application will take considerable time. Many applicants have reported waiting far longer than eight weeks for the office to complete their applications.

When an office needs you to undertake a compliance check, it might add significant time to the application process. In line with that, we highly recommend you submit your application as soon as possible so that you may be sure to have the license in hand when you need it.

Consider Your Organization’s Budget to Sponsor Foreign Workers

If a business has more than 50 workers, 10 million Euros yearly sales, or 5 million Euros in assets, it is classified as big or medium. The sponsoring fee to apply for a license is around 1,500 Euros if your company falls into the medium to the large size range.

Smaller organizations and individuals pay less than 500 Euros, but that is still a lot of money. You should consider your budget for this fee if you want to apply for a sponsorship license.

Work with a Lawyer

Another essential tip to consider when applying for a sponsorship license in the United States is to work with a US immigration attorney. The lawyer will help you prepare all the documents and ensure that your application will be approved.

In other words, a lawyer will take care of everything from the paperwork preparation to submission. However, keep in mind to only work for an attorney with experience in the immigration field. This will give you a guarantee to be eligible to obtain a sponsorship license.

Final thoughts

To sum up, if you are an established company in the United States, applying for a sponsorship license is an excellent idea since you can hire other, more qualified workers outside of the country.


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