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Tel: 0116 28 34567 | Fax: 0116 25 52363


Sponsorship License for an Employer

You might need a Sponsor License to employ someone from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland to work for you in the UK.

This includes unpaid work, e.g. if you run a charity.

Sponsoring someone does not guarantee that they will be allowed to come to or stay in the UK.

How to get Sponsor License

First you need to check that your business is eligible.

Second you would need to choose the type of license you want to apply for- this will depend on what type of worker you want to sponsor.

Thirdly you will need to decide who will manage sponsorship within your business.

Fourthly, you would need to apply online and pay the relevant fee.

UK Visas and Immigration may visit your business to check its suitable

Business eligibility

To obtain a license, you cannot have:

Unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or certain other crimes, e.g. fraud or money laundering

Any history of failing to carry out your sponsorship duties

You will need appropriate systems in place to monitor sponsored employees.

UK Visas and Immigration will review your Application Form and supporting documents. They may visit your business to make sure you are trustworthy and capable of carrying out your duties.

Types of license

The license you will need depends on whether the workers you want to fill your jobs are:

  • Tier 2- Skilled Workers with long term job offers or
  • Tier 5- Skilled temporary workers

You can apply for a license covering either Tier or both.



Tier 2

Tier 2 is for skilled workers who you want to employ long term or permanently. It is split into:

General- the role must meet the jobs suitability requirements

Intra- company transfer- from multinational companies which need to transfer employees to the UK Minister of Religion- for people coming to work for a religious organisation (for up to 3 years)

Sportsperson- for elite sportspeople and coaches who will be based in the UK.

Jobs suitability

You can sponsor a worker if the Tier 2 or Tier 5 job they are going to do has a suitable rate of pay and skill level.

For details regarding the suitable rate of pay and skill level, please see the codes of practice. 

Sponsorship Management Roles

You will need to appoint people within your business to manage the sponsorship process when you apply for a license.


The roles are;

  • Authorising officer- a senior competent person responsible for their actions of staff and representatives who use the Sponsor Management System
  • Key contact- your main point of contact with UK Visas and Immigration
  • Level 1 user- responsible for all day-to-day management of your license using the SMS as management system
  • These roles can be filled by the same person or different people.
Advertising the job

You may need to advertise the job you are offering if it is not on the shortage occupation list. This is known as carrying out the ‘Resident Labour Market Test’.

You must advertise any job you offer to a worker in the following categories:

  • Tier 2 (General)
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) or Tier 5 (Religious workers) unless it is a non-essential position or involves living within a religious order (e.g. a monk or a nun)
  • Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting) in the Creative and entertainment sector, unless you can explain why the job cannot be done by a settled worker.

You must place two adverts. Each advert must run in the UK for 28 days in most cases, either continuously or in two stages.

You must be able to show that you did not find a suitable worker to fill the post.

Suitability checks

You and your staff will be checked to make sure you are suitable for these roles.

Bushra Ali Services

We at BUSHRA ALI SOLICITORS are highly experienced in representing businesses applying for a Sponsorship License.

We provide full packages in advising as to process, assisting in the process and guiding employers through.

We can help take all the worries off your hands and deal with all of the Sponsorship Management side.

To find out with regards to various packages and obtain further advice regarding these services, please feel free to contact us.