To be able to employ non-European workers, employers must be licensed by the UKVI to sponsor non-EEA workers. Companies therefore looking to take advantage of high skilled workers abroad would need to apply for a UK sponsors licence to be able to recruit overseas talents.
In some instances, employers or prospective employers will need to be licenced by UKVI prior to being able to sponsor in order to be able to employ non-EEA nationals. Companies looking to take advantage of highly skilled workers based outside the UK or in some instances from within the UK would need to go through a formal application process for them to be approved as a UK sponsor licence holder to enable them to recruit the most talented individuals for their business.
There are two types/categories of Sponsor Licence, a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Licence (“ICT”) and a Tier 2 (General) Licence. The difference between the two is essentially that an ICT Licence is to be utilised for the Transfer of existing workers (also known as “assignees”) from an overseas company affiliated or connected to a UK business (typically a parent and subsidiary company relationship). The Tier 2 (General) route is typically used where it is envisaged that the prospective migrant is being recruited on a permanent basis for the role. It is not uncommon for company can hold both categories of sponsor licence at the same time.
It is important that companies looking to apply for a sponsorship licence are genuine trading businesses that are operating legally in the United Kingdom. When applying for a sponsor Licence each company will also need to select its “Key Personnel”. These Key Personnel are named individuals who will be very important stakeholders in the licenced organisations relationship with UKVI and as such these key individuals must be not only be reliable, honest and dependable but ultimately responsible and compliance orientated individuals.
Businesses looking to apply for a sponsorship licence must also demonstrate that they know and understand their sponsorship duties and obligations and that that they are as fully capable of carrying them out. This will usually include ensuring that appropriate HR systems and procedures are in place within the organisation.
An online application would need to be completed and the company must provide supporting documents to evidence that it meets the requirements. Missing documents may result in an application being rejected or delayed and may result in additional costs being incurred.
Upon receiving the application as well as the evidentiary documents, the Home Office, in some instances may opt to undertake pre-authorisation compliance visit. UKVI compliance officers will assess your internal systems and procedures to determine whether or not to grant the sponsor licence.
If your sponsor licence application is refused, then this could have adverse implications to your business as your ability to recruit migrant workers would be hindered potentially for up to 6 months owing to the recently introduced “cooling off period”.
If you are thinking about applying for a Sponsor Licence please call our Business Immigration Team on 0203 744 2797.
Our Business Immigration lawyers can provide you with a full employer sponsor licence application package including the following;
Our business immigration experts boast over 30 years combined experience and have over the years assisted both large corporations and SME’s in successfully applying for a sponsor licence. Our knowledge and expertise means that your application will be handled by some of the best immigration lawyers in London and our clients are sure to get the best possible immigration and sponsorship advice; affording them a stress free sponsor license application.