Navigating the world of sponsor licences can be challenging, but it’s crucial for businesses that want to hire individuals from outside the UK. In this article, we’ll outline what sponsor licence compliance is, the different types, the benefits to employers and how to stay compliant.
What is a sponsor licence?
A sponsor licence is a permission granted by the UK government to an employer, allowing them to hire workers from outside the UK. This licence is a part of the UK’s points-based immigration system. It’s essential for companies that want to tap into a global talent pool and hire non-UK residents.
Different types of sponsor licences
There are mainly two types of sponsor licences:
A. Skilled Worker Sponsored Licence Visa
Previously called the Tier 2 work visa, this is for skilled workers who have long-term job offers in the UK. The licence is split into four sections:
- Skilled Worker Visa
- Specialist Worker Visa
- Minister of Religion
- International Sportsperson
Skilled workers include IT professionals, engineers, teachers and healthcare workers.
B. Temporary Worker Licence
Known previously as the Tier 5 licence, this covers temporary workers. Only specific jobs are classed as covered by the temporary worker licence. These could be charity workers, artists, entertainers or religious workers who will be in the UK for a short time.
Each type caters to different employment needs and has its own set of rules and responsibilities.
How to apply
If you’re a UK employer wanting to hire workers from outside the UK for either permanent or temporary jobs, you need to apply for a Sponsorship Licence.
Here’s a simple way to understand the steps:
1. Check if you can apply
Make sure your business can apply based on the government’s eligibility criteria.
2. Pick the right licence
Choose the type of temporary workers you want to hire, like charity workers or artists.
3. Apply online
Fill out the application on the UK government’s website, giving details about your business and the workers you want.
4. Pay the fee
There’s a cost to apply, and it changes based on your business size and the kind of licence.
5. Be prepared for a check-up
The Home Office might visit to make sure you’re ready to be a sponsor. This visit helps ensure your business meets all the necessary criteria and responsibilities. It also provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your compliance.
6. Give out sponsorship certificates
When you have your licence, you can issue certificates to the workers you want to hire, which they need for their visa applications.
Benefits for employers
Sponsor licences are advantageous for businesses as they can hire talented people from all over the world. This helps them build stronger, more diverse teams, creating a better place to work. Plus, it helps companies stay ahead of the competition by allowing them to hire the best people, no matter where they come from.
It can also create a stable workforce as skilled workers are more likely to stay in the job that is sponsoring them.
How to stay compliant
Staying compliant is vital. Here are some key steps:
Maintain detailed records of your employees, including their contact details, attendance and visa information.
Inform the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) of significant changes, like changes in your business or employee circumstances.
Compliance with the law
Ensure that you are up to date with the immigration laws and that your employees have the right to work in the UK.
Renewal of sponsor licence
A sponsor licence is usually valid for four years. It’s important to apply for renewal before it expires to avoid disruptions in your ability to sponsor workers. Start the renewal process at least three months before the expiry date.
Start your sponsor licence application today
Understanding the complexities of sponsor licence compliance can be daunting. That’s where Osbourne Pinner Solicitors come in. We are experts in immigration law and can help you with every step of the process, from applying for a sponsor licence to ensuring you remain compliant. We can also assist with the renewal process and represent you in communications with UKVI (UK Visas & Immigration).