Want to know how to check if a company has a sponsorship licence? If you’re hoping to be sponsored by a UK employer, or you’re an organisation applying for a sponsorship licence, then this question might be on your mind.
A company’s sponsorship licence proves to the Home Office, prospective employees, and the public that they’re fully approved to sponsor migrant workers. But how can you check if a potential UK employer actually has a sponsorship licence? Read on to find out…
Why is a sponsorship licence important?
Sponsorship licences prove that an organisation is licenced to sponsor and hire migrant workers. Without it, companies put themselves at risk of hefty fines and prosecution. They may also be prevented from sponsoring other migrant workers in the future.
It’s also essential for migrant workers to ensure the company they’re working for has a sponsor licence. If the company does not have one, then it isn’t licensed to provide a Certificate of Sponsorship. This document is essential for overseas workers, as they can use it to apply for a work visa.
Even if a prospective employer claims to have a sponsor licence, it’s better to check this out before applying for a visa. If your Certificate of Sponsorship turns out to be fake, your visa application may be rejected, or you may face removal from the UK.
You should also check the 9-digit sponsor licence number to ensure the details on your Certificate of Sponsorship match with the sponsoring company.
How to check if a company has a sponsorship licence
The best way to check a company’s sponsorship licence is to look at the Register of Licensed Sponsors. This is a public list from the Home Office that registers all the UK companies and organisations that have a valid sponsorship licence. You can view this list on the gov.uk website.
What is the Register of Licensed Sponsors?
The Register for Licensed Sponsors lists companies that are licensed to sponsor long-term and/or temporary migrant workers. It also features information about the type of workers they are able to sponsor, along with their sponsorship rating.
If you’re looking for a fully licensed sponsor, then this is a very good place to start. The register lists company addresses, so you can search by location if you wish.
You’ll also need to check the licence type and routes that the organisation can sponsor. These include the skilled worker route, UK expansion worker, and minister of religion, among many others.
What’s the meaning of the sponsorship rating?
Organisations that have an A-rating on the Register for Licensed Sponsors can give out Certificates of Sponsorship. They can also hire migrant workers, as long as they are eligible for the role. Companies are given this rating when their sponsorship licence is first approved.
However, companies that breach the sponsor licence compliance regulations can be downgraded to a B-rating by the Home Office. These organisations cannot issue new Certificates of Sponsorship until they receive an upgrade back to an A-rating. This can only happen when the company proves that they have resolved the issues that lead to the downgrade.
How can I work for a company that’s not on the list?
If you’ve set your heart on working for a company, but they’re not on the register, don’t be too disheartened. There are steps they can take to obtain a sponsorship licence.
Businesses that aren’t on the list will need to apply for a sponsor licence. They should also be registered on the Register for Licensed Sponsors. Once they’ve assigned key personnel to the SMS (the Home Office’s online portal), then they can start issuing Certificates of Sponsorship. They’ll also need to ensure they apply for the right type of licence and route for your job role.
Companies with a B-rating also won’t be able to hire you, as they can’t issue Certificates of Sponsorship. They’ll need to be upgraded back to an A-rating before they can sponsor you to work with them.
Sponsor licence applications made easy
Applying for a sponsorship licence can be challenging, with many strict guidelines to follow. It’s important to note that this blog post is for informational purposes only. If you’d like to hire migrant workers, then it helps to speak with experienced immigration solicitors first. At Osbourne Pinner Solicitors, we can provide tailored support for everything from your sponsor licence application to issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship.
Alternatively, if you’re an overseas worker, then you can also seek advice about visa applications or verifying a company’s sponsor licence. If you’d like to speak with us, we offer a no-fee, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your case. Simply fill in the online form below, or send us an email at [email protected]. Rather speak over the phone? Call us on 0203 983 5080.