Latest Sponsor Licence Guidance for 2023: Everything You Need to Know

Solicitor giving sponsor licence guidance

Every UK company constantly pursues exceptional talent that knows no borders. And with the dawn of 2023, fresh waves of sponsor licence guidance have emerged.

So understanding these latest UK sponsor licence guidance is crucial.

This article will serve as your compass to expand your workforce. We’ll first guide you through the intricacies of the updated guidelines. Then we’ll equip you with the knowledge to secure your sponsor licence successfully.

Let’s start this insightful journey right away.

Part 1. Understanding the Sponsor Licence Guidance

The sponsor licence guidance is a complete set of instructions. The Home Office provides them for companies in the United Kingdom. These instructions outline the duties that sponsors must follow. The ultimate aim is to ensure companies’ compliance with immigration rules & regulations.

By following this guidance, employers can apply and maintain their sponsor status effectively. But they must stay informed about any changes impacting the application process.

So let’s look at the key changes in the sponsor licence guidance that happened in 2023.

Part 2. Key Updates in the Latest Guidance for 2023

Here are the notable updates introduced in the latest UK sponsor licence guidance.

1.   Hybrid Working Pattern

  •     Sponsors must report a change of work location for sponsored workers.
  •     The hybrid working pattern is regular remote work alongside the usual office attendance.

2.   More Reporting Duties for Offshore Workers

  •     In this update, sponsors must notify the offshore worker’s arrivals & departures within ten business days.
  •     Information required includes the sponsor license reference number. You also need the certificate of sponsorship reference number, ship/vessel name, and arrival/departure date.

3.   Reporting Duties for Unauthorized Absences

  •     Sponsors must notify if a sponsored worker is on an uninformed leave for more than ten days.
  •     Moreover, the report must be made within ten business days after the tenth absent day. This is regardless of sponsorship continuation.

4.   Automatic Approval of Certain Changes

  •     Firstly, specific changes will be automatically approved. They include changes like the replacement of the Authorizing Officer or Key Contact.
  •     For automatic updates, you must have an active A-rated sponsor license. You also need matching postcodes for new Key Personnel.

5.   Validity of Sponsor Licenses for Expansion Workers or Scale-up Routes

  •     Sponsor licenses under the UK Expansion Worker cannot exceed four years.

6.   Penalties for Provisional Sponsors on the UK Expansion Worker Route

  •     Provisional sponsors on the UK Expansion route may face license revocation for failing to meet sponsor duties. They won’t be given the option of an action plan.
  •     On top of that, the provisional sponsors cannot be downgraded to a B-rating and may face harsher penalties.


So did you get it?

Now do you want to get a sponsor licence for your company?

Let’s see if your company meets the eligibility criteria for a sponsor licence application.

Part 3. Eligibility Criteria for Sponsor Licence Application

The Home Office outlines specific eligibility criteria to apply for a sponsor license. And according to these criteria, the companies must;

  •     Have a trading presence and operate legally in the UK.
  •     Be reliable & dependable. Background checks are conducted for this purpose.
  •     Have HR systems in place for sponsorship duties compliance.
  •     Offer skilled jobs of at least RQF Level 3. This is necessary for a Skilled Worker visa.
  •     Pay the lowest salary of at least £25,600 for the job. This is variable based on role and worker.
  •     Have at least one employee or office holder (e.g., Director.)

Meeting these eligibility criteria shows the ability of companies. And if your company meets these criteria, you can apply for a sponsor licence.

So are you ready to apply for a sponsor licence?

It’s time to see how to get a sponsor licence for your company.

Part 4. How to Apply for a Sponsor Licence

Here are the steps to apply for a tier 2 sponsor licence.

Step 1

Access the online application form on the official GOV.UK website.

Step 2

Provide company details like name, address, employee count, and registration numbers.

Step 3

Now nominate the Key Personnel of your company. They include an Authorising Officer, Key Contact, and Level 1 User.

Step 4

Prepare supporting documents. You must have bank statements, registrations, and specific application-related information.

Step 5

Pay the application fee. The fee is £536 for charities/small companies and £1,476 for others.

Step 6

Submit the application online and get a unique application number.

Step 7

Sign & date the generated submission sheet. Then send it along with supporting documents to the Home Office within five working days.

Step 8

You should expect a visit from the UK Home Office. This is done to assess HR systems & sponsor duties understanding.

Step 9

The standard processing time is approximately eight weeks. There is also an option for expedited processing for an extra fee. This fee is £500 for ten working days with limited availability.

If you follow the above steps, you’ll be able to get a sponsor licence for your company without any hassle.

Before we end our guide, let’s see some expert tips for a successful sponsor licence application.

Part 5. Tips for a Successful Sponsor Licence Application

Increasing your chances of success is vital when applying for a sponsor license. Start by familiarising yourself with the latest guidance from the Home Office. Then ensure compliance with all sponsorship duties. You also need to organise your supporting documents. Afterwards, select the key personnel who understand their duties.

Don’t forget to double-check all application details. And be prepared for a possible Home Office visit. If needed, seek professional advice to navigate the process smoothly.

How Osbourne Pinner Can Help You?

Obtaining a sponsor licence is essential for employers hiring workers outside the UK. The cost of the sponsor licence application varies depending on the licence type and the organisation’s structure. Small businesses pay less than large businesses, while charities pay the same as small businesses. Employers need to consider these costs when budgeting for foreign workers or students. Do you wish to get the most updated information on sponsor licence application fees? Then, Get in touch with us!

We offer 30 minutes free of charge initial consultation, which takes place at our offices or through a video conference. (Whatever mode you prefer)! If you want us to book you for this free consultation, call us at 0203 983 5080 or complete the online enquiry form. We will contact you in no time!


Staying up-to-date with the latest sponsor licence guidance is crucial for UK companies. And the year 2023 has brought significant changes in this guidance.

We’ve already put light on these latest changes. We’ve also shown you how to apply for a sponsor licence.

So use these tips and efficiently bring skilled workers to your company.

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