Short-term Talent: Securing a Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence

White Rolling Armchair Beside Empty Table

If your business intends to employ overseas talent for a short term role, then you’ll first need to apply for a Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence.

Once you have this licence in place, you can issue Certificates of Sponsorship to eligible foreign workers, so they can obtain a relevant UK visa. If you’re unsure about what the process entails, then we’re here to help. Read on to learn about the Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence, including the routes, requirements and how immigration solicitors can advise you.

What is the Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence?

With the Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence, organisations can sponsor workers from abroad for temporary positions, including voluntary roles. Once you have this licence, you can issue Certificates of Sponsorship for eligible job roles.

Once your intended worker has been issued with a valid CoS, they can use this to obtain their visa to work for you in the UK. In order to obtain a Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence, you’ll need to apply to the UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration).

What are the Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence routes?

There are several licence routes which employers can use to sponsor temporary overseas workers, across multiple sectors. These include…

  • Scale-up Worker – This route is applicable specifically to UK businesses who can evidence a sustained period of rapid growth, enabling them to sponsor skilled workers for six months.
  • Seasonal Worker – Enables foreign nationals to come to the UK for seasonal work in horticulture for up to 6 months. Alternatively, they can also work with poultry from October 18th to December 31st.
  • Creative Worker – This applies to creative industry workers, such as entertainers and artists, for up to 2 years.
  • Charity Worker – Applicable to voluntary workers providing unpaid labour to charitable organisations for up to 1 year.
  • Religious Worker – For religious workers providing support to UK based religious organisations. This route allows workers to remain in the UK for up to 2 years.
  • Government Authorised Exchange – Aimed at individuals wishing to train or research via an approved exchange scheme for up to 2 years, or gain work experience through an approved scheme (up to 1 year).
  • International Agreement – This is for individuals whose position is covered by international law. For example, foreign government employees. This route can apply for up to 2 years.
  • Graduate Trainee (Global Business Mobility) – Aimed at foreign workers transferring to the UK branch of their overseas employer to participate in a graduate scheme.
  • Service Supplier (Global Business Mobility) – For international workers contracted to provide services to a UK company, lasting 6 months to 1 year.
  • UK Expansion Worker (Global Business Mobility) – Applicable to overseas workers being transferred to the UK in order to set up a new branch or subsidiary for their overseas employer.
  • Secondment Worker (Global Business Mobility) – This route is for workers transferring from abroad to work in a different UK organisation through a high-value contract.

Do I meet the requirements to sponsor temporary workers?

To sponsor temporary workers, you must be able to prove to the UKVI that you’re eligible. You’ll need to show that your company:

  • Operates lawfully in the UK, or in the case of the UK Expansion Worker route, has a clear UK footprint (such as a UK business premises).
  • Is trustworthy and capable of monitoring and managing migrant workers. You should ensure no one involved in the sponsorship has unspent criminal convictions, a history of immigration non-compliance, or revoked sponsorship licences within the past 12 months. This includes key personnel named on the application, and key figures in the daily running of the business.
  • Meets the requirements of the specific route through which you intend to sponsor foreign workers.

In some cases, your organisation may be subject to a sponsor licence compliance visit by UKVI. They will want to ensure that your HR and recruitment teams are robust enough to manage the sponsorship of overseas workers, and that they will uphold immigration control compliance to the highest standards.

Applying for a Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence

You can apply for the Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence on the website. You’ll need to nominate staff for key personnel roles, including the Authorising Officer. Once the application process is complete, you’ll need to send in your supporting documents and the submission sheet, which you’ll receive at the end of the application. You can scan these and send them over via email.

If you’re applying for a Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence, you’ll usually need to pay a fee of £536. However, if you already have a Worker licence and want to add a Temporary Worker licence, then there’s no fee to pay.

You’ll typically hear back about your application within 8 weeks, though it could be longer if UKVI needs to conduct a sponsor licence compliance visit.

Securing a Temporary Worker Sponsor Licence in the UK

Whether you need support with a Certificate of Sponsorship or preparing for a sponsor licence application, it’s best to seek guidance from the experts. At Osbourne Pinner Solicitors, our experienced immigration solicitors can advise you through every step.

It’s important to note that this blog post is for informational purposes only. If you’d like to discuss your application in more detail, we offer a free 30-minute consultation. Simply fill in our application form below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can call us on 0203 983 5080 or email us at [email protected].

Please let us know what's on your mind. Have a question for us? Ask away.

Latest Updates

Browse by Category