In order to employ a non-EEA national, the company (‘employer’) must hold a Home Office sponsor license. That license gives you the ability to issue Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) which are an essential part of the employee’s visa application under either Tier 2 or Tier 5 of the Points Based System.
Applying for a sponsor license can be a lengthy and frustrating process as the Home Office scrutinises every application from top to bottom, and the rules are extremely complex. The documents they accept are strictly prescribed, and you will also have to convince the Home Office that your company is ‘suitable’ and can fulfil your sponsorship duties. Supporting documents either have to be originals or certified copies, and the certification must be done in line with the policy guidance.
Often, companies seek help from us after they have tried applying on their own and ended up being refused due to a lack of supporting documents or the incorrect format in which the documents were prepared. The Home Office has a massive backlog of applications to process, therefore, it is of utmost importance that you submit your application well in advance before employing a non-EEA national. And as explained, getting your application right the first time round is crucial, because you do not want to be waiting for a refusal and then re-apply, whilst your non-EEA employee could have been working for you already.
Sponsorship Licence Requirements
There are several Sponsorship Licence requirements that you need to meet if you are an employer looking to find out how to get a Sponsor Licence and employ foreign workers:
How to get a Sponsor Licence for your business:
- Check that your business is eligible: to be eligible staff members must not have any history of immigration offences, crimes or past failure to meet sponsorship duties.
- Decide the type of licence you require: this is determined by the type of worker you want to sponsor.
- Nominate the employees that will be responsible for managing your business’ sponsorship: these cannot be shareholders and they must be senior members of the company. You will need to choose at least two members to use the Sponsorship Management System (SMS).
- Apply online and pay the home office fee: this caries depending on the type of visa you want to sponsor and the size of your business.
- Prepare a pre-approval audit from the Home Office.
UK Visa Partners provides a solution-based approach to meet with client needs and expectations, we can assist with the following tasks:
- Advise on the most suitable structure of licence to apply for i.e. single or multiple;
- Advise on whether it is necessary to meet with the Resident Market Test;
- Advise on whether your existing HR systems are adequate for you to meet you’re your obligations as a Tier 2 Sponsorship licenced employer;
- Assist with the drafting the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application online;
- Assist with the collation of supporting documentation to support the Sponsorship Licence application;
- Provide Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence training to authorising officer, key contact and level 1 users;
- Advise on how to apply and assign an unrestricted or restricted certificate of sponsorship; and
- Advise on the genuine vacancy requirement in accordance with the published policy guidance.
We are able to guide you through the entire application process step by step. Although we will be pedantic when asking for the right documents from you, we are simply doing our best to minimise the risk of refusal.