Birmingham Immigration Lawyers
0121 667 6530 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 6 pm

Find an office

10 offices in the UK


We are the UK's leading immigration specialists
OISC Accredited UK immigration lawyers
We've had over 5000 applications approved
Get the correct advice from qualified immigration experts
4.7 rating 414 reviews

How to sponsor a foreign national in the UK

In order to sponsor a foreign national in the UK, a UK-based business must have a valid UK Sponsor Licence in order to issue the correct documentation to support the migrant workers visa application.

For more information on how to apply for a Sponsor Licence, call Birmingham Immigration Lawyers today on 0121 667 6530.


    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Sponsoring workers from overseas

    In order to sponsor a skilled worker from overseas, a UK organisation must hold a valid UK Sponsor Licence. The licence in question will allow UK employers to issue a document called a Certificate of Sponsorship to prospective employees which will count towards their points-based UK visas application.

    A Sponsor Licence is not requires to employ the following categories of people:

    • Those with Pre settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
    • Irish Citizens
    • Those with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK

    You must hold a valid UK Sponsor Licence in order to recruit unpaid foreign workers in your company- this is deemed charity work and you must apply as a small or charitable sponsor.

    If you do not currently hold a licence to sponsor foreign workers, you should apply for one as soon as possible.

    For more information on how to apply for a Sponsor Licence, call Birmingham Immigration Lawyers today on 0121 667 6530.

    Skilled worker visa

    Sponsor Licence eligibility requirements

    To be granted a Sponsor Licence, an employer must:

    • Be trading lawfully in the United Kingdom
    • Be registered with a statutory body
    • Have appropriate permission to occupy and trade at the specified trading address
    • Pledge to accept all of the given Sponsor Licence duties
    • Be looking to offer genuine employment opportunities to foreign workers

    To be granted a Sponsor Licence, an employer must not:

    • Have any unspent criminal convictions or immigration offences
    • Have had a Sponsor Licence revoked in the last 12 months

    Certificate of Sponsorship

    You must assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to each foreign worker to anticipate to employ in your company. The Certificate of Sponsorship should detail the new job offer you have issued to your overseas employee; it must be assigned no more than three months before their start date.

    Certificates can be issued using your Sponsorship Management System (SMS)- you will get access to SMS when your Sponsor Licence has been approved by UKVI.

    The cost of issuing one Certificate of Sponsorship is £199 with each one generally being approved within 24 hours. Once approved, the CoS will appear on your Sponsorship Management System and can be issued to the relevant foreign worker.

    Do you need help applying for a Skilled Worker Visa? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

      Fill out the form

      Types of Sponsor Licence

      When you apply for a Sponsorship Licence to hire foreign workers, you must know what type of Sponsor Licence you require0- typically, you will require a Worker Licence, a Temporary Worker Licence, or a mixture of both.

      Worker Licence

      You need a Worker Licence if you plan to employ foreign workers as a Skilled Worker or long-term employees.

      You can employ the following UK visa categories under the Worker Licence:

      Temporary Worker Licence

      A Temporary Worker Licence covers specific types of short-term employment for a foreign worker.

      You can employ the following UK Visa categories under a Temporary Worker Licence:

      • Scale Up visa
      • Charity Worker visa
      • Graduate Trainee visa
      • Service Supplier visa
      • Secondment visa
      • Seasonal Worker visa
      • UK Expansion Worker
      • International Agreement
      • Government Authorised Exchange

      Sponsor Management System

      The Home Office is reliant on information from a companies Sponsor Management System to ensure that they are adhering to their Sponsorship Licence duties.

      The system allows Sponsor Licence holders to liaise with the Home Office as required and to issue a new Certificate of Sponsorship to skilled workers.

      In order to ensure the smooth day to day management of the system, the Sponsor Licence holder must employ a team of existing employees to act as key personnel. These roles include Authorising Officer, Key Contact, Level 1 user and an additional level 2 user. Each role should be filled by a competent staff member. Each role can be filled by the same or a different person.

      You must assign these key staff members at the time of application and name them on the Sponsor Licence application form.

      Sponsor Licence application cost

      The Sponsor Licence application fee that you pay will depend on the size of your organisation and the type of licence you require. The guidelines are as follows:

      Worker Licence

      • Small or Charitable Sponsor: £536
      • Medium or Large Sponsor: £1,476

      Temporary Worker Licence

      • Small or Charitable Sponsor: £536
      • Medium or Large Sponsor: £536

      Worker and Temporary Worker Licence

      • Small or Charitable Sponsor: £536
      • Medium or Large Sponsor: £1,476

      How to apply for a Sponsor Licence

      You must apply for a Sponsor Licence online. Along with the completed online form, you must submit the correct supporting documents and the correct Sponsor Licence fee.

      The average time for the Sponsor Licence application process is 8 weeks in total. Most applicants will have heard back from the Home Office with a decision by then. If your case is more complex, or the UKVI require more information, it may take longer.

      If you require a prompt decision, you should opt for the fast-track priority service at an additional cost of £500. This will allow a decision to be made on your Sponsor Licence within ten working days.

      Once your application has been granted, you will be issued a Sponsor Licence rating of A, but if you are found to be breaching your Sponsor Licence duties, you may be downgraded to a B-rated licence.

      Sponsor Licence application refused

      In some cases, Sponsor Licence applications may be refused by the Home Office. Some common grounds for refusal include:

      • Late submission of supporting documentation
      • The Home Office has grounds to believe that you are not a genuine organisation offering genuine employment vacancies
      • False documentation
      • Failed compliance visits
      • Previous immigration breaches
      • Human error

      If you believe a genuine error has been made, you can request a review of your Sponsor Licence application.

      How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help?

      Applying for a Sponsor Licence to employ a migrant worker can seem cumbersome, but it is essential to ensure illegal working is minimised.

      Birmingham Immigration Lawyers are experts in immigration matters, including applying for and maintaining valid UK Sponsor Licence.

      For more information on how we can help you, call us today on 0121 667 6530.

      You may be interested in reading about.

      We can help you if you need help with your Skilled Worker Visa application. Call us now

        Fill out the form

        Advice Package icon

        Advice Package

        Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

        Application Package icon

        Application Package

        Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

        Fast Track Package icon

        Fast Track Package

        Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

        Appeal Package icon

        Appeal Package

        Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

        Advice Package image

        The Advice Package

        During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

          Fill out the form

          Request the Advice Package
          Application Package image

          The Application Package

          With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

            Fill out the form

            Request the Application Package
            Fast Track Package image

            The Fast Track Package

            Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

              Fill out the form

              Request the Fast Track Package

              The Appeal Package

              By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

                Fill out the form

                Request the Appeal Package