Sponsor Licences –

Application

There’s no set list of documents required when applying for a Sponsor Licence, but this page should give you a better idea of the kinds of documents you might need to provide to UK Visas & Immigration.

Home > UK Visas > Sponsor Licences > Application

Quick Look

Sponsor Licences are valid for 4 years – it is possible to renew.

Most applications are processed in under eight weeks. UK Visas & Immigration may visit the premises of an applying business during this period.

There is a fast-track option for an additional fee; £500 to get a decision within 10 working days. The fast-track service is limited to a small number of applications, each working day.

The documents required by UK Visas & Immigration will depend on the kind of workers an applying company aims to employ.

A business that wishes to employ unskilled workers on a seasonal basis, will need to provide a different set of documents to those that wish to employ skilled workers on a long-term contract.

Documentation requested may include financial statements, tax records, insurance cover, and endorsements from related governing bodies.

Should a Sponsor Licence be refused by UK Visas & Immigration, there will be a six-month cooling-off period before a business is able to re-apply. This is triggered from the date of refusal – not the application date.

Should a company believe that a mistake has been made, it may be possible to apply for a pre-sponsor error correction.

Sponsor Licence - Application

Businesses can apply for a Sponsor Licence online.

Once an application has been completed, with all supporting documentation, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will carry out various checks, which may include a visit to an applicant’s premises.

Most applications are processed in under eight weeks, with a fast-track option for an additional fee; £500 to get a decision within 10 working days. The fast-track service is limited to a small number of applications, each working day.

Documentation

The documentation required by UKVI, when processing an application, will depend on how a sponsor intends to use their licence.

Here are just two examples, showing how varied requirements can be when applying for a Sponsor Licence.

Businesses intending to sponsor workers under a Seasonal Worker visa will be required to provide an endorsement from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), among other documentation.

Businesses that aim to sponsor individuals under a Secondment Worker visa need to provide evidence that they have been awarded a services contract through open tendering, among other documentation.

  • Other required documentation might include:
  • Notarised affidavits or statements
  • Audited accounts and annual reports
  • Proof of funds
  • Certified agreements/contracts
  • Lease agreements or proof or purchase of land or property
  • Planning permission
  • Insurance cover
  • Endorsement from a related governing body.

The Genuineness Test

  • The Genuineness Test has three tenets. An applying business must prove that they:
  • are a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK
  • have a genuine vacancy
  • can offer genuine employment.


Essentially, businesses must assure UKVI that their intentions in hiring foreign workers are completely above-board.

Refused Applications

Should a Sponsor Licence be refused by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI), there is a six-month cooling-off period before the  business will be able to re-apply. This is triggered from the date of refusal – not the application date.

Should a company believe that a mistake has been made, it may be possible to apply for a pre-sponsor error correction.

  • Common reasons for refusal include:
  • The applying business does not have appropriate systems in place to manage a Sponsor Licence properly
  • The business does not respond to UKVI in a timely manner
  • Failure to pass the ‘genuineness test’

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More UK Visa Routes

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on www.gov.uk.

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