Sponsor Licences –
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Sponsor Licence - Eligibility
There are few restrictions for businesses wishing to simply apply for a Sponsor Licence – these include not having any unspent criminal convictions relating to immigration, and not having had a Sponsor Licence revoked in the past 12 months.
However, in order for an application to be successful, there are a number of other requirements that businesses need to be aware of, before applying.
Suitability checks are carried out by UK Visas & Immigration to ensure that businesses are able to complete regular duties required to manage the employees working under a Sponsor Licence.
Because of the need to complete regular tasks, it is common for multiple persons within a company to be involved in the management of a Sponsor Licence. As a result, each of these persons will need to pass suitability checks – not just business owners.
For more information about the responsibilities of Sponsor Licence holders, click here.
A business may not be granted a Sponsor Licence if anyone linked or involved in the application or management of it has:
- any unspent criminal convictions, particularly in relation to immigration, fraud, or money laundering offences
- been a ‘key person’ at a business that has had a Sponsor Licence revoked in the past 12 months
- been fined by UKVI in the past 12 months
- been reported to UKVI
- broken the law
- failed to pay VAT or other excise duty.
In addition, persons linked or involved in the management of the Sponsor Licence must also:
- be based in the UK for ‘most of the time’ (note: exemptions for UK Expansion Worker visa)
- not be a contractor or consultant
- not be subject to a bankruptcy restriction order or similar
- not have a history of non-compliance with sponsor responsibilities.
- be paid members of staff or office holders.
There are some exceptions regarding the completion of particular tasks and management duties. Some may be completed by third-party HR organisations or UK-based legal representatives.
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