Sponsor Licences –

Eligibility

Find out if the business you represent, and those connected to it, are eligible for a Sponsor Licence.

Home > UK Visas > Sponsor Licences > Eligibility

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No. Businesses of all sizes have their applications considered by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI).

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

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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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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