A sponsor licence is a licence approved and granted to a company to allow them to hire skilled workers from overseas by “sponsoring” them to work in the UK.
Not only does it allow UK employers to hire skilled talent who are based overseas; but it also enables UK employers to open their doors to workers in the UK already sponsored by competitor firms.
A ‘skilled’ worker is someone who has a specialist and/or niche professional skill set. Companies often need distinct skills for jobs in occupations which are considered to be in short supply (e.g., engineers/tech specialists/scientists/architects etc.) and demand for talent in these areas is very high.
You are not required to have one.
But since Brexit, and due to the huge pressures on finding talented people – it is now a very good idea for a UK business to get one.
It typically takes 3 to 6 months to obtain a sponsor licence. The timeframe depends on how soon the Home Office considers the application and if they decide to visit the business as part of the process.
Once a Sponsor Licence is in place, a company can then apply to sponsor workers. This can take a further 2 to 3 months to organise.
We strongly recommend you get ahead of the game rather than grapple with trying to secure a licence at the last minute. A brilliant candidate who needs sponsorship may often only apply to UK employers who already hold a sponsor licence. You want to be ready rather than waste time applying and lose the candidate.
The UK employer will need to submit an online application along with mandatory supporting documents, which is considered by the Home Office. Examples of some of the mandatory documents include:
A sponsor licence will be granted with a validity of 4 years. The sponsor licence will then need to be renewed every 4 years.
The UK employer will need to maintain core responsibilities and duties once approved for a sponsor licence. These duties are typically incorporated within the business’ HR functions and include:
As part of the sponsor licence process, the Home Office may decide to visit the business to assess its operations, check its authenticity and competency. We can help with this.
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