A Sponsorship Licence UK is for UK-based employers

It is necessary for UK businesses looking to bring in or hire foreign employees for their UK company

You also need a Sponsorship Licence UK if you want to hire an immigrant within the UK

A Sponsorship Licence UK allows employers to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to overseas nationals to come to the UK on either a UK Skilled Worker or other sponsored work visa routes

You can sponsor an overseas worker as long as the job you are offering them is suitable for them applicant and meets the minimum salary threshold, along with other criteria of the visa

How to apply for Sponsorship Licence UK?

In this Sponsor Licence application guidance 2023, our UK Visa Expert will help you with key points to remember to apply for a Sponsorship Licence UK.

  • Make sure that you have read all the conditions, format to submit your application, etc. to avoid delays and refusals
  • For a Sponsor Licence application, the applicant will have to first fill out an online form and send it along with, but not limited to –
  1. The submission sheet at the end of the application, and
  2. Supporting documents

Please note: Any affidavits or statutory declarations you attach, must be witnessed by a qualified, independent person – like a Solicitor, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public or Commissioners for Oaths.

  • While making a Sponsor Licence application, you can scan or take pictures of your submission sheet along with the supporting documents
  • You have to send them to the email address mentioned on your submission sheet
  • Ensure your files –
  1. Are in JPEG, PDF or PNG format
  2. Have descriptive titles, with 25 characters or less
  3. Are easy to read and high quality

What is the Sponsor Licence application fee?

  • As per the UK Home Office, the Sponsor Licence application fees differs based on the type of Licence
  • In this Sponsor Licence application guidance 2023, you can find the complete list of the different types of fees for small or charitable Sponsors and for medium or large Sponsors –
Type of licence Fee for small or charitable sponsors Fee for medium or large sponsors
Worker £536 £1,476
Temporary Worker £536 £536
Worker and Temporary Worker £536 £ 1,476
Add a Worker licence to an existing Temporary Worker licence No Fee £940
Add a Temporary Worker licence to an existing Worker licence No Fee No Fee

How can you tell if you’re a small or charitable Sponsor?

When applying for a Sponsorship Licence UK, make sure you know the following. You are a small Sponsor if at least 2 of the following apply:

  • Your turnover is £10.2 million or less, per year
  • Your total assets are worth £5.1 million or less
  • You have fewer than 50 employees

You are a charitable Sponsor if:

  • You are registered charity in England & Wales
  • You are a registered charity in Scotland
  • You are a registered charity in Northern Ireland – if you’re not on the register, you must provide proof of your charitable status for tax purposes from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • You are an excepted charity
  • You are an exempt charity

Points to be aware about when making a Sponsor Licence application for UK employers:

Besides meeting the eligibility requirements for a Sponsor Licence or documents required for a Sponsorship Licence UK, you must be aware of the following points, when making a Sponsor Licence application UK:

Inability to prove ‘genuineness’:

  • The UKVI assesses the genuineness of the company/Sponsor based on the history, HR policies, capability of performing duties, staff and key personnels
  • They will also assess whether the jobs you are offering are at an appropriate skill and salary level
  • The UKVI also assesses the company, Sponsor and key personnel’s immigration history, criminal background, etc.
  • Make sure to submit all documents to prove the genuineness of the organisation – these could be staff attendance, logistics, everyday activities on paper, etc.

If you need assistance in accessing your documentation and Sponsor Licence application and to make sure they are all in the proper format and order before submission – you can contact our UK immigration consultants or book a consultation for an expert’s advice.

Sponsorship Licence UK management roles:

  • When applying for Sponsorship Licence UK, you must choose someone within your company to oversee the Sponsorship process
  • The Sponsorship management system will be their primary tool (SMS)
  • The following are the roles –
  1. Authorising officer — a senior and knowledgeable someone who is accountable for the acts of employees and representatives who use SMS
  2. Key Contact – Your primary point of contact with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
  3. Level 1 user – in charge of managing your Licence on a day-to-day basis via SMS
  4. These positions can be filled by the same person or by two or more people
  5. Relevant HR processes to stay updated of the migrant employees

Are you familiar with your duties and responsibilities as a Sponsor?

  • Evidence you have checked that each of your Sponsored workers is entitled to work in the UK and do the work in question for you
  • Complying with immigration laws
  • Co-operating with the Home Office
  • Employee’s background check
  • Employee’s contact information – updated address, contact information
  • Making sure the Sponsor assessment procedures are followed
  • Notifying UKVI if there are any relevant changes to the Sponsoring entity (for example, change of ownership/shareholding/acquisition, change of address, different key personnel, changes in the size of the Sponsor (from small to large company, etc.)
  • Observing and reporting patterns of the migrant’s behaviour that raise concerns
  • Monitor migrant worker’s compliance with immigration rules
  • Monitoring the Sponsored worker’s attendance/absence
  • Retaining documents as set out in Appendix D of the Sponsor Guidance
  • The employer must also understand internal HR systems to fulfil their responsibilities as a Sponsor

Sponsor Licence application – Key points:

As a Sponsor, you must:

  • Stay updated of your migrant worker’s visa status (when their visa expires)
  • And when that happens, what you will do about it
  • Do you have a reliable mode of contact with the migrant worker, in case they don’t turn up for work?
  • Stay up-to-date with the migrant worker’s contact information


A Sponsorship Licence UK is mandatory for UK-based employers if they are looking to hire:

  • Overseas employees from outside the UK
  • Visa nationals switching from other eligible categories
  • Intra-company transfers for their UK-based company

Our UK immigration lawyers at The SmartMove2UK are experienced with the entire process of applying for a Sponsorship Licence UK. We have not only been guiding clients through the process of Sponsor Licence application, but also resulted in many success stories.

If you have any other Sponsorship Licence UK queries, our UK Immigration Lawyer will guide you precisely for the same!