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Your business will need a Sponsor Licence to employ someone to work for you from outside the UK. This includes citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020, as well as other nationalities from around the globe.

You will not need a licence to sponsor certain groups, for example:

  • Irish citizens

  • those with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme

  • those with indefinite leave to remain in the UK

  • which is why it is important to conduct right to work checks!

In today's global community, a business that has a Sponsor Licence holds a clear competitive advantage over rivals that do not, as a Licence will allow you to recruit true world class talent without restriction.

To get a Sponsor Licence as an employer, you need appropriate systems in place to monitor sponsored employees and people to manage sponsorship in your business.  You need to ensure you are aware of these systems and the sponsorship duties before you apply.

The application process.

1. You need to apply online filling out a form and paying a Licence Fee

2. You will then submit your supporting documents to the UKVI

3. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will review your application form and supporting documents.

4. They may visit your business to make sure you’re trustworthy and capable of carrying out your duties.

5. Once this validation process is completed, you will receive the result of the application.  This can take up to 8 weeks.

If your Licence is approved, you will be given the power to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship [COS] to each foreign worker you employ, and the Licence will last for 4 years.  Each COS has its own unique number which a worker can use to apply for a visa.

Our lawyers have assisted many businesses successfully navigate the Sponsor Licence process, and we are waiting to help your business - contact us now!


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