Does your business need a sponsorship licence?

Recruiting talent outside of the UK: Workforce planning for post January 2021

Your business is nothing without your people – so let us work with you to build the foundations to drive your business into the future.

What is a sponsorship licence?

A sponsorship licence allows an organisation working within the UK to act as a sponsor to employ migrant workers under the points-based system (i.e. you'll be the eyes and ears for the UKVI). If a licence is awarded, the organisation will be granted access to an online sponsor management system and added to the national register of sponsors.

Why should your business apply?

From 1 January 2021, EU nationals arriving in the UK will be subject to the UK's new immigration system. There will be a "one size fits all" approach for hiring EU and non-EU migrants from this date. Without a sponsor licence, your business will not be able to recruit skilled workers from outside of the UK.

What are the key requirements for this application?

  • Legitimate business. There must be no reason to believe that the company is a threat to immigration control and is committed to fulfilling its sponsorship duties.
  • Allocation of Roles. You will need to appoint and delegate responsibility to manage the sponsor licence to an Authorising Officer, Level 1 user and Key Contact.
  • Appropriate Systems. You will need appropriate HR systems in place to monitor sponsored employees.
  • Skill level. You must check that the job meets the required skill level using the Standard Occupational Classifications ("SOC") code and Appendix J of the Immigration Rules (subject to the new rules post January 2021). 
  • Type of Licence. You will need to consider whether to apply for a Skilled Worker or Intra-Company Transfer licence.

How much will it cost to apply?

Application Fees:

There are two different application fees for a sponsor licence:

  • £536 – Small sponsor (i.e. no more than 50 employees and/or turnover less than £10.2 million)
  • £1,476 – all other sponsors.


Legal Fees:

Our aim is to support clients with this sponsor licence application process, but we understand that client needs differ. We are offering two levels of service as follows:

  • Full service. This will involve us preparing the application form on your behalf, gathering supporting documents and answering all queries. £2,500 – £3,500 plus VAT.
  • Review service. This will involve us reviewing the completed application form and providing any necessary feedback ahead of submission. £980 plus VAT.