What supporting documents do you need for an immigration sponsorship licence application?

From 1 January 2021, EEA nationals arriving in the UK will be subject to the UK's new points-based immigration system. There will be a "one size fits all" approach for hiring EEA and non-EEA nationals from this date.

If you are not currently an approved sponsor but think that you are likely to need to sponsor skilled migrant workers from 1 January 2021, you will need to apply for a sponsorship licence. The detail below explains the mandatory documents that you will need to gather and submit with your sponsorship licence application.

Which supporting documents should I use to apply?

Appendix A of the Tiers 2, 4 and 5 of the points-based system: guidance for sponsors provides guidance on the mandatory documents that you will need to submit with your online application, dependant on whether you require a Tier 2, 4 or 5 sponsorship licence.

How many supporting documents will I need to submit?

Most organisations will need to submit at least four supporting documents with their application.

However, four documents may not be necessary if you are a public body recognised by the UK Government (such as local authorities) or a company listed on the London Stock Exchange Main Market.

What are the most common supporting documents?

This very much differs depending on the type of organisation you are.

Most sponsors will fall under Table 4 of Appendix A and will only need to gather supporting documents from that list. In our experience, a new sponsor falling under Table 4 will commonly rely on the following documentation:

  • Evidence of employer's liability insurance cover for at least £5 million from an authorised insurer;
  • HMRC VAT registration certificate;
  • Latest audited annual accounts by an accredited accounting body; and
  • Evidence with HMRC with your PAYE Reference Number and Accounts Office Reference Number.

Can the UKVI complete online checks of documents?

Yes, in some instances.

If you could do an online check to obtain the information needed, you must send a covering letter with your submission sheet and the other supporting documents, giving the address of the website where the information can be found to assist the UKVI with verification.

Can I submit copies of the supporting documents?

Yes, provided they are certified copies. Alternatively, you can submit the original document, but this is rare. Businesses will often want to keep the original document with their own records.

What should I do if the supporting documents are in another language?

The guidance states that you should send the original document accompanied by a certified translation.

Is any extra information needed for a Tier 2 (General)/skilled worker licence?

Yes, a covering letter providing the additional information requested at page 6 of Appendix A should be sent at the same time as the supporting documents.

In addition, if you are applying for a sponsorship licence based on the intention to recruit post 1 January 2021, you will need to show that you will be able to offer genuine employment skilled to level RQF3 or above (i.e. A level equivalent).

Next steps

For more details on applying for a sponsorship licence including key requirements and costs, please click here.

Look out for the next topic in this sponsorship licence series published later this month on "what are the key requirements for a sponsorship licence application to be successful?"

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