Assisting corporate clients with obtaining, using and maintaining sponsor licences is one of our specialisms.

In most cases to employ non-UK workers employers require a sponsor licence. This includes voluntary unpaid work – for instance for a charity.

Since Brexit more firms have had to join the ever-increasing register of licensed sponsors as they can no longer rely on free movement for hires from EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Sponsorship forms an integral part of the post-Brexit immigration system for all kinds of organisations. Since freedom of movement from the EU ended on 31 December, 2020 and the economy has sprung back post-pandemic, many more employers are preparing sponsor licences to be able to recruit the staff they need.

We can advise and work with you on the most suitable work visa, as well as the requirements, responsibilities and procedures should you need to apply for a sponsor licence. You can contact us here for a free initial consultation on what is the most efficient way to bring a prospective hire to the UK.

Vanessa Ganguin Immigration Law is highly ranked in all the top legal guides for business immigration. According to The Legal 500, “boutique immigration firm Vanessa Ganguin Immigration Law fields a strong team of ‘incredibly knowledgeable‘ lawyers, well-equipped to handle work ranging from sponsor licence applications and processing issues to global talent visa procurement and support on takeovers, mergers, and downsizings. Founder and managing partner Vanessa Ganguin advises on all aspects of corporate and personal immigration, with particular strength in advising clients in the finance, fintech, engineering, media and entertainment, and sport sectors. Senior counsel Philip Trott brings a wealth of experience acting for clients including entrepreneurs, start-ups, and charities, and on matters extending to complex appeals and national security cases.”

The Times Best Law Firms has also commended Vanessa Ganguin Immigration Law for immigration. The firm’s specialists have decades of experience of dealing with sponsorship and all manner of business immigration issues, for which they are also ranked highly in other guides such as Who’s Who Legal, Chambers and Partners and The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom – published by Best Lawyers – the oldest global guide to the legal profession.

Our advice is always partner-led and friendly. Feel free to contact us now to discuss whether you would benefit from a sponsor licence. Or, if you have a licence already, we are happy to answer any sponsorship, compliance, renewal or revocation questions.

When do employers need a sponsor licence?

In the vast majority of cases, potential employees who are not settled in the UK will need to be sponsored. To use a sponsored immigration route to hire foreign employees a UK entity must first apply for a sponsor licence. There are different types of sponsor licence depending on the nature and duration of the roles you are looking to sponsor.  The main route – and one of the few leading to permanent residence – is the Skilled Worker route.

New Home Office commissioned research has revealed why employers are increasingly using the Skilled Worker visa UK immigration route to fill vacancies. You can read more about the survey of UK sponsors here.

From making the initial sponsor licence application to avoiding compliance hazards and challenging adverse UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) decisions, we help a wide variety of clients to navigate UKVI’s requirements.

Contact us for an initial free consultation to identify your best options or to talk through any issues you may need help with.

 

Skilled Worker, Senior or Specialist Worker, T2 Minister of Religion, International Sportsperson or Scale-up sponsor licence applications

In most cases to employ non-UK workers employers require a sponsor licence. We can help advise you on the requirements, suitability and procedure for a licence to sponsor the following categories of workers:

  • Skilled Worker
  • Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker route (this replaced the Intra-Company Transfer route from 11 April 2022)
  • T2 Minister of Religion
  • International Sportsperson
  • Scale-up worker (this new immigration route opens on 22 August 22 – our latest guide is here.)

For employees, time spent working in these above immigration routes counts towards a route to settlement in the UK – apart for those on a Senior or Specialist Worker visa.

There are more categories of sponsor licences for Temporary Workers – those on more short-term immigration routes, such as Creative Worker or Seasonal Worker, which do not lead to settlement – see below.

We advise on all types of sponsor licence applications and help you choose the best option for your firm and candidates of choice. We are very experienced in finding speedy and affordable solutions and avoiding the common pitfalls. We can ensure that you are equipped to demonstrate that you have suitable human resource processes in place and provide the required supporting documents to be approved as a sponsor.

No matter the size of your organisation, we will review your processes and policies and work with you to ensure you are ready to be compliant with your sponsor duties.

To find out how we can help you please call us on 0207 033 9527 or click here to send us an email

Temporary Worker sponsor licence applications

The Temporary Worker (or ‘Temporary Work’) immigration routes which do not lead to settlement, but require a sponsor licence are:

  • Charity Worker
  • Creative Worker
  • Graduate Trainee (this Global Business Mobility visa replaced the Intra-Company Graduate Trainee route from 11 April 2022)
  • UK Expansion Worker (this replaced the unsponsored Sole Representative provisions of the Representative of an Overseas Business route from 11 April 2022)
  • Service Supplier (this Global Business Mobility visa replaced the provisions for contractual service suppliers and independent professionals on the International Agreement route from 11 April 2022)
  • Secondment Worker (this Global Business Mobility visa is a new route from 11 April 2022)
  • Government Authorised Exchange
  • International Agreement
  • Religious Worker
  • Seasonal Worker

(NB: the Youth Mobility Scheme while classed as a Temporary Work route, does not require the employer to be a sponsor. More details can be found here.)

We advise on all types of sponsor licence applications and help you avoid the common pitfalls. We are very experienced in finding speedy and affordable solutions to your staff requirements. We can ensure that you are equipped to demonstrate that you have suitable human resource processes in place and provide the required supporting documents to be approved as a sponsor.

No matter the size of your organisation, we will review your processes and policies and work with you to ensure you are ready to be compliant with your sponsor duties.

To find out how we can help you please call us on 0207 033 9527 or click here to send us an email

Sponsoring migrant workers

We will ‘hand-hold’ you through the specifics of sponsoring workers, such as identifying whether a role is recognised on the Government shortage list or another exemption applies.

Our bespoke service includes negotiating the Defined Certificate of Sponsorship application process or ensuring your Undefined Certificate of Sponsorship allocation is up to date and ensuring that all substantive requirements are met through to the final stage of securing the visa.

To find out how we can help you please call us on 0207 033 9527 or click here to send us an email

Sponsor licence renewal applications

Ensure you continue to meet your sponsor duties and avoid the consequences of having your sponsor licence revoked or downgraded with our expert advice.

We will assist you to negotiate potential issues by ensuring you are fully aware of the requirements and duties such as reporting, record keeping and complying with illegal working and other legislation.

To find out how we can help you please call us on 0207 033 9527 or click here to send us an email

Sponsor licence refusals, suspensions and revocations

If you are facing revocation or downgrading of your sponsor licence we can assist with the next critical steps you take.

We will review the grounds of the decision, challenge any factual errors, advise you on required supporting evidence, address any breaches and advise you on remedial steps to address them and support you with presenting a response to UKVI. We will also provide you with the support necessary to address any follow-up scrutiny by UKVI such as a site visit.

This is always a tricky situation to be in, but we have a lot of experience in helping sponsors in such trying situations.

To find out how we can help you please call us on 0207 033 9527 or click here to send us an email

Sponsor changes of circumstances

Whether there are changes to your sponsored workers salary, title, core duties, they cease to work for you, to be sponsored by you or there are changes to your organisation’s circumstances such as name, address, ownership, size or key personnel, we will assist you to stay on top of your reporting duties.

We will keep you appraised of all ‘trigger’ events leading to the duty to report and advise on action to be taken relating to changes or missed reports.

To find out how we can help you please call us on 0207 033 9527 or click here to send us an email

"Vanessa Ganguin is brilliant to work with and is an expert in this field. She has excellent attention to detail, is thorough and clear in her advice to us, explaining what we need to do in simple terms which has ensured the success of our employee visa sponsorships and sponsor licence applications. She has delivered her service with a personal touch, and is willing to go the extra mile in offering her guidance."

Testimonial in The Legal 500

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