Are you a business owner having difficulties recruiting skilled workers from within the UK? Or you’re looking to be creative and innovative with your recruitment process by accessing a wider talent pool?
Either way, hiring overseas workers could be the answer to finding the right people for your organisation.
By law, it is mandatory to obtain a sponsorship licence first to employ foreign workers. This post explains what a sponsorship licence is and how to qualify.
Hiring employees from outside the UK can provide additional benefits to an organisation, from diversification to unique knowledge and varied experience, not to mention the growth and expansion of a business.
We at Synergy Immigration Solutions have the tools, expertise and experience to support you through applying for a sponsorship licence. The process can be daunting and complex, but we know everything there is to know about sponsorship licensing, so you can trust us to get it right.
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What is a Sponsorship Licence?
Hiring employees from outside the UK can provide additional benefits to an organisation, from diversification to unique knowledge and varied experience, not to mention the growth and expansion of your business.
Sponsorship licencing was implemented to prevent illegal working and misuse or poor handling of the immigration system.
An employer must obtain a licence from the Home Office to employ workers from outside the UK. This includes both paid and unpaid workers. To do this, you must apply for a sponsorship licence and complete the application form.
To successfully obtain a sponsorship licence, the organisation must show that the job roles being recruited for and the intended workers both meet the requirements. A business must also demonstrate a set criterion to qualify and maintain specific responsibilities.
An organisation can sponsor a foreign worker if they have the relevant skills for the job and are being paid a fair rate for doing that job.
The Home Office maintains a list of all organisations with a sponsorship licence and therefore knows which organisations can legally employ foreign workers on visas such as a skilled worker visa.
Once you have successfully applied for a sponsorship licence, you can provide eligible workers with a licence certificate (CoS), so they can apply for a work visa in the UK. Your organisation will also be placed on the Home Office register of licenced organisations.
If granted the sponsorship licence, it will last for four years unless revoked or terminated by the employer before the fixed term ends.
There are different types of sponsorship licences.
A business can sponsor foreign workers permanently (long-term or short-term) or temporarily. There are different types of sponsorship licences, and these are split into further subcategories. Some of these have additional requirements.
Temporary Worker Licence
- Scale-up Worker
- Creative Worker
- Charity Worker
- Government Authorised Exchange
- International Agreement
- Graduate Trainee
- Service Supplier
- UK Expansion worker
- Secondment Worker
- Seasonal Worker
As well as considering the type of sponsorship licence you will need for the type of occupation you would like to recruit for, there are several other factors to consider. For example, a foreign worker under 18 can only be employed on an international sportsperson visa, a creative worker visa or a government-authorised exchange visa.
Our highly trained professionals at Synergy Immigration Ltd understand the factors and restrictions regarding foreign workers’ eligibility and occupations. Allow us to remove the stress and difficulties by going through the process for you.
Who Qualifies for a Sponsorship Licence?
Before applying for a sponsorship licence, check that your organisation is eligible.
To qualify for a sponsorship licence as an employer, you can’t have any of the following:
- Unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or certain other offences such as money laundering or fraud
- Have had a licence revoked in the last 12 months.
You must also check the following:
- If the job you’re recruiting foreign workers for is eligible for sponsorship.
- Consider the type of licence you need to apply for based on the kind of skilled worker you want to sponsor.
- Put a HR system in place to manage the sponsorship and ensure your business meets the requirements.
- Apply online and pay the fee.
The Home Office will also check to see if your organisation has had a sponsorship licence revoked in the last 12 months or if the organisation has a history of noncompliance with sponsorship requirements.
Only an organisation, not individuals, can apply for a sponsorship licence.
You must submit documentation when applying for a sponsorship licence to be considered and approved.
Who is Eligible for a Skilled Work Visa?
The most popular visa for foreign workers is the skilled worker visa. These people have demonstrated appropriate qualifications and experience to be positioned in a skilled role.
Foreign workers will only be accepted for a foreign visa if they gain sponsorship from a registered employee first. They must apply for a visa to do a job on the list of eligible occupations. They must also be paid a minimum salary- depending on the job (usually around £25,600 or £10.10 an hour, whichever is higher)
They must provide evidence supporting their visa application. As part of this, they must supply their proposed employer’s CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship) and proof that they meet the minimum English requirements. Additional evidence could be requested.
A skilled worker can work on this visa for five years in the UK. After five years, they may be eligible for permanent residence in the UK.
The UK is facing skilled worker shortages, which impacts productivity and growth, so branching out can positively affect a business, leading to increased revenue.
Synergy Immigration Solutions can help make the process smooth and straightforward, so there is no need to worry about the complex process.
Which occupations qualify for sponsorship?
Only some jobs are eligible for sponsorship, so checking first before applying for a sponsorship licence is essential.
Here are some examples of eligible occupations:
- Chief executives and senior officials
- Production managers and directors in manufacturing or construction
- Finance, marketing and sales directors
- Senior police officers or senior officers in fire, ambulance, prison and related areas.
- Chemical, biological, physical and social scientists
What happens if you’re successful in obtaining a sponsorship licence?
If your organisation is accepted for a sponsorship licence, your business will be placed on a list of licenced sponsors.
A foreign jobseeker can check to see if a business is on the list before seeking employment in the UK.
Once they have received a job offer, they legally must apply for a UK working visa. This is when your business will need to provide them with an electronic CoS certificate and a unique reference number for their application.
A sponsorship licence comes with certain obligations and responsibilities. You are obligated to keep an electronic record of your foreign employees in the form of CoS.
As well as this, the Home Office will monitor the business to ensure that your UK-based company is reputable and responsible with foreign workers. They may check to ensure that the business isn’t subject to bankruptcy and that nobody has broken the law, for example.
A business can be reported to UKVI for breaking its obligations.
Once you have applied for a sponsorship licence, you will be graded as A, put on the list, and the business can employ foreign workers immediately.
However, if the business does not uphold the correct responsibilities of a reputable sponsorship business, you could be downgraded to a B. You can employ more foreign workers once you have returned to an A.
Synergy Immigration Solutions Ltd and sponsorship licensing.
Our team at Synergy Immigration Solutions are experts in the field of sponsorship licensing, and we can make the application process easier and simpler. We have knowledgeable and experienced staff that keep up to date with relevant immigration and foreign workforce legislation so that you don’t have to.
Through years of experience, we understand the application process and why issues can arise. With our help, we can do the hard work for you, allowing you to continue successfully running your business. Therefore, choosing us to help you through the process makes you more likely to obtain a sponsorship licence successfully.
We will liaise with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for you and keep in constant communication with you so that you get the most out of our services.
Our advisors are friendly, knowledgeable and always happy to answer any questions you may have about the process.
We take pride in what we do and pleasure in helping you to find talented, skilled people to join your workforce.
We offer a wide range of legally compliant services for corporate and individual clients at affordable prices.