Tier 2 (General) Sponsor Licence Application
In order for an organisation to sponsor skilled workers, it must first obtain a Tier 2 sponsor licence.
Tier 2 (General) Sponsor Licence: Main requirements
In order to obtain a sponsor licence, an organisation must demonstrate to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that it is a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK, that it has relevant HR systems in place and that it has a genuine need for a sponsor licence.
In order to assess whether an organisation has a genuine need for a sponsor licence, UKVI will either expect to see evidence of future plans for the business that will involve the need to recruit individuals with specialist skills that are not always locally available, or it will expect to see evidence that there is a genuine vacancy and such evidence generally includes confirmation that a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) has been conducted.
The RLMT is a process by which the role is advertised in line with UKVI Guidance in order to ensure that there are no settled workers who would be suitable to carry out the role.
In order to apply for a sponsor licence, a potential sponsor is required to complete an online application form. A number of documents will then need to be submitted to UKVI in order to demonstrate that the organisation is genuine and trading in the UK. Examples of relevant documents include bank statements, VAT certificates and evidence of employer’s liability insurance to name a few. All supporting documentation must be sent to UKVI within five working days of the online form being submitted. In addition to the documentation, an organisation is required to provide UKVI with information relating to the organisation. The required information is set out by UKVI at Appendix A of the Sponsor Guidance.
Decisions on sponsor licence applications can take up to 16 weeks, but we would generally expect an applicant to receive a decision within 4-8 weeks.
Prior to making a decision on a sponsor licence application, UKVI may visit the organisation in order to carry out a compliance review and determine whether the organisation can offer genuine employment and will be capable of carrying out its sponsor duties.
As part of any such review, UKVI would look at the organisation’s current practices, policies and HR procedures in order to ensure that it has suitable systems in place.
If following a review UKVI had any concerns, the application could be refused, and it is therefore essential that an organisation reviews its policies prior to submitting a sponsor licence application.
Tier 2 (General) Sponsor Licence Applications: How we can help
UKVI will carefully scrutinise an application for a Tier 2 (General) sponsor licence. If it does not consider that an organisation is genuine, or it considers that any of the other requirements have not been met, the application will fall for refusal. It is therefore essential that the application is prepared thoroughly and carefully.
We are experienced in preparing Tier 2 (General) sponsor licence applications to ensure a successful outcome and will provide expert guidance and assistance to organisations throughout the process.
If your organisation requires legal assistance or you would just like to discuss your situation with one of our experts on a no-obligation basis, please contact us.