Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence Application
An organisation that needs to sponsor skilled workers must obtain a skilled worker sponsor licence. Once it is an approved sponsor licence holder, it can then recruit overseas workers under Tier 2 of the current immigration system, and under the Skilled Worker route of the new Points-Based Immigration System due to come into force on 1 January 2021.
Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence Application: Main requirements
In order to obtain a skilled worker sponsor licence, the 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 processes and systems in place and that it has a genuine need for a skilled worker 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 that 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.
At the moment, 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’s Guidance in order to ensure that there are no settled workers who would be suitable to carry out the role.
Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence Application: The process
In order to apply for a skilled worker sponsor licence, the potential sponsor must 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 documents that can be submitted include:
- a bank statements;
- a VAT certificate;
- evidence of employer’s liability insurance; and
- evidence of premises.
All supporting documentation must be sent to UKVI within five working days of the online form being submitted.
In addition to the documentation, the organisation is required to provide UKVI with some general information relating to the organisation. The required information is set out by UKVI at Appendix A of the Sponsor Guidance.
Decisions on skilled worker sponsor licence applications can take up to 16 weeks, but we would generally expect a decision within 3-8 weeks.
Prior to making a decision on a skilled worker sponsor licence application, UKVI may visit the organisation in order to carry out a compliance review in order to determine whether or not the organisation will offer genuine vacancies to overseas workers and will be capable of carrying out its sponsor duties.
As part of a compliance visit, UKVI carries out a number of checks, including a review of 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 has any concerns, the application can be refused. It is therefore essential that the organisation reviews relevant systems and policies prior to submitting a sponsor licence application.
Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence Application: How we can help
UKVI will carefully scrutinise an application for a skilled worker 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 skilled worker 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 give our team a call or make an enquiry below.