As well as employing workers from the within the UK, organisations can also sponsor and employ non-settled workers from outside the UK. One of the most popular routes that employers can use is the Skilled Worker category. In order to sponsor workers, a sponsor licence is required. In this article we look at the documents that are required to support such an application.
What is a sponsor licence?
A sponsor licence allows UK based organisations to sponsor non-UK workers. To obtain a Skilled Worker sponsor licence, the organisation must show that it is a genuine organisation, operating lawfully in the UK, has a genuine need to recruit overseas workers and has appropriate HR systems and processes in place.
There are different types of sponsor licences depending on the workers an organisation wishes to employ and the documents to be provided with the sponsor licence application will therefore vary. Here we are focusing on the Skilled Worker route.
Documents for a Skilled Worker sponsor licence
The full list of potential documents required for a Skilled Worker application are set out in Appendix A of the Sponsor Guidance. The Home Office generally requires a minimum of four documents to be provided in support of each application.
Appendix A is made up of four tables of evidence and these are broadly as follows:
- Table one – organisations listed in this table may not be required to send four documents. The applying organisation must still consider the other tables and provide any mandatory documents required by those tables.
- Table two – this sets out the documents required to be sent if the organisation is a start-up, franchise, charity, or subject to regulation, inspection or monitoring.
- Table three – this sets out the documents which are required specifically for the routes the organisation is applying for.
- Table four – this sets out all other documents which can be included to bring the total number of documents submitted up to four.
Examples of documents which are commonly submitted from table four include:
- a bank statement or letter from a bank;
- the latest company tax return CT620 or the completed CT600 tax return and the CT603 notice;
- evidence of employer’s liability insurance;
- VAT Certificate;
- an audited annual report or accounts prepared by an accredited accountant.
There can be additional and specific documents required for certain organisations. For example, franchise companies would need to provide a franchise agreement. Care homes typically need evidence that they are registered with and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) such as a CQC report.
The applying organisation must carefully consider each table to establish which documents they are required to submit.
Additional information for Skilled Worker sponsor licence applications
Organisations applying for a Skilled Worker sponsor licence must also provide additional information, including:
- details of why they are applying for a sponsor licence, the sector they operate in and their main operating hours;
- an up-to-date hierarchy chart;
- details of the job(s) they wish to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for, including the job title and occupation code, duties, minimum salary, skill and qualifications required, along with information as to where the job will sit on the hierarchy chart;
- the jobs that are currently vacant for which they intend to issue a CoS;
- if a person is already selected, the recruitment process undertaken and details of the person.
When are the documents submitted?
Once the online application is submitted, supporting documents must be sent to the Home Office within five working days of submission. Failure to provide the documents within this timeframe may result in the rejection of the application.
What does UKVI do if required documents or information is missing?
Failure to submit the correct documents or required information with a sponsor licence application will almost certainly lead to the application being rejected by UKVI. Although they will refund the application fee, it can often take many weeks for them to reject an application. This can cause significant delays and be extremely problematic if the organisation needs the worker to commence work quickly.
We are regularly instructed by organisations that have attempted to file a licence application which has been rejected due to incorrect documentation being provided. In such cases, we ensure that a new application is filed expeditiously and with all the required information.
How can we help?
Our team of solicitors is experienced in preparing sponsor licence applications and can offer expert guidance and assistance to you throughout the process. If you require legal advice on a sponsor licence application or any other aspect of immigration law, we would be happy to help. Please contact us or use the enquiry form below.