Sponsor License Application

Sponsor License Application

Key role and responsibility to consider before applying for a Sponsor License

Before an organisation apply for a Sponsor License, it is important for them to consider very carefully who will be taking the responsibility for these key roles. The reason being is that whoever is responsible for these roles will get an access to the Home Office SMS system and this access is exclusive available to them. The company can lose their sponsor license if it’s found to be negligent with their SMS System access. These key persons will also be the point of contact for the organisation with the UK Home Office (UKVI). They will have various responsibilities for their sponsored employee(s) and have various duties that they must comply. Authorising Officer – This role must be taken by a senior and competent person responsible for the actions of staff and representatives who use the SMS Key Contact – This person will be the main point of contact with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Level 1 user – The person will be responsible for all day-to-day management of your licence using the SMS The above roles can be filled by the same individual or by different person in the organisation

Suitability checks?

Before applying for a Sponsor License, you must ensure that the key person who will be taking the responsibility are suitable for these roles. Your organisation may not get a licence if anyone involved in sponsorship has:

An Unspent Criminal Conviction;

Was previously been fined by UKVI in the past 12 months; Was previously reported to UKVI;

Have broken the law;

Have been a ‘key person’ at a sponsor that had its licence revoked in the last 12 months; Has failed to pay VAT or other excise duty

It is important to note that the person must also:

be based in the UK most of the time;

not be a contractor or consultant contracted for a specific project;

not be subject to a bankruptcy restriction order or undertaking, or a debt relief restriction order or undertaking; not have a history of non-compliance with sponsor requirements.

Sponsorship Certificate

Immigration skills charge

Your organisation may have to pay an additional charge for each foreign employee you will be hiring. This will be applicable if the employee will be applying for a visa to work in the UK for 6 months or more under:

Tier 2 (General) visa;

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa;

What is my responsibility?

It is important to note that having a Sponsor License for your organisation comes with great responsibilities. As the key responsible person in your organisation, you must:

check that your foreign workers have the necessary skills, qualifications or professional accreditations to do their jobs, and keep copies of documents showing this;

You can only assign certificates of sponsorship to foreign employees for a job that is suitable;

You must inform the UK Home Office (UKVI) if your sponsored employees are not complying with the conditions of their visa

The above is important as your organisation’s licence can downgraded, suspended or withdrawn.

How to ensure that you comply with your responsibility?

We recommend having a HR System in place to allow you to:

monitor your employees’ immigration status – there should be a system where notification is set up to notify the employer that the employees visa will be expiring;

To keep copies of relevant employee start-up documents for each employee, including passport and right to work information

track and record employees’ attendance – This should include keeping record for annual leave request and any sick leave;

You must ensure that your employee contact details up to date – have a system in place for your employee to notify you if there are any change of circumstances from their end;

report to UKVI if there is a problem, for example if your employee stops coming to work;

What if there are changes to my organisation?

You must report any significant changes in your own circumstances within 20 working days, for example if you:

Change your details such as your address;

When there has been changes in the allocated role – this is very important as you will be in breached of your duty if you did not inform the UK Home Office (UKVI) of any changes;

If your organisation stops trading or become insolvent

If your organisation substantially changes the nature of your business are involved in a merger or take-over