Enterprise, migration & entrepreneurship

Sponsor licence application through UKVI. Apply for a sponsor licence.
Applying for a sponsor licence. ICS Legal helps enterprises and employers to apply for a sponsor licence application.

As we have drawn ourselves from the EU, albeit we are still in negotiation about Northern Ireland, immigration programs for EU citizens and their family members, are evolving. You can learn more about our help on applying for a sponsor licence and other business visa routes, by clicking here.

Enterprises are attempting to understand the EU Settlement Scheme, and the migration to the immigration programs are becoming a difficult transition for businesses. Then we have the recession, rising costs and businesses trying to become competitive in the market. 

Enterprise and sponsor licence programs

To recruit a migrant from overseas including those living in the UK, the sponsor licence program is an essential part of when employers intend to recruit for work who are not settled in the UK. 

The sponsor licence route is a simple but yet technical and complex in its nature. 

§  Skilled worker visas.

§  Global Business Mobility visas, that includes those coming to the UK to set up a UK business entity. 

§  Health & Care Worker visas.

§  Temporary Worker visas. 

§  Scale-up Work visa.

§  Creative Worker visa. 

The immigration programs above requires an employer to hold a sponsor licence. The Home Office undertakes rigid checks including documentation verification, to ensure the sponsorship route is not open for abuse. 

The UKVI intends to allow employers to recruit migrants as swiftly as possible and for those who abuse the system, creates a difficult task to stop those. 

Applying to become a sponsor licence holder

As with many immigration programs, those changes through a number of factors, which includes the Home Office strengthening their policy towards a robust immigration system. 

Here is a checklist of matters that an employer or an organization must do prior making an application for a sponsor licence:

§  Depending on the type of organization and your business plans, you will need to check the information and documents required prior lodging your sponsor licence application. The Home Office does have a list of documents required for the sponsor licence but we have found that this is not a definite list of evidences required when applying for a sponsor licence. 

§  The sponsor licence application is an opportunity for the Home Office to inspect the business or the organization. It must be fit for purpose. 

§  The sponsor licence once this is approved, grants you as an organization to manage your immigration programs. There must be an Authorising Officer coupled by a Level 1 user to manage the sponsor licence management [SMS] platform. If the enterprise does not manage its SMS in line with the published policies, it runs the risk to lose its sponsor licence and then those sponsored, will risk losing their immigration status.  

Introducing what is the Global Business Mobility [GBM] Scheme

This is an interesting read on those immigration categories and opens the door for businesses outside of the UK to do business in the UK. It is impressive on the Home Office to bring about those categories and we expect it to grow through, as with may legacy immigration programs changes. 

We know that the UK skilled shortages means that the specialist worker, secondment worker or graduate trainee, attempts to fill the gap until the employer is able to cover those employment areas. I do accept that UK employer’s sometimes find it hard to cover those resources, and there are a number of factors for that. 

In contrast the UK expansion worker visa and also the service supplier is far different. This allows businesses to either create their entities or provides services in the UK. 

Sponsor licence application & submissions

The new digital application route to apply for a sponsor licence is done online. Whilst the application is completed online, the evidences including the legal submission, must be done through postal, as the Home Office unlike most other application route, must assess the application lodged by the enterprise. 

If the application is approved, the enterprise will be emailed confirmation and access to the sponsor management system [SMS]. The letter will explain whether Certificates of Sponsorship [CoS] had been assigned and also the granting of the sponsor licence number [SLN].

Where the application for a sponsor licence is refused, the Home Office will explain in their decision letter the reasons and you would be able to challenge the matter through an administrative review, known as the “error correction request”.

Whilst the matter does not come with a right to appeal, there are legal remedies to follow in the matter which we would be able to advise depending on the circumstances of the matter. This request must be done with 14 days. 

In refusing a sponsor licence application, the Home Office does have a cooling off period prior making a new application unless you are exempted. The minimum term is 6 months up to 5 years. There are occasions where the cooling off period is indefinite. 

Compliance visit and checks by the Home Office

For all immigration programs, compliance checks and un-scheduled visits are a common way of the Home Office to ensure employers, organisations and enterprises are genuine sponsor licence holders.

I am sure with any of those immigration programs, that the abuse of the sponsor licence system which impacts other businesses, those being recruited and the impact on the immigration visa routes cannot be comprehended. 

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