Sponsor License

What is a sponsor licence?

You will need a sponsor licence if you wish to employ a non-settled worker. 

Employers seeking to hire migrant workers must have a Sponsor Licence. This allows a company to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship which confirms that the migrant worker meets the relevant criteria.

Generally there a 4 types of sponsor licences. The type of sponsor licence you require depends on the type of migrant worker you would like to hire. Below is a list of the different sponsor licences.

  • Skilled worker sponsor licence

for skilled and long term worker

  • Temporary worker sponsor licence

for temporary workers

  • Global business mobility sponsor licence

for businesses that are transferring staff to the UK or expanding to the UK

  • Scale-up sponsor licence

for fast growing businesses that wish to recruit workers to continue the growth of the business

What are the requirements for a sponsor licence?

For your application for a sponsor licence to succeed, you will need to meet certain requirements including:

  • Your organisation is genuine and operating lawfully in the UK
  • You are capable of carrying out your sponsor duties and evidencing your compliance in a timeframe and manner
  • Your organisation can offer genuine employment that meets the skill level and salary requirements, if applying under Skilled Worker or the Intra-Company routes

In order to assess whether you meet the requirements, the Home Office expect to see documentary evidence of your business.

The Home Office may also carry out a pre-licence compliance visit to review the business’ current practices, policies and HR procedures.

What happens if the sponsor licence application is successful?


If the Home Office is satisfied that you meet the requirements, your business will be granted a sponsor licence. You will then be placed on the UK Sponsorship Licence register and will be able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship.

You will also be given a licence rating. A sponsor is rated either ‘A’ or ‘B’ with ‘A’ being the highest.

While you have a licence, you must ensure that you adhere to your duties as a sponsor.

Your licence will be valid for 4 years. After this you will need to renew your licence if you wish to continue hiring migrant workers.

What happens if the sponsor licence application is refused?


There is no right of appeal against the refusal of a sponsor licence application.

However in some cases you can make an application for the decision to be refused through an “Error correction request”. This must be sent within 14 days of the refusal decision.

In certain circumstances, you can re-apply for a sponsor licence. However you may not be able to successfully re-apply until a specified period of time from the refusal date has passed. This is called a “cooling-off” period.

Contact our sponsor licence experts:

Call Us Today

020 8902 6110



Related Links

Scroll to Top