How to apply for a sponsor licence in 2024? detailed guide

Are you a business looking to hire overseas workers? Look no further and apply for a sponsor licence through our detailed sponsor licence guide.

For expert advice and experienced sponsor licence lawyers, contact our sponsor licence immigration lawyers.

Read some of our sponsor licence success stories here. As experts in applying for a sponsor licence, we understand that securing a sponsor licence is a vital step for businesses and organisations looking to bring in skilled workers from overseas. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps involved and provide insights into the significance of a sponsor licence.

UK visa sponsorship for employers

A sponsor license is typically required if you want to hire a worker from outside the UK. At Deluxe Law Chambers, our immigration lawyers have helped many businesses to get a sponsor licence.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may visit your business to check if it’s suitable.

Deluxe Law Chambers solely specialises in UK visas & immigration and therefore we provide high-quality UK visa and immigration services to our clients. The quality service provided by our UK immigration lawyers is self-evident from our 5-star Google Reviews.

Apply for a sponsor licence

Importance of a sponsor licence

A sponsor licence is essentially permission granted by the UK government that allows businesses and organizations to hire skilled workers from outside the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA). It is a crucial asset for companies seeking to fill specific job roles that cannot be filled by domestic talent alone.

A sponsor licence is not just a legal requirement; it’s a strategic move that empowers businesses to thrive in a globalized world. With the guidance of Deluxe Law Chambers, the journey to obtaining and maintaining a sponsor licence becomes smoother, enabling companies to access top-tier talent and contribute to the UK’s economic growth.

If you require advice or help with a sponsor licence application, please contact +441614644140 or email us at for fast, professional, and affordable immigration advice from our highly experienced sponsorship lawyers. You can book an appointment online for a detailed immigration consultation.

Once you complete the online form you submit and pay the sponsor licence fee. You will have five working days to submit the supporting documents for a sponsor licence application.

Eligibility to apply for a sponsor licence

To be eligible for a sponsor licence, a business must meet certain criteria, including proving that the role they intend to fill is genuine and skilled, maintaining appropriate human resources practices, and demonstrating the ability to comply with immigration laws.

To get a licence as an employer, you cannot have:

You’ll need appropriate systems in place to monitor sponsored employees and people to manage sponsorship in your business.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will review your application form and supporting documents. They may visit your business to make sure you’re trustworthy and capable of carrying out your duties.

Is Getting a Sponsor Licence Difficult?

Getting a sponsor licence is an important step for a UK business towards success, which helps the business to find international talent. Our immigration lawyers have dealt with many businesses to obtain sponsor licence for them.

Process of Applying for a Sponsor Licence

To apply for a sponsor licence, you must follow the following steps:

  • Gather documents – you must have the required documents for a sponsor licence before you submit the online application.
  • Prepare online application – once you have all the documents, prepare the online application form.
  • Submit online application – you can submit the drafted sponsor licence application form to the Home Office, UKVI.
  • Submit documents – after the online application is submitted and fee is paid, you will need to email the documents to the Home Office.

Types of Sponsor Licences

The licence you need depends on whether the workers you want to fill your jobs are:

  • ‘Workers’ – for skilled or long-term employment
  • ‘Temporary workers’ – for specific types of temporary employment

You can apply for a licence covering one or both types of workers.

Worker licence

A ‘Worker’ licence will let you sponsor people in different types of skilled employment. The skilled work can be for a short time, long-term or permanent depending on the worker’s visa.

The licence is split into:

  • Skilled Worker – the role must meet the job suitability requirements
  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility) – for multinational companies which need to transfer established employees to the UK, previously the Intra-company Transfer visa
  • Minister of Religion – for people coming to work for a religious organisation
  • International Sportsperson – for elite sportspeople and coaches who will be based in the UK

Temporary Worker licence

A ‘Temporary Worker’ licence will let you sponsor people temporarily, including for volunteering and job shadowing. You can only get a Temporary Worker licence for specific types of employment and visas.

The licence is split into:

  • Scale-up Worker – for people coming to work for a fast-growing UK business
  • Creative Worker – to work in the creative industry, for example as an entertainer or artist (up to 2 years)
  • Charity Worker – for unpaid workers at a charity (up to 1 year)
  • Religious Worker – for those working in a religious order or organisation (2 years)
  • Government Authorised Exchange – work experience (1 year), research projects or training, for example, practical medical or scientific training (2 years) to enable a short-term exchange of knowledge
  • International Agreement – where the worker is coming to do a job that is covered by international law, for example, employees of overseas governments
  • Graduate Trainee (Global Business Mobility) – for workers transferring to their employer’s UK branch as part of a graduate training programme
  • Service Supplier (Global Business Mobility) – for workers with a contract to provide services for a UK company (6 or 12 months)
  • UK Expansion Worker (Global Business Mobility) – for workers sent to the UK to set up a new branch or subsidiary of an overseas business
  • Secondment Worker (Global Business Mobility) – for workers transferring from overseas to work for a different UK business as part of a high-value contract
  • Seasonal Worker – allows people to come to the UK and work in horticulture (for example, picking fruit and vegetables) for up to 6 months, or poultry from 18 October to 31 December each year

If you’re currently sponsoring pork butchery workers who are on a Seasonal Worker visa, you can continue. New applications for pork butchery workers are closed and will not reopen.

Robust system for a sponsor licence application

Sponsors must undertake robust and comprehensive monitoring of all sponsored workers in their workplace, including ensuring that:

  • their work environment is safe and complies with relevant Health and Safety
  • they are treated fairly by their employer
  • they will receive a salary that equals or exceeds £10.10 per hour
  • they are allowed time off, and proper breaks
  • they are provided with appropriate equipment to do their job safely
  • they are housed in hygienic and safe accommodation
  • they are not transported in unsafe vehicles
  • they are not threatened with, or subjected to violence
  • their passport is not withheld from them
  • procedures are in place to enable workers to report any concerns to the
    sponsor, and to enable them to move to another employer where possible

Our team can help you set up a compliance system that helps you to get a sponsor licence.

Licence fees

You need to pay a fee when you apply. The fee depends on the type of licence you’re applying for and what type of organisation you are.

Type of licenceFee for small or charitable sponsorsFee for medium or large sponsors
Temporary Worker£536£536
Worker and Temporary Worker£536£ 1,476
Add a Worker licence to an existing Temporary Worker licenceNo fee£940
Add a Temporary Worker licence to an existing Worker licenceNo feeNo fee

How to tell if you’re a small or charitable sponsor

You’re usually a small sponsor if at least 2 of the following apply:

  • your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less
  • your total assets are worth £5.1 million or less
  • you have 50 employees or fewer

How can we help with your skilled worker sponsor licence application?

We understand that efficiency, both in terms of money and workforce is important to any successful business. At Deluxe Law Chambers, our commercial awareness and experience in dealing with sponsor licence applications sets us apart from other immigration law firms.

We understand what needs to be done to secure a Sponsor Licence allowing you to do what you do best, run your business to ensure it is profitable. We take the stress away from applying for a Sponsor Licence which can be complex in nature giving you confidence of a successful outcome.

  • We conduct a review of your organisation and HR structure.
  • We advise you on the required documents to apply for a sponsor licence application.
  • Our legal team advise you on skilled worker sponsor licence requirements.
  • We can find out the priority slot for your sponsor licence application.
  • We work with you to build a robust system for your organisation to comply with the Home Office requirements.
  • We prepare your application form.
  • We advise you about your duties and responsibilities as a sponsor licence holder.
  • We maintain a high reputation for being understanding, tenacious, and flexible in dealing with our clients to ensure the best result possible.