Skilled Worker Sponsorship Licenses

Skilled Worker’s sponsors

A company in the UK usually needs a Sponsor Licence to employ someone from outside of the UK. This includes unpaid work such as working for a charity.
The company will need to appoint an individual within its business to manage the sponsorship process during the application process. Successful applicants (Directors and authorised users) should not have any unspent criminal convictions and have appropriate mechanisms in place to monitor sponsored employees.

The most common type of Sponsor License is a Worker License which includes Skilled Worker, Intra-company Transfer and Intra-company Graduate Trainee, Minister of Religion and Sportsperson.

The employer can also apply for a Temporary Worker License which includes Creative or Sporting Worker, Charity Worker, Religious Worker, Government Authorised Exchange Worker, International Agreement Worker and Seasonal Worker.

How much does it cost?

Fees: There are a few fees to consider before a company starts the process.
Firstly, during the application process the company will need to pay fees in accordance with the size of the company.

A company is classified as a small sponsor if two 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.

The fee for a small or charitable sponsor is £536 and the fee for medium or large sponsors is £1,476.

Immigration skills charge: The company might have to pay an additional charge when assigning a certificate of sponsorship to someone applying for a Skilled Worker or Intra-company Transfer visa. This is called the “immigration skills charge”.
The payment (per worker) for small or charitable sponsors is £364 per year and payment (per worker) for medium or large sponsors is £1,000 per year.

A company can sponsor a worker for maximum of 5 years, therefore the payment can be estimated as follows:
• £1,820 (5 x £364) for a small or charitable sponsor;
• £5,000 (5 x £1,000) for a medium or large sponsor.

When a license is granted, a company must assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) to each foreign worker it intends to employ. This is an electronic record, not a physical document. Each certificate has its own number which a worker can use to apply for a visa.
Each certificate costs £199 (in some cases it can be issued free of for £21).

Sponsor’s responsibilities:

• check that the chosen foreign workers have the necessary skills, qualifications or professional accreditations to perform their jobs, and keep copies of documents as proof;
• only assign certificates of sponsorship to workers when the job is suitable for sponsorship;
• inform UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if any hired sponsored workers are not complying with the conditions of their visa.

Your licence may be downgraded, suspended or withdrawn if you do not meet them.