Registering as a Sponsor - Frequently Asked Questions

In order to sponsor EU and non-EU citizens to work in the UK under the Skilled Worker category, employers must be registered with the Home Office and hold a sponsor licence. 

Here are of the frequently asked questions:

How long does the UK Company need to be trading before applying for a sponsor licence?

There is no specified timeframe. Once a UK company has established a genuine trading presence in the UK, has registered with the tax authorities, set up a company bank account and obtained employers liability insurance they can apply.


Can I apply for a sponsor licence if I don’t have anyone specific in mind that I wish to sponsor/employ?

The short answer is yes. However, the Home Office can apply a subjective ‘genuineness’ test and in our experience it would normally be best to apply for a sponsor licence once you have identified the individual you wish to sponsor/employ. If advertising is required, we recommend the 28 day advertising period has at least commenced but ideally come to an end.


Will the UK company require a UK national to act as the main point of contact and take overall responsibility for the sponsor licence?

No, provided an individual is a senior employee or office holder of the UK company and is based and paid in the UK with permission to work, they can be of any nationality.


How long will the sponsor licence be valid?

Initially 4 years but can be renewed thereafter.


Will the Home Office visit our UK office?

The Home Office can visit any of your UK offices, branches or client sites at any time. These visits can be pre-arranged or unannounced. If your company has been trading for less than 18 months it is likely they will undertake a visit before they approve the licence. The Home Office considers the industry sector of a business when making a decision on whether or not to make a visit and we can provide tailored advice specific to your business.


For more information about our immigration services please contact Nicolas Rollason at or a member of the team.

Registering as a Sponsor FAQs Insights

View all


What now for performers in the UK and EU?

How employers should prepare for and transition to the new immigration system

Will the UK's post-Brexit immigration system plans be derailed by COVID-19?

Urgent Home Office guidance required for furloughed Tier 2 sponsored workers

Scrap the Cap: Why it’s time for the Tier 2 immigration cap to go

The pitfalls of employee immigration status

Home Office tightens the Sponsor Licence compliance screws on IT service providers

Brexit – Trust is hard earned and easily lost for EU citizens in the UK

Immigration update - changes to Immigration Health Surcharge, criminal record checks and document retention rules

Webinar - Update on the latest immigration rule changes

Techxit concerns Trumped – keep calm and code on

Was the 28-day grace period for overstaying really inconsistent with the need to comply with the UK’s immigration laws?

Reflections on the impact of the UK’s recent and future hostile migration environment

Biometric Residence Permits and National Insurance numbers

Why Brexit could usher in a new world of immigration red tape

The challenges in managing international assignments for UK based employees – where to next?

Webinar: Tier 2 Changes – “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

Home Office introduces positive changes to the Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship application process

UK Visas and Immigration Online Application Service

Home Office reporting delays in issuing Biometric Residence Permits

Closure of Tier 1 (General) extension is imminent

Immigration Update: Delays at the Overseas Visitors Records Office

Immigration Update: Salary rates for Tier 2 to be updated on 6 April

Immigration Update: Launch of New ePassport Gates at Gatwick

Changes to the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK requirement for settlement and naturalisation

Immigration Update: Home Office Launches Consultation on Charging

Immigration Update: Home Office Targets Business Travellers with New Premium Visa Services

Immigration Update: Changes to Guidance on Prevention of Illegal Working

Immigration Update: New “streamlined” UK visa services announced for China

Immigration Alert: New Immigration Rules - Changes to Tier 2 and New SOC Codes

Employing migrant workers: A checklist for compliance

New UKBA backlog causing economic damage - employers held to ransom

London Metropolitan University: Any chance of challenging the UKBA?

Immigration Alert: Sponsor Licence Renewals

Immigration Update: New Immigration Rules for Family Migration and other applications

Britain closed for Business - Highly Skilled Migrants and Employers face Government onslaught in a bid to reduce net migration

Immigration Update: UK border agency issues statement of intent regarding new settlement rules

Immigration Update: Migration Advisory Committee Publishes Its Recommendations on Tier 2 Limits and Other Policies

Immigration Update: Reinstatement of representative service at the Public Enquiry Office

Immigration Update: Important Change to the UK Immigration Rules

Immigration Update: Special Visitor Concession for those Attending the Olympic Games

Immigration Update: Important Immigration Update

Close Load more

Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility