Registering as a Sponsor - Frequently Asked Questions

In order to sponsor migrants under Tier 2 of the points based system, 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, since changes in the law in November 2012, the Home Office has a very wide discretion when deciding licence applications. The Home Office can apply a subjective “Genuine Test” and in our experience it would 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 an employee of the UK company and is based and paid in the UK, 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 industry sector.

 

For more information about our immigration services please contact Nicolas Rollason at nrollason@kingsleynapley.co.uk or a member of the team.

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