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Sponsoring an overseas worker

Overseas workers who wish to come to the UK for work need to get a certificate of sponsorship from their UK employer. A UK employer first needs to get a sponsor license to issue a certificate of sponsorship. Overseas worker means workers from outside the UK including citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland coming to the UK after 31 December 2020.

Sponsoring overseas workers

A UK-based organization can employ overseas workers on a specific job role. For this purpose, such organizations need to obtain a sponsor license first.

Eligibility to get a sponsor license

You need to meet the basic eligibility criteria to get a license. They are the followings:
  • You need to have a proper system in place in your organization to monitor sponsored employees.
  • There should not be unspent criminal convictions against you for offences related to immigration or certain other crimes like money laundering.
  • Your sponsor license should not have been revoked in the last 12 months.
Once you submit the sponsor license application form with the required documents attached, the form and all the documents will be reviewed by the Home Office. They may make a visit to your business premises as well to confirm your ability to carry out your duties as a sponsor and also to check if you are trustworthy.

Types of sponsor license

There are two types of sponsor license. One is for long-term job offers and the second is for temporary workers. You can apply for both types of workers simultaneously or you can apply for one type depending upon your need.

Sponsorship License fee

You need to pay a fee as part of your sponsorship license. The amount of fee depends upon:
  • The type of your organization (small or charitable, medium or large organization) and
  • The type of license you are applying for.
If you are applying for long-term work and you are a small or charitable sponsor you need to pay £536 and £1,476 if you are a medium or large sponsor. If you are applying for a temporary worker and you are a small or charitable sponsor or medium or large sponsor you need to pay £536. If you are applying for both types and you are a small or charitable sponsor you need to pay £536 and £1,476 if you are a medium or large size sponsor.

How long does it take to get a decision on your application?

You should usually get a decision within 8 weeks. UKVI may visit your business during this time.
Ensure that the job role that you offer to the overseas workers falls within the Appendix Skilled Occupations
It is your duty to demonstrate that you have a genuine vacancy for an overseas worker. The job vacancy must be at an appropriate skill level and the salary that you offer must be according to Appendix Skilled Occupation Codes.

Resident Labor Market test must be carried out

Resident Labor Market Test is not mandatory under the new rules since 1 January 2021, however, in some cases, it is good practice to carry out labour market test.

Duties and obligations of sponsors

UKVI has outlined key duties and obligations for sponsor organizations. You must meet them in order to get and retain a sponsor license. You need to appoint employees in your organization who would look after the duties such as an authorising officer, key contact, Level 1 user and Level 2 user. You must check that foreign workers have the necessary skills. qualifications or professional accreditations to do their jobs. You must keep the documents of overseas workers that show their skills and accreditations. You must inform UKVI if sponsored workers don't comply with the conditions of their visa. If you fail to meet your duties and obligations your license can be downgraded, suspended, or revoked.

Sponsoring an worker

After the organisation has been granted the licence they can request an allocation of Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The CoS needs to be assigned to the prospective worker and they should apply for their entry clearance or leave to remain on the basis of the CoS. The worker will need to meet the English Language requirement and score relevant points according to Appendix Skilled Worker of the Immigration Rules. If you are looking for advice and assistance on sponsoring workers from overseas, you can contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261...

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Visa and Migration is a private OISC regulated company (F201500999) and is not an official Government body. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the UKVI website.