uk visa enquiry

What is Self-Sponsorship

Self-sponsorship route is for entrepreneurs/business owners to stay and work in the UK to establish and manage their own business. Self-sponsorship route requires a Skilled Worker visa combined with having a sponsor license for a UK-based business you own. Self-sponsorship is mainly a route for those who want to work in the UK for their own business. So, the route allows you to start, grow, or manage your own business in the UK.  

Who is eligible for self-sponsorship?

If you meet all of the following, you may be eligible for self-sponsorship:  

  • You have the skill experience or qualification(s) in the area of the business you want to establish;
  • Your employment must be a genuine one;
  • You have a fresh business idea that is different from any others in the market or you want to acquire a pre-existing UK business that you have identified;
  • You have adequate financial and human resources to support your proposed business in the UK. There is no minimum or maximum investment; it can range from £25,000 or more;
  • You have someone who is settled in the UK or a British citizen who can work as an authorizing Officer;
  • You should have no adverse immigration history or criminal offences; and
  • You can pass an approved English language test at Level B1 (if required)

There are no restrictions on the type of business for a self-sponsorship. All you need is to establish, grow, or manage a legal business in the UK. You can do any business such as opening a coffee shop, restaurant, tech company, etc. 
Your business idea must be endorsed by an endorsing body (universities, trusts, and governing bodies) approving your business idea.

Process for self sponship

The procedure for self-sponsorship is to set up a business in the UK followed byapplying for a sponsor license for your business and then sponsoring yourself as a skilled worker. You can follow the process mentioned here for self-sponsorship:

1. Establish a UK company, and apply for a Sponsor License

If you are a UK resident, you can get your UK-based company registered with the help of a registered UK accountant. If you are a NON-UK resident, you will be required to appoint a UK-based director initially. This process can take approximately 6 to 8 weeks.

2. Appoint an authorizing officer

You must appoint an Authorizing Officer (AO) in your company when applying for a sponsor license. The officer needs to be your employee whom the Home Office will contact regarding the application. It is better to appoint someone who is a British citizen or someone who has an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK to act as your Authorizing Officer. 

3. Apply for Sponsor Licence and have proper human resources compliance

Your company will need to apply for the sponsor licence and must have the necessary policies and procedures in place then only it can apply for a sponsor license and if granted it can sponsor you as a skilled worker.
This process can take approximately 10 working days to get a licence on priority.

4. Be assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship, and we will assist you with the Skilled Worker Visa

Once your UK-based company receives a Sponsor license, you will require a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship. This can take approximately 4 to 12 weeks.

Documents Required

Your UK-based company is required to submit at least 4 supporting documents. The list of the documents can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Most recent UK bank statement
  • Copy of lease or freehold or tenancy agreement
  • Employer’s Liability Insurance certificate
  • VAT certificate (if registered)
  • Signed annual accounts (if the business is more than 18 months old)
  • HMRC document(s) showing PAYE and Accounts Reference Number
  • A letter confirming various details about your company, such as business services, operating hours, the vacancies you have, your (future) role, and the salary you will be paid.
  • Your qualification and experience

If you are looking for professional advice or representation of your application, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261 or email us –


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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.