If you want to sponsor someone from outside the UK, you may need a sponsor license.
The license you need will depend on whether the workers you want to fill your jobs are:
For either of these tiers or both, you can apply for a license.
Tier 2 is for skilled workers. Workers whom you want to either employ long-term or permanently. It is split into 4 different categories:
Tier 5 is for skilled workers that you want to employ on a temporary basis. It’s split into 5 different categories:
When you apply for a license, you need to appoint people within your business to manage the process of the sponsorship.
The main tool they’ll use to do this is the sponsorship management system (SMS).
The roles are:
These roles can be taken on by the same person or different people.
You are able to appoint an optional level 2 user, once you have your license. This would be an SMS user with more restricted access than a level 1 user, for example, they cannot withdraw a certificate of sponsorship.
If you employ a foreign worker, you must assign a certificate of sponsorship to the each of them. Each certificate will contain its own number, which the worker can use to apply for a visa.
If the job the worker is going to do has a suitable rate of pay and skill level, you can sponsor a worker
The job will usually need to be Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) level 6 or above if your worker has a Tier 2 (General) or Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa.
There are separate rates of pay and skill levels for:
If the job that you are offering is not on the shortage occupation list, you may need to advertise it. This is called carrying out the ‘resident labour market test’.
Any job advertised, must be offered to a worker in the following categories:
When advertising, you must place at least 2 adverts. ‘How to carry out the resident labour market test’ section of the guidance for sponsors, will show you the other rules that need to be followed.
The adverts must be a genuine vacancy. You must also make sure that there are no suitable workers already living permanently in the UK.
For a minimum 28 days, you must advertise your job vacancy. This can be continuous or in 2 separate stages.
If you want to sponsor a foreign worker, you cannot sponsor them under the age of 18 for:
If a child is under the age of 16, you cannot sponsor them for a Tier 2 visa.
Read the full guidance on sponsor requirements and duties and check workers have the right to work in the UK.
HR systems must be put into place that let you:
Changes to your business:
If there are any significant changes in your own circumstances, within the period of 20 working days, you must report them, for example if you:
You must also tell UKVI if you’re changing your details.
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