Employer Sponsor Licence
Home Office requirement to employ foreign workers
A Sponsor Licence is required if you want to employ non-EEA workers in the UK. The Home Office grant a Sponsor Licence under the Tier 2 and Tier 5 Categories. Tier 2 is for longer term work while Tier 5 is for temporary work. The sponsor is the UK business or organisation that wants to employ a non-EEA national. Certain conditions and criteria have to be met before a UK employer or organisation can obtain a Sponsor Licence.
To be eligible for a sponsor licence you need to be free from unspent criminal convictions and not have had a history of poor sponsorship management in the past. Your organisation must also have suitable measures in place to monitor employees.
How do I get a Sponsor Licence
The four main steps to getting a sponsor licence are as follows:
- Check your business is eligible before you apply
- Decide what type of licence you want to apply for. Most employers apply for a Tier 2 licence which means their employees can usually work for up to 6 years in the UK Tier 5 are for shorter periods such as 12-24 months.
- Appointment a person in your organisation to be the sponsorship manager to handle all information between your organisation, the employee and the Home Office.
- Make an online application for the sponsor licence ensuring to pay the fee at the same time
What are my responsibilities as a sponsor?
As a sponsor Licence holder you have a duty to maintain certain standards and requirements as set out by the Home Office.
- Check that your foreign workers have the necessary qualifications or professional accreditations to do their jobs, and keep a record and copies of these documents as evidence. If inspected by the Home Office you would be required to show such evidence
- Only assign a certificate of sponsorship to migrants for roles that are suitable for sponsorship
- Contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if your sponsored workers are not complying with the conditions of their visa
- Contact UKVI if there are any changes with your business such as address, name or if the business becomes insolvent or ceases trading
Your organisation must have HR practices in place that:
- monitor your employees’ immigration status – Ensuring that their visas and permissions are valid
- keep copies of relevant documents for each employee, including passport and right to work information – You do not need and should not keep the originals. A scanned or photocopy is acceptable
- track and record employees’ attendance – Ensure that the migrant employees are coming to work and if there are any unusual patterns that it is reported. If the employee fails to turn up for the firs day of work this should be reported.
- keep all employee contact information up to date
- report to UK Visas and Immigration if there is a problem, eg the migrant employee stops coming to work