How to apply for a Tier 2 General sponsor licence?

From 1 January 2021, UK companies have to apply for a sponsor licence if they wish to recruit a non-EU or EU migrant at RQF level 3 (A-level or equivalent) and above under the new Skilled Worker route, which will replace the current Tier 2 (General) scheme.

Companies can apply for a licence now, but they will not be able to sponsor anyone below RQF level 6 until the new system comes into effect.

How to apply for a Tier 2 General sponsor licence?

In order to apply for a Tier 2 General sponsor licence, the company must register the details online by completing the UKVI ‘Online sponsor application registration’ via the official website:

Once registered, the company will be able to log into the UKVI ‘Sponsor application log in’:

The company will then need to pay the relevant application fees. The fees are £536 for a small company whilst £1476 for a large organisation.

In addition, the online application form requires the company to assign certain responsibilities to members of their staff, who will have access to the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) after the request for a licence is granted. The 4 ‘key personnel’ roles are: Authorising Officer (AO), Key Contact, Level 1 User, and Level 2 User.

The online sponsor licence application will take approximately 30 mins to complete. Please note that a representative can help the company to fill in the application form, however, it must be submitted and paid for by the company.

Once the company has submitted the application form, they have to send the following documents to the Home Office within 5 working days:

  • The original submission sheet, not a certified copy, signed and dated by the authorising officer (all pages must be sent);
  • Original or certified copies of all the mandatory documents listed in Appendix A of the guidance for sponsors and on the submission sheet.

The company must provide at least 4 evidence under Appendix A:

For example, as a Start-up, the company may only be able to provide the following 4 documents:

  • Evidence of Registration with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as an employer to pay PAYE & National Insurance. Provide proof of PAYE Reference Number & Accounts Office Reference Number. Evidence of registration must be original or certified copies of documentation issued by HMRC only;
  • Certificate of Employer’s Liability Insurance (cover for at least £5m) from an authorised insurer;
  • Latest Corporate/Business Bank Statement and/or a letter from the bank setting out the dealings it has had with the organisation, including the nature and duration of its dealings;
  • Proof of ownership of business premises or proof of lease of business premises. This can be replaced by the certificate of VAT registration.

Please note that the certified copies must meet the requirements below:

Certifying a document

The person certifying the documents must be:

  • The issuing authority
  • A practising barrister
  • A solicitor
  • A chartered legal executive
  • A notary
  • A chartered accountant for certification of financial documents only

The certifier must confirm the copy of the document by:

  • Writing ‘Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me’ on the document
  • Signing and dating it
  • Printing their name under the signature
  • Adding their occupation, address and telephone number

If a document has more than one page, the Home Office can accept the document if the pages are bound together and the certification statement includes the number of pages the document contains. If a certifier’s details cannot be verified, the document will be rejected.

Printouts of PDF files are copies of an original document and must be certified in line with guidelines above. The certifier must confirm that they have seen the original email containing the file.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the sponsor licence application and Tier 2 General application, please contact our team on 0203 384 3075.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.

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