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Posted 22nd April 2024

Three Tips for Getting a Sponsor Licence

The key to building a successful business is recruiting the right people. It’s an obvious and somewhat cliched point to make, but it’s one that holds true at every stage of a company’s lifespan. Get the right people, and you’ll get the right results. That, of course, is easier said than done. That’s why a […]

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three tips for getting a sponsor licence.


Three Tips for Getting a Sponsor Licence

The key to building a successful business is recruiting the right people. It’s an obvious and somewhat cliched point to make, but it’s one that holds true at every stage of a company’s lifespan. Get the right people, and you’ll get the right results. That, of course, is easier said than done. That’s why a lot of business owners like to cast a wide net when it comes to recruitment. Looking for talent overseas is often the best way to address local skills gaps or recruit people with equal talent for a lower cost.

We’re not here to espouse the advantages of recruiting people from overseas. Instead, we want to give you three things to consider if you decide to. According to immigration law firm Reiss Edwards, any UK employer planning to recruit people from overseas needs a sponsor licence. A licence enables the company to issue Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) which, in turn, make it possible for people with the necessary work visas to take up a position with that company.

According to government data, there were over 100,000 registered worker and temporary worker sponsors in 2024 [1]. That was 27% more than the previous year, suggesting companies are increasingly interested in hiring overseas workers. However, if you’re going to recruit international talent, you need to meet certain conditions. Taking into account the insights from immigration lawyers like Reiss Edwards and the government’s official guidelines, here are three things to consider before you apply for a sponsor licence.

1. Get Your Affairs in Order and Be Honest

Your business needs to be operating lawfully in the UK to be eligible for a sponsor licence. That’s the general point, but something that a lot of business owners don’t realise is that the Home Office carries out “genuineness” checks. If you go back to the sponsor licence guide above, the first eligibility requirement states that the business must be “genuine, operating, and trading lawfully”.

Home Office operators will seek to determine if your company has a genuine need for overseas workers and whether their presence will help achieve your stated goals. Essentially, the Home Office wants to know if you actually need to recruit people from abroad or whether you could fill the positions with local talent. Therefore, before you start the application process, make sure you actually need one because you genuinely need to recruit people from overseas.

2. Have a Robust HR System

One of the most overlooked parts of applying for and holding a sponsor licence is HR. Your business will be subject to regular checks and reporting requirements if you’re granted a sponsor licence. That’s why Home Office officials assess your HR systems. These need to be suitably robust and well-established to ensure you can meet the reporting requirements.

3. Make Sure You’re Insured

You need to have Employer’s Liability Insurance if you’re a UK employer. The Home Office will want to see this if you’re applying for a sponsor licence. Additionally, you might be required to have indemnity insurance. This doesn’t apply to all industries. Therefore, you’ll need to check this before you apply for a sponsor licence because, as we’ve said, any missing pieces of the puzzle can delay the application process or, at worst, cause you to be rejected.

Follow the Rules and Get the Right Advice

There are a lot of benefits to international recruitment, but you can only realise them if you hold a sponsor licence. We’ve given you three tips, but you should consider consulting with immigration lawyers if you want to give yourself the best shot at having your licence application approved. Combine this with our tips for effective recruitment and onboarding [2], and you’ll be on your way to accessing a world of international talent.

Further Reading

1. Register of Worker and Temporary Worker licensed sponsors

2. The key to recruitment and onboarding

Categories: News


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