Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence: Attract Global Talent to Your UK Business

Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence | FreshStart UK

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Attracting and retaining the best talent becomes crucial as businesses grow and expand. 

In the UK, one of the most effective ways to hire skilled workers from abroad is by obtaining a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence. 

This licence allows employers to sponsor non-UK nationals for the Skilled Worker visa, ensuring that they can bring in qualified professionals to fill essential roles. 

This article will explain the specifics of the Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence, the application process, requirements, and benefits

What is a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence?

A Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence is a permit granted by the UK Home Office to employers, allowing them to sponsor foreign workers for the Skilled Worker visa. 

This visa category replaces the previous Tier 2 (General) visa and is part of the UK’s points-based immigration system. 

The licence enables businesses to access a global talent pool, helping them fill roles that the domestic workforce cannot fill.

Why Obtain a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence?

Obtaining a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence is beneficial for several reasons:

  • Access to Global Talent: 

Employers can hire the best candidates from around the world, ensuring that they have the skills and expertise required for the job.

  • Competitive Advantage: 

Companies with a diverse workforce can bring innovative ideas and perspectives, giving them a competitive edge in the market.

  • Economic Growth: 

Hiring skilled workers from abroad can help drive business growth and contribute to the overall economy.

  • Compliance with Immigration Laws: 

Having a sponsor licence ensures that businesses comply with UK immigration laws when hiring foreign workers.

Eligibility Criteria for Employers

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence, employers must meet certain criteria set by the Home Office. 

These include:

  • Established Business: 

The employer must be a genuine organisation operating legally in the UK.

  • No History of Non-Compliance: 

The business should not have a history of failing to comply with immigration laws.

  • Human Resources Systems: 

Employers must have appropriate HR systems in place to monitor sponsored employees and ensure they comply with visa conditions.

  • Genuine Vacancy: 

The role being offered to the sponsored worker must be genuine and meet the skill level and salary requirements.

Application Process

The application process for a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence involves several steps:

  1. Determine the Type of Licence Needed: There are two types of sponsor licences – Worker and Temporary Worker. 

Most businesses will apply for the Worker licence, which includes categories like Skilled Worker and Intra-Company Transfer.

  1. Complete the Online Application: Employers must complete an online application form on the UK government website. 

This form requires detailed information about the business and the roles they intend to sponsor.

  1. Submit Supporting Documents: 

Along with the application, businesses must submit several supporting documents to prove their legitimacy and compliance with immigration laws. 

These documents may include:

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • VAT registration certificate
  • Latest audited accounts
  • Employer’s liability insurance certificate
  1. Pay the Application Fee: The application fee varies depending on the size of the business. 

Small businesses and charities pay a lower fee compared to medium or large organisations.

  1. Await a Decision: After submitting the application and supporting documents, the Home Office will review the application and may conduct a compliance visit to the employer’s premises. 

The decision can take several weeks.

Responsibilities of Sponsor Licence Holders

Once a business obtains a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence, it must adhere to certain responsibilities:

  • Record Keeping: 

Employers must keep accurate records of all sponsored workers, including their contact details, immigration status, and copies of their passports and biometric residence permits.

  • Monitoring and Reporting: 

Employers must monitor the attendance and compliance of sponsored workers. 

They are required to report any changes in the worker’s circumstances, such as changes in job role or salary, to the Home Office.

  • Compliance with Immigration Laws: 

Employers must ensure that they and their sponsored workers comply with all UK immigration laws. 

Non-compliance can result in penalties and the revocation of the sponsor’s licence.

Skilled Worker Visa: Overview

The Skilled Worker visa allows non-UK nationals to work in the UK for an approved employer holding a sponsor licence. 

This visa category aims to attract skilled professionals to fill roles in various sectors, including healthcare, IT, engineering, and finance.

Eligibility Criteria for Skilled Workers

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Job Offer: The applicant must have a confirmed job offer from a UK employer with a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence.
  • Skill Level: The job must meet the required skill level (RQF level 3 or above, equivalent to A-levels).
  • Salary Threshold: The applicant must be offered a salary that meets the minimum threshold, typically £25,600 per year or the going rate for the job, whichever is higher.
  • English Language Proficiency: The applicant must demonstrate proficiency in English, typically through an approved English language test or an academic qualification taught in English.
  • Points-Based System: The applicant must score at least 70 points under the points-based system, with points awarded for factors such as the job offer, salary, skill level, and English language proficiency.

Benefits of the Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker visa offers several benefits for both employees and employers:

  • Pathway to Settlement: 

Skilled workers can apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) after five years, providing a route to permanent residency in the UK.

  • Family Inclusion: 

Visa holders can bring their dependents (spouse/partner and children) to the UK.

  • Flexibility: 

Skilled Worker visa holders can switch jobs within the same category without needing to leave the UK, provided the new employer also holds a sponsor licence.

  • Work and Study: 

Visa holders can work for their sponsor in the job described on their Certificate of Sponsorship and pursue additional courses of study.

How FreshStart UK Simplifies the Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence Application Process

FreshStart UK as an immigration and investment consultant provides expert guidance and support to businesses seeking the Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence. 

With a team of seasoned immigration specialists, FreshStart UK assists in navigating the complex application process, ensuring that all documentation is accurate and complete. They offer comprehensive services, including pre-application audits, compliance training, and ongoing support to ensure businesses meet all legal requirements. 

By leveraging their expertise, FreshStart UK helps companies streamline the application process, avoid common pitfalls, and successfully secure their sponsor licence, enabling them to attract and hire top global talent efficiently.


The Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence is a vital tool for UK employers seeking to attract and retain top talent from all over the world. 

By obtaining this licence, businesses can ensure they have access to the skills and expertise needed to thrive in a competitive global market. 

The application process may be rigorous, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges, making it a worthwhile investment for any forward-thinking organisation.

With a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence, employers can enhance their workforce, drive innovation, and contribute to economic growth, all while complying with UK immigration laws. For skilled workers, the Skilled Worker visa offers an excellent opportunity to advance their careers and build a life in the UK, benefiting from its diverse and dynamic economy.

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What is a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence?

A Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence is a permit granted by the UK Home Office to employers, allowing them to sponsor foreign workers for the Skilled Worker visa. This licence is essential for businesses looking to hire non-UK nationals to fill skilled roles.

How can FreshStart UK help with obtaining a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence?

FreshStart UK provides expert guidance and support throughout the application process. Their services include pre-application audits, compliance training, and ongoing support to ensure businesses meet all legal requirements, helping them successfully secure the sponsor licence.

What are the eligibility criteria for obtaining a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence?

To be eligible, employers must be a legitimate business operating in the UK, have no history of non-compliance with immigration laws, possess appropriate HR systems, and offer a genuine vacancy that meets skill level and salary requirements.

What are the benefits of the Skilled Worker visa for employees and employers?

For employees, the Skilled Worker visa provides a pathway to settlement, the ability to bring dependents, job flexibility, and the opportunity to work and study in the UK. For employers, it ensures access to a global talent pool, enhances workforce diversity, and aids in compliance with UK immigration laws.

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