Obtaining and safeguarding a Sponsor Licence to bring non-EU workers to the UK

  • To employ non-EU nationals in your UK business, you will need a Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsor licence to apply for their certificates of sponsorship (virtual permission to work).
  • It is essential to fully comply with the licence requirements during and after the application process, to avoid breaching the UK’s strict and complex immigration laws.
  • We will make sure whether a Tier 2 or Tier 5 licence is your best option, help you apply and make sure you remain fully compliant once your licence is in place.

Employing non-EU nationals in your business may be an attractive and practical solution, but the best route you should take to achieve your aims is not always clear, and the application process is demanding and time-consuming.

You will need either a Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsor licence, which will allow you to apply for and issue a certificate of sponsorship (virtual permission to work) for each non-EU national you want to hire. You’ll then need to prepare and submit a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa application for each individual, so they can enter the UK and work for you.

It is essential you maintain compliance with the UK’s immigration laws. These laws are complex and change frequently, so it’s all too easy to make mistakes. Care is needed, as it is a civil (and in some circumstances, a criminal) offence to employ someone to work in the UK who does not have the correct immigration permission.

All this may seem daunting, but as specialists in immigration law we are here to provide expert guidance and lighten your workload. By understanding your particular business needs, we can talk you through all the options available to you, and ensure you take the most appropriate route.

If you decide to apply for a Tier 2 or 5 sponsor licence, we will advise you about the application process and help you prepare your application. Crucially, we will also help you develop your record keeping and monitoring systems in line with Home Office requirements, conduct on-site training and carry out mock audits to make sure you are fully compliant.

What we offer

We offer a range of immigration services for companies of all sizes, in all industry sectors. To reduce your HR burden, we can:

  • Manage your sponsor licence by acting as your nominated representative
  • Help you report any changes to the Home Office
  • Make a detailed business case for additional Certificates of Sponsorship
  • Show you the correct way to conduct the recruitment processes to meet the stringent Resident Labour Market Test
  • Keep you updated with changes in the UK immigration laws that are likely to affect you

All this should help you stay compliant and protect the A-rating for your sponsor licence. However, if your licence is suspended or down-graded, or you are if you are issued with a civil penalty fine for employing illegal workers, we can investigate your case, make sure you are resolutely represented and provide an expert robust defence.

You can depend on our support and expertise throughout the whole process of employing non-EU nationals in the UK, from obtaining a Sponsor Licence to setting up and reviewing your immigration compliance systems and policies.

Contact our solicitors

Get in touch with our legal experts for advice.