top of page

Things you must know for sponsor licence application

Updated: Jun 27

According to the existing immigration visa types stipulated by the UK Home Office, obtaining a skilled worker visa is one of the quickest ways to immigrate to the UK. If an employer wants to issue a skilled worker visa to an employee, they must first apply for a sponsor licence to be eligible to issue work visa quotas. The specific process for applying for a sponsor licence can be found in the "Home Office guidance for workers and temporary workers - Part 1: Sponsor's guidance." Sponsor licence applicants (employers) can learn about the specific regulations that need to be followed in Section L8 of this guide to ensure a successful sponsor licence application. Section L8 clearly outlines two key points that must be followed: eligibility criteria and suitability criteria.

Firstly, the eligibility criteria require the sponsor licence applicant to submit relevant evidence proving that they are a legitimate business and employer operating legally in the UK. Secondly, the suitability criteria specify the key aspects in which the Home Office will focus on during the review process, such as whether the applicant organisation is "honest, reliable, and credible," ensuring that the applicant is capable of fulfilling their responsibilities as a sponsor. Additionally, applicants need to ensure that their company has a genuine human resources and recruitment department to fulfil or continue fulfilling their sponsorship responsibilities towards its employees. Furthermore, the Home Office will conduct a visit assessment of the sponsor licence applicant before or after issuing the sponsor licence to ensure compliance with this requirement. It is also important to note that the Home Office may conduct unannounced inspections in person, in order to ensure that the sponsor licence applicant is indeed fulfilling their sponsorship duties. Meanwhile, applicants need to ensure that their business and key company members have no unexpired criminal records. The Home Office will also review any past non-compliance records and related evidence of the applicant as part of the assessment.

These two key aspects are crucial for sponsor licence applications. If the applicant fails to fully understand them, it may lead to serious negative consequences. The Home Office may refuse to issue the sponsor licence, resulting in the inability to reapply within the next 12 months.

Applicants need to demonstrate that they can offer "genuine" employment opportunities that meet the salary threshold for the skilled worker route. To investigate this, the Home Office will assess whether the applicant needs the position they are sponsoring based on the type of business and its employees, determining whether the addition of the position is reasonable within the current structure of the business. Sponsor licence applicants should also note that the Home Office will assess whether the sponsored position requires actual attendance at the workplace, considering the growing trend of remote work since the COVID-19 pandemic. The sponsor licence system requiring employees to work on-site may need a reform in a short future. Regarding the assessment of the work location, a case concluded in March 2024 abolished the requirement for sponsors to report hybrid and remote work arrangements to the Home Office.


Documents to be prepared before applying:

To meet the general application eligibility criteria, applicants need to prepare at least four pieces of evidence to support their application. Preparing VAT and employer’s liability insurance certificates may take a long time. Therefore, it is generally advisable to have these two documents ready before starting the submission process. Typically, an ordinary private limited company can relatively easily find the following documents, although it often depends on the actual situation:

  • Proof of registration as an employer with HMRC,

  • Recent bank statements or a letter from the bank regarding transactions with the business,

  • VAT registration certificate,

  • Proof that the applicant’s business holds £5 million in employer’s liability insurance,

  • Proof of ownership or lease of business premises.

It is worth mentioning that before the COVID-19 pandemic, sponsor licence application documents had to be original or notarised copies, but now applicants can scan them into PDF format and send them via email to the Home Office. The Home Office no longer requires applicants to provide specific work visa candidate and job information. The Home Office now accepts applications from businesses that may not need the sponsor licence immediately but might use it in the future. However, it is still advisable to be cautious. Whether you have identified work visa candidates or not, it is crucial to prepare complete supporting evidence in advance. Sometimes you may also need to provide a description of the recruitment process and results. These factors will affect the assessment of the applicant’s qualifications and the final outcome.

How Alstern can help?

Immigration laws and rules are constantly changing at all times. This is important to get the latest information. Our Immigration Solicitors have years of experience in Sponsor licence applications for UK employers and even dealing with complex applications with a high success rate. We follow up the changes of immigration law and rules that ensure every single sponsor licence application meet the latest requirements from the Home Office. If you have any questions regarding sponsor licence applications, the professional immigration team at Alstern Solicitors looks forward to your call.

We are a London-based law firm regulated by the SRA, specialising in immigration law, property and business property transfer legal services, corporate legal services, family law, and wills and probate. We have successfully assisted many clients with their legal matters and have achieved excellent results and reputation.

For more information, please contact us on 020 3923 9188 or email


Need advice

Contact our Solicitors:

020 3923 9188

or complete the form below

Thanks for submitting!

Alstern Solicitors _edited.jpg

Read the latest insights, news, articles, blogs and commentary

Insight _ Alstern Solicitors .png

Immigration Services 

Corporate Immigration

  • Sponsorship Licence Application

  • Certificate of Sponsorship Application

  • Sponsor Licence Compliance Check

  • High Skilled Worker Application

  • Employees right to work check

  • Human Resources and Immigration 

Business Immigration

  • Innovator Visa

  • Start-Up Visa

  • Global Business Mobility Routes

  • Tier 1 Investor Visa Extension

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Extension

  • Sole Representative Visa Extension

  • Turkish Businessperson Visa Extension

  • Business Visitor Visa

  • Global Talent Visa

Individual Immigration

  • Standard Visitor Visa 

  • Short Term Student Visa

  • Student/Child Student Visa

  • BNO Visa (British National Overseas)

  • Skilled Worker Visa

  • Nationality (Naturalisation)

  • Nationality (Registration- Child/Adult)

  • Indefinite Leave to Remain

  • Spouse and Partner Visa

  • Family Private Life 

  • EEA Nationals/Family member


Residential Conveyancing

  • Freehold Sale and Purchases

  • Leasehold Sale and Purchases

  • Investment and Buy to Let Properties

  • Transfers of Equity

  • Right to Buy Purchases

  • Leasehold Enfranchisement

  • Residential Lease extension

  • Mortgages/Re-mortgages

  • Share Ownership Property 

  • Deeds of Gift

Commercial Conveyancing

  • Commercial conveyancing

  • Commercial leases and licences

  • Commercial lease renewals

  • Compulsory land purchase

  • Freehold and leasehold 

  • Commercial property Sales and Purchase

  • Estate development and plot sales

Corporate & Commercial

Corporate Services

  • Business sales and purchases

  • Joint Ventures

  • Shareholder Agreements

  • Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Partnership

  • Limited Liability Partnership

  • Articles of Association

  • Setting a business

  • Employment Contact

  • Sponsor Licence Advise 

  • Contract & Term of Business

Family Law

Divorce Matters

  • Adultery and Divorce

  • Agreed Divorce

  • Annulment

  • Contested Divorce

  • Civil Partnership Dissolution

  • Divorce Guide

  • Divorce Rights

  • Grounds for Divorce

  • Divorce Costs

  • Separation First Steps

  • General Family Law Matters

  • Mediation Support

  • Domestic Violence

  • Injunctions

  • Non-Molestation Orders

  • Occupation Orders 

Children's Law Matters

  • High Net Worth Divorce

  • Divorce and Postnuptial Agreement

  • Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

  • Cohabitation Agreement

  • Cohabitation and Unmarried Partner

  • Divorce Finances

  • Divorce Financial Consent Orders

  • Freezing Orders

  • Maintenance and Child Support

  • Property and Divorce

  • Trusts and Divorce

  • Mediation Support and Financial Settlement

International Family Law Matters

  • International Adoption

  • International Children's Law

  • International Divorce

  • International Prenuptial Agreements

  • International Surrogacy Arrangements 

  • Mirror Orders 

  • All other Family and Immigration Law Matters 

Wills & Probate 

Our Services

  • Will Drafting

  • Estate Planning

  • Probate Administration

  • Contested Wills

  • Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

  • Trust Establishment & Management

Alstern Legal award .png
Alstern Solicitors award winning logo.png

Keep up to date with Alstern

Sign up to receive email updates straight to your inbox!

Alstern Solicitors _ Legal experts.png

We are ready to assist you with UK immigration matter!

bottom of page