Immigration Advice Service
001 844 290 6312 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 8 pm

Find an office

7 offices in US


Attorneys based in the
USA and the UK
Licensed USA
Immigration attorneys
We've had over 5000 applications approved
Get the correct advice from qualified immigration experts
4.7 rating 414 reviews

Sponsor License Application

We are a team of experienced immigration lawyers that care about your future.

Call us on +1 844 290 6312 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

Request a call back from our immigration experts

Hiring US workers in the UK

To employ any worker from outside of the EEA in the UK, a business will be required to make a Sponsorship License application. This includes those employing temporary workers for unpaid or charity work.

Before beginning a Sponsorship License application, a business must make sure they meet all the conditions. Staff must then be assigned the necessary roles to manage sponsorship. Once this is done, the application can be made online or by post.

Make an inquiry online or get in touch on +1844 290 6312 today for more information and advice for a UK-based business interested in employing overseas workers.

Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews Logo

What are the Sponsor License application requirements?

To be eligible to begin a Tier 5 or Tier 2 Sponsor Application, a business must:

  • Prove that they are a legitimate business;
  • Prove a non-EEA skilled worker is required for this specific job;
  • Ensure their sponsored employee passes a personality test;
  • Not have a history of failing to meet sponsorship duties;
  • Not have any unspent criminal convictions;
  • Pay an appropriate salary rate to their migrant employees.

The Home Office will expect proof that the business is genuine and has a legitimate need for an overseas worker. They may intend to validate this through a visit to the company during the application process.

How to apply for a Sponsor Licence?

You can submit your Sponsor License application online. Along with your forms, you must provide adequate supporting documents, that the Home Office will use to review your case. You don’t need to provide all the required documents if you:

  • Are a public body recognized by the UK government, such as a local authority
  • A company listed on the London Stock Exchange Main Market

If you fail to attach all the relevant documents about your business and your circumstances, your application may be refused.

Get in touch with IAS immigration attorneys to seek professional help with your Sponsor License application.

Sponsor License fees

Type of license Fee for small sponsors Fee for medium or large sponsors
Tier 2 £536 £1,476
Tier 5 £536 £536
Tier 2 and Tier 5 £536 £1,476


To qualify as a small business, you must either:

  • Have an annual turnover of £10.2 million or less
  • Have 50 employees or fewer

How can IAS help me hire US workers?

The lawyers at IAS can help with every stage of a Tier 5 or Tier 2 Sponsor application. Our packages ensure that the applying business meets all the expectations set out by the Home Office. We also provide advice and assistance in choosing the right Sponsor License for the business’ needs.

This service will prepare businesses for the ‘Genuine Business Test’ and the visit from the Home Office. Our advisers can inform staff of how to operate the Sponsorship Management System before they begin their application. Make an inquiry online or get in touch on +1844 290 6312 today for more information and advice for a UK-based business interested in employing overseas workers.

Advice Package icon

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

Application Package icon

Application Package

Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Fast Track Package icon

Fast Track Package

Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

Appeal Package icon

Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

Advice Package image

The Advice Package

With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

Fill out the form

Request the Advice Package
Application Package image

The Application Package

With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

Fill out the form

Request the Application Package
Fast Track Package image

The Fast Track Package

Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

Fill out the form

Request the Fast Track Package
Appeal Package image

The Appeal Package

By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

Fill out the form

Request the Appeal Package

Get in touch with our expert immigration attorneys to receive assistance on your visa application. Learn more

Request a call back from our immigration experts

Related pages for your continued reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

If the application is successful, the UK business will receive an A grade license rating from the Home Office. They will then be placed on the UK Sponsorship License Register.

This will mean that they will be able to apply for Certificates of Sponsorship for any non-EEA workers they intend to bring to the UK for a suitable job. They can do this via the Sponsorship Management System (SMS).

From the date of issue, the Sponsor License is valid for four years. If companies do not follow the strict duties outlined by the Home Office, they face a number of penalties. These include Sponsor License suspensionSponsor License revocation or a Civil Penalty.

The Home Office may refuse Tier 5 or Tier 2 Sponsor applications and applications for renewal for reasons. The most common include:

  • The business’ failure to pass a Compliance Audit;
  • Failure to provide sufficient documents for sponsored migrant workers;
  • Not informing the Home Office of significant changes in the running of the business;
  • Not responding to Home Office communications in time;
  • Failure to pass a ‘genuineness test’;
  • Failure to comply with Home Office security standards.

If your Sponsor License application is refused you will not be allowed to reapply for another six months. This period is known as a Sponsor License cooling off period.

If you make a Tier 2 Sponsor application before this time has passed, it is likely that it will be rejected and you will lose your application fee.

A Sponsor License will be needed to employ anyone from outside of the EEA moving to the UK under a:

  • Tier 2 Work Visa


  • Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa

Depending on the type of worker required, the relevant Sponsorship License application will need to be made.

The Tier 2 Work Visa also includes those applying as ministers of religion or sportspeople.

For intra-company transfers, the UK sponsor has a Sponsor License before an employee can be transferred.

For those entering on a Tier 1 Visa, such as the Exceptional Talent Visa, no Sponsor License will be required.

Please note that the Tier 3 Unskilled Worker Visa has been suspended. UK-based businesses cannot apply to sponsor non-EEA nationals for unskilled labor.

Organisations can renew their sponsor licence by logging on to their sponsorship management system (SMS), submitting a renewal application, and paying the appropriate fee.

To renew the sponsor licence, a Level 1 user must submit the application via the SMS. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to renew your sponsor licence:

  1. The appropriate person should log on to the online sponsorship management system and go to the Licence Summary, Application and Services tab
  2. Select Licence Renewal
  3. Choose the appropriate fee based on your organisation size and type
  4. Click Next
  5. On the Licence Renewal payment screen, choose OK to continue with the payment option
  6. Pay the fee when prompted
  7. The Licence Renewal Submission Success screen will appear
  8. Select the Submission Sheet
  9. Print and/ or save a copy and keep the document with the rest of your sponsorship documents
  10. Track the progress of your application visa the Applications and Renewals Tracking page
  11. Wait for a decision on your renewal

It is essential that employers renew their sponsor licence in advance of the expiration of the licence. It should be renewed every four years and renewal applications may be submitted no earlier than three months in advance of the expiry date.

Employers may access all the details related to their licence in their SMS. If an employer fails to renew their sponsor licence in time, they will not legally be allowed to employ non-UK workers. Strict penalties apply to organisations that fail to hold the correct sponsorship permissions.

Before renewing your licence, you should be sure that all the details on your account are correct, and that UKVI has been informed of any changes relating to your business, staff, or employees.

Not all sponsor licence renewal applications are granted. If you need support in submitting your sponsor licence renewal application, contact IAS for an immediate discussion about how we can help.

The lawyers at IAS are some of the best immigration lawyers in the UK. They have an extensive knowledge of Sponsorship License applications and business law. Whether making a Tier 5 or Tier 2 sponsor application, IAS will ensure the chances of success for any business are maximized.

We will:

  • Ensure that the business is eligible to obtain a Sponsor License;
  • Advise on sourcing the required HR documents and employment records;
  • Inform on time frames and ensure they are met;
  • Provide advice and support on the Resident Labour Market Test;
  • Maintain contact with the Home Office on behalf of the business;
  • Prepare the business for Home Office visits;
  • Ensure all practices are compliant with expectations;
  • Complete all application forms to the highest standard.

More information for Tier 2 employees on our services.

Our tailor-made Sponsorship License Application Package includes all these services. We also offer Immigration Consultancy, Immigration Audits, and training for HR departments. Contact us today on +1844 290 6312 or use our online contact form for more information or advice for a UK-based company.