Sponsorship Guideline

This era Home Office began the compress of their points-based system – the biggest shake-up of our immigration system for 45 years. At the end of November Home Office will be launching the new point base system.
Under the points-based system, employers will need a sponsor licence to bring in skilled or temporary workers from outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland. You should make your application for a sponsor licence as soon as possible so Home Office can make sure you get the earliest possible decision and minimize any delays to your recruitment process.

Sponsoring workers under the points-based system
This page is for prospective United Kingdom sponsors who want to apply for a licence to employ migrant workers under the points-based system, and agree to meet a number of sponsorship duties.

The licence
You must have a licence to sponsor skilled workers, temporary workers or students under the new points-based system.
To get a licence, you must apply online and send your payment and documents to support your application to Home Office.

The tiers and categories

You can currently apply for licences to sponsor tier 2 and tier 5 workers.

Tier 2 has four categories of workers:

  • skilled workers (general);
  • intra-company transfers;
  • sports people; and
  • ministers of religion.

Tier 5 has two categories of workers:

  • Temporary workers; and
  • The youth mobility scheme.

Temporary workers include the following sub-categories:

  • creative and sporting workers;
  • charity workers;
  • religious workers;
  • government authorised exchange; and
  • international agreement.

Sponsorship duties
Sponsors are expected to take responsibility for making sure that migrants comply with their immigration conditions, by keeping records on each migrant, and reporting any changes to us, such as if they do not turn up for work. If you do not comply with your duties, you can have your licence downgraded to a B rating or withdrawn.

Certificates of sponsorship
Sponsors are responsible for assigning certificates of sponsorship to migrants. As well as having a certificate of sponsorship, migrants must also pass a points-based assessment to come to or stay in the United Kingdom. Migrants will need permission to come to the United Kingdom (known as ‘entry clearance’) and a biometric identity card before entering the United Kingdom.