How long does it take to obtain a sponsor licence to sponsor skilled workers? banner


How long does it take to obtain a sponsor licence to sponsor skilled workers?

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The end of free movement is fast approaching at 11 pm on the 31 December 2020. With the end of free movement of EU nationals and the introduction of the new points based Immigration system in January 2021, UK employers are enquiring about making their first sponsor licence application and asking the question 'how long does it take to get Sponsor Licence in the UK?'. Timing can be critical as without a Sponsor Licence UK businesses won't be able to recruit overseas workers from either non-EEA countries or from the EU after the end of free movement.

UK Sponsor Licence solicitors

London based OTS Solicitors specialise in business immigration law . Their expert team of sponsor licence solicitors can advise your business on applying for a Sponsor Licence, sponsor licence management and the new skilled worker visa. Call the immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here. Appointments are available through video conferencing, Skype or telephone appointment.

Sponsor Licence processing times

The Home Office estimates that it is currently taking about eight weeks to process a Sponsor Licence application from date of submission of the application. However, sponsor licence solicitors say that it takes time from the date that a UK business decides to secure a Sponsor Licence until the business is ready to submit its Sponsor Licence application. That adds to the overall time that it takes to get a Sponsor Licence.

Some employers may be tempted to recruit overseas workers without first securing a Sponsor Licence but companies shouldn’t do that as they will be in breach of Immigration Rules. If Immigration Rules are broken this will impact on the ability of the business to obtain a Sponsor Licence in future.

How can a UK business speed up the Sponsor Licence application process?

If the estimated Home Office Sponsor Licence application processing time of eight weeks is too long for your business to wait for its Sponsor Licence then speedier processing is available at a cost.

UK employers can elect to pay the standard Home Office Sponsor Licence application fee (the Sponsor Licence application fee depends on the size of the organisation) and in addition pay for the Home Office Sponsor Licence premium processing service. The premium processing service promises a speedy Sponsor Licence decision at an additional Home Office fee of £500. This additional fee helps reduce the Sponsor Licence processing time from around eight weeks to ten days.

Sponsor licence solicitors urge caution before businesses rush into making a Sponsor Licence application as it pays to spend time in preparation before making the application to ensure that your company has the best chance of quickly obtaining its Sponsor Licence. If your first Sponsor Licence application is rejected or refused then that just adds to delays.

Common reasons for businesses to experience problems with their first Sponsor Licence applications are:

  • Not getting a sponsor licence solicitor to prepare their application and supporting letter or statement and therefore not addressing the key issues in the application form
  • Not submitting the correct paperwork and documents for the nature of your business when applying for the Sponsor Licence
  • The Home Office having issues with the choice of key personnel or the company not appointing the necessary key personnel before submission of the application
  • The Home Office deciding that it needs to conduct a pre-Sponsor Licence compliance visit or audit before deciding whether to grant a Sponsor Licence
  • After a Home Office pre-Sponsor Licence visit a Home Office official determining that the business doesn’t have sufficiently robust practices and procedures in place to manage the Sponsor Licence and to comply with its reporting and recording duties under the Sponsor Licence.

Sponsor licence solicitors say that it is of real benefit to get detailed Sponsor Licence advice on your Sponsor Licence application as by doing so your business can best ensure that:

  • Your application is processed by the Home Office as quickly as possible and
  • You minimise the risk of the Home Office rejecting or refusing the Sponsor Licence application.

What happens after a Sponsor Licence is processed?

If the Home Office grants your business a sponsor licence then you can't immediately appoint an overseas worker without going through the correct procedural process. Firstly your company needs to allocate a Certificate of Sponsorship to the new recruit and pay the relevant fees (such as the Certificate of Sponsorship fee and the Immigration skills charge).

Once the Certificate of Sponsorship has been allocated the successful job applicant can then apply to the Home Office for their skilled worker visa. It is only after the work visa application has been processed and right to work checks have been completed that the overseas worker can commence Employment.

How can Sponsor Licence solicitors help your business?

When it comes to deciding whether or not to make a Sponsor Licence application it pays to know what the application process and subsequent sponsor licence management entails. OTS Solicitors have a specialist business immigrationdepartment where its sponsor licence solicitors have substantial experience on:

  • Advising on the type of Sponsor Licence your business requires, for example, to recruit overseas workers on skilled worker visas or Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visas
  • Identifying whether the jobs you anticipate needing to recruit overseas workers to fill are likely to meet the eligibility criteria for the skilled worker visa under the points based Immigration system. For example, in relation to the skill level required for the job or minimum salary threshold
  • Assisting you identify the most appropriate key personnel to be named in the Sponsor Licence application
  • Preparing your online Sponsor Licence application and letter or statement in support together with ensuring that your application is supported by the submission of the correct paperwork and documents
  • Advising on the likelihood that the Home Office will want to conduct a pre-Sponsor Licence compliance visit or audit and also ensuring that your business is ready for audit by checking your HR systems and processes are compliant with Sponsor Licence reporting and recording duties and key personnel are aware of their Sponsor Licence reporting and recording duties
  • Assisting your business retain its Sponsor Licence through provision of sponsor licence management services.

Sponsor Licence solicitors

OTS Solicitors are specialist sponsor licence solicitors with the expertise to guide your business through the Sponsor Licence application process and to manage your sponsor licence for your business .

OTS Solicitors specialise in business immigration and employment law and are recommended in the two leading law directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession. For Sponsor Licence advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us here. Appointments are available through video conferencing, Skype or telephone appointment.

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