Interpreting the Sponsor Licensure Application Evaluation Process

This article covers the following-


When you’re getting ready to apply for a Sponsor Licence, there are several things you need to think about. The process of reviewing Sponsor Licence applications usually includes looking closely at different aspects to make sure that the organization applying to be a sponsor can fulfill its duties and responsibilities properly. In this article, we will concentrate on the important areas to consider when assessing Sponsor Licence applications.

Assessing Eligibility Criteria in Sponsor Licence Applications

To be eligible for a Sponsor Licence, it’s crucial to present the correct documents demonstrating that your business is legitimate and has a presence in the UK. As outlined in the Employer’s Guide to Appendix A Sponsor Licence Documents, most organizations must submit at least four supporting documents detailed in the Appendix A. There are three tables (Tables 1 to 3) that specify the documents needed for various types of organizations. For instance, if your organization is subject to regulation or inspection, you should refer to Tables 1 to 3 to identify the required documents. Subsequently, Table 4 outlines additional documents that can be submitted to fulfill the minimum requirement of four documents.

It’s crucial to obtain the right documents to demonstrate the authenticity and operation of your company in the UK. Seeking legal assistance is advisable to ensure a well-prepared sponsor licence application.

Sponsor Duties When Applying for a Licence

When reviewing a sponsor licence application, the Home Office may examine whether your organization has established human resource and recruitment systems to fulfill the obligations associated with being a sponsor. The sponsor duties are outlined in the Home Office Guidance dated 31 March 2023, on page 10; which elaborates –

Your duties as a licensed sponsor include:

  • Reporting duties
  • Record-keeping duties
  • Complying with our immigration laws, including all parts of the Worker and Temporary Worker sponsor guidance
  • Complying with wider UK law
  • Not engaging in behaviour or actions that are not conducive to the public good

Reporting duties

If there are specific changes in the worker’s situation, it’s necessary to report them within either 10 or 20 working days, depending on the nature of the changes. For instance, if the worker is absent from work for more than 10 consecutive working days without permission, this absence must be reported no later than 10 working days after the tenth day of absence.

Record-keeping duties

You are required to keep a list of documents for each worker, and the specific documents to be retained are detailed in Appendix D. This appendix also provides information on the duration for which you must maintain these records;

Complying with immigration laws

This involves the employment of individuals who possess the necessary qualifications or experience for their respective roles;

Complying with wider UK law

This extends beyond immigration laws and encompasses compliance with other regulations, such as those related to preventing illegal employment;

Not engaging in behaviour that is not conducive to the public good

Organizations should conduct themselves in a manner that is not harmful to the public good, ensuring their behaviour and actions align with societal well-being.

Key Personnel in Sponsor Licence Applications

In order to demonstrate compliance with sponsor duties, it is essential to indicate in the sponsor licence application that your organization has the necessary key personnel to fulfill specific roles. The key personnel encompass an Authorising Officer, Key Contact, Level 1 User, and Level 2 User. Additionally, certain key personnel members will have access to the sponsorship management system (referred to as ‘SMS’).

Authorising Officer

The Authorising Officer is the senior most person in your organization responsible for hiring migrant workers. It’s important to have an Authorising Officer at all times while holding the license. This person makes sure that all the duties required for sponsoring are fulfilled.

Key Contact

This individual will act as the main point of contact between your organization and the Home Office.

Level 1 User

A Level 1 User takes care of the day to day management of the license. They handle tasks like assigning the Certificate of Sponsorship to workers and reporting any changes in circumstances using the SMS. When you apply initially, your chosen Level 1 User must be someone who works for the company, is a partner, or holds a director position.

Level 2 User

Access is more limited for a Level 2 User. After the sponsor license is approved, a Level 1 User can appoint a Level 2 User.

Know EVERYTHING about how UK-based companies can acquire a Sponsor Licence

Employment Requirements for Specific Routes

When reviewing applications for a sponsor license under the Skilled Worker, Scale-up, or Global Business Mobility routes, it is necessary to demonstrate that the job offered is authentic and meets the specified salary and skill level requirements.

Genuine Vacancy

The position must be real. It shouldn’t be a job that doesn’t actually exist or one that’s made up just for the sponsored worker to come to or stay in the UK.


The worker you’re sponsoring must receive at least the minimum salary defined for that specific route, as outlined in the Immigration Rules.


The job should be at a suitable skill level, and it must fall within an eligible standard occupational classification code as detailed in the Appendix Skilled Occupations.

Looking at Criminal Convictions and Civil Penalties in Sponsor Licence Applications

The Home Office might investigate the following individuals to determine if they have any criminal convictions or if they’ve faced civil penalties or charges:

  • Owner;
  • Director;
  • Authorising Officer;
  • Key Contact;
  • Level 1 User;
  • Any person involved in the day-to-day running of the business;

Pre-licence Compliance Checks in Sponsor Licence Applications

Once the sponsor licence application is submitted, the Home Office might conduct compliance check if:

  • There are uncertainties about the evidence you’ve submitted.
  • Additional information is needed.
  • Checks with other government departments are necessary.
  • Your business has limited or no physical premises.

These compliance checks may be announced or unannounced and may involve interviews.

Watch our vide on: Challenges in Obtaining a UK Sponsorship Licence

How Conroy Baker Ltd can help?

We are expert UK immigration lawyers, bringing extensive experience and acknowledged proficiency in guiding employers through the sponsorship regime, facilitating recruitment from overseas to fulfil their talent requirements.

Leveraging our profound understanding of the sponsorship process, we offer a comprehensive evaluation of skilled worker visa costs and the broader impacts on your organization when sponsoring migrant workers. For specialized immigration guidance, feel free to get in touch with us on +44 203 773 2948 or [email protected] to book a consultation.