Business immigration

Addressing immigration matters by devising effective and practical solutions

Our esteemed team provides invaluable assistance to individuals and organisations in addressing their immigration matters by devising effective and practical solutions. We understand the challenges faced in managing the needs of businesses and employees while navigating the requirements and processes of the Home Office.

Enabling organisations to recruit top-tier candidates is vital for their growth and competitiveness in the global market. Acquiring a sponsor’s license from the Home Office empowers organisations to achieve this goal. We offer comprehensive and personalised guidance to organisations throughout the process of applying for a sponsor’s license, as well as ongoing support and advice to ensure compliance with sponsorship duties and obligations.

We serve organisations worldwide, at various stages of growth, ranging from startups and SMEs to multinational corporations, across diverse sectors and industries. Our team excels in delivering exceptional advice to organisations on all aspects of sponsoring and employing staff in the UK.

Our expertise covers a wide range of long-term visa routes to the UK, including:

  • Skilled Worker visas, including sponsorship in specific sectors like Health and Care workers and Ministers of Religion
  • Global Business Mobility visas
  • Global Talent Visas
  • Start-up and Innovator visas
  • International Sportsperson visas
  • UK Ancestry visas

Additionally, our Business Immigration team specialises in assisting both employers and individuals with short-term work visa applications.

We possess extensive knowledge and experience in various visa routes, including:

  • Creative Worker visas
  • Youth Mobility Scheme
  • High Potential Individual visas
  • Graduate visas
  • Graduate Trainee visas
  • Seasonal Workers

Our team is well-versed in investment and business development visa categories and can provide assistance with extensions and settlement applications under routes that are no longer open to new applicants, such as the Investor and Entrepreneur routes.

Moreover, we offer tailored guidance to individuals and their accompanying family members who seek to relocate to the UK for work or business purposes.

We are equipped to provide comprehensive advice and support throughout the entire application process, from initial entry to settlement. We understand the importance of ensuring clients have a clear understanding of the requirements from the outset, minimising any difficulties during extension and settlement stages.

While our focus lies in immigration law, we possess extensive experience in personal immigration matters. We collaborate with colleagues in other teams to offer a range of complementary services to our clients. For employers and individuals, we closely collaborate with talented lawyers in our Employment and Crime, Fraud, and Regulatory teams.

In cases where employment relationships unfortunately break down, we provide comprehensive advice, working alongside our Employment team when necessary. Our aim is to ensure individuals understand their rights and available options to remain lawfully in the UK, while helping employers comprehend their obligations to the Home Office.

Furthermore, in conjunction with our Landlord & Tenant, Fraud, and Regulatory team, we offer guidance to businesses, landlords, and individuals on ‘Right to Work’ checks.

We also assist in navigating the civil penalty and criminal offence regimes related to illegal working or renting property to individuals without the relevant permission.

Sponsorship license FAQ

Since the implementation of the newly formatted Points Based System, which includes the Skilled Worker and Senior or Specialist Worker routes, certain stringent aspects of the work permission process and visa requirements have been relaxed. Notably, the mandatory minimum skills level for the Senior or Specialist Worker route has been reduced to RQF 3, and the Resident Labour Market Test is no longer required.

Here are some key questions and answers regarding sponsorship licenses that may be of interest to both employers and individuals: 

Possibly. If the individual does not already have permission to live and work in the UK, you will need a sponsorship license to employ them from outside the UK.
Yes, since freedom of movement between the UK and the European Union ended on December 31, 2020. A sponsorship license is required to employ EEA and Swiss citizens who arrive in the UK after that date and do not have permission to live and work in the UK. However, European and Swiss nationals who arrived before December 31, 2020, can continue to be employed, provided they apply for status on the EU Settlement Scheme by June 30, 2021, and their application is granted.
No, Irish citizens are allowed to live and work in the UK without requiring permission.

To be granted a sponsorship license, your organisation must be genuine and lawfully operating in the UK. You must have a history free of unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or certain other crimes. Additionally, you need to demonstrate that you have not previously failed to fulfil your sponsorship duties with previous licenses. 

Having appropriate systems in place to monitor sponsored employees is crucial, and the Home Office may conduct unannounced visits to ensure compliance.

There are two main routes: the Worker route and the Temporary Worker route. The Worker route covers Skilled Workers, Health and Care Workers, Senior or Specialist Workers (intra-company transfers), Ministers of Religion, Scale-up Workers, and International sportspeople. The Temporary Worker route replaces the old Tier 5 Immigration Rules and includes various categories such as Charity Workers, Creative or Sporting Workers, Government Authorised Exchange Workers, and more.
You need to complete an online application form and provide information about your business. Supporting documents listed in Appendix A of the Sponsorship Guidance are required. Additionally, you must assign specific duties associated with the sponsorship license to key personnel within your staff. The number of workers you plan to sponsor in the first year will determine the number of Certificates of Sponsorship you can assign.
The fee varies depending on the type of license, the size of your organization, and whether it has charitable status. Detailed information about current fees can be found on the Home Office website.
It is possible. The Home Office may visit your business premises to assess your trustworthiness and capability to fulfil sponsorship duties. Digital inspections were introduced in late August 2022.
Upon successful approval, your organisation will be added to the Register of Sponsors on the Home Office website. The sponsorship license will be valid for 4 years unless revoked by the Home Office or voluntarily surrendered before its expiration. If you wish to continue sponsoring migrants beyond the initial 4 years, you must apply for license renewal before it expires. As a sponsor, you will be granted access to the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), allowing you to sponsor workers who meet the relevant criteria by assigning them a Certificate of Sponsorship. When assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship, you may be required to pay an Immigration Skills Charge, unless an exemption applies. The charge amount depends on your organisation’s size and the duration of sponsorship, and it cannot be passed onto the worker. Once you have assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship, the prospective employee will need to apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK in order to work for your company. The Home Office Sponsor Register categorises companies into ‘A’ and ‘B’ ratings. What rating will my company receive? When your license is initially granted, you will be awarded an A-rating if the Home Office assesses your business as eligible and suitable for holding a sponsorship license. However, during the course of your sponsorship license, the Home Office has the authority to downgrade your organisation to a B-rating if it determines that you are not fulfilling your sponsorship duties or behaving in a manner inappropriate for sponsors. If you are downgraded, you will receive a sponsorship action plan at a cost, outlining the necessary steps to regain an A-rating. Failure to meet the plan's requirements will result in the revocation of your sponsorship license.

If you fail to meet all the eligibility and suitability criteria, your application will be refused. In such cases, you may not be able to re-apply for six months. However, you can request a review of the decision only if you believe there was a simple case working error that led to the refusal. This can be done through an Error Correction Request.

No, unless you are a sole trader looking to sponsor someone to work within your own business.

No, you cannot. You can apply for a sponsorship license to sponsor workers who will be directly employed by your company for the purpose of running its business. However, you cannot sponsor workers and supply them as labor to other organisations. Doing so would result in the revocation of your license.

"Ali was absolutely incredible, he listen to me attentively, he advised me with extreme precision. He was very patient and dealt with all matters professionally."

Ahmed Bukhari

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