How Long Does it Take to Get a Sponsor License – 2024 Guide

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If you want to apply for the sponsor license to the Home Office, you are probably wondering how long the whole process will last. Since the COVID-19 pandemic influenced all processes and terms, every organization structure has changed. Therefore, we prepared a comprehensive article about the all necessary details you need to know for getting a sponsor license.

What is a sponsor license?

A sponsor license is currently a tool to allow employers to hire non-EEA countries and EEA countries. The sponsor license is valid for four years and after that period it can be renewed. One very important thing to know before applying is that UK Visas and Immigration declares that obtaining a sponsor license is a privilege and not a right. Therefore, they come with certain eligibility criteria that employers will have to satisfy with UKVI.

Sponsor license: how long does it take?

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At this point, the Home Office declares that the processing time lasts eight weeks. However, employers should be ready to wait for sponsor license applications for approximately two to three months.

Unfortunately, the current pandemic situation is affecting all aspects of our lives including this one. Home Office operations take to process much longer due to the new terms and rules. Also, from 1 January 2024, employers need to hold a valid sponsor license in order to hire non-UK resident workers, including EU citizens coming to the UK from 2024. All the employers who do not have this license will not be able to hire any migrant workers or even extend work visas for the current employees.

However, that is not all. The COVID-19 pandemic affect other factors this year. For instance, the organization’s structure is modified and now people need to provide more documents and details than they would before. Also, it affected the quality of the application submission and the requirements for the application.

Sponsor license application priority service

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Sponsor License Application Priority Service gives a chance to the applicants to pay the fee of £500 and get their application processed within 10 working days. This is especially beneficial for the employers who find candidates for their business and want to finish the whole process of getting the certificate of sponsorship faster.

Why is it important to get one if you want to hire workers from overseas next year?

All employers need to have a sponsor license by the beginning of 2024 if they want to hire both not and EEA nationals to work them in the UK. Organizations that do not have a sponsor license will not be able to access talents because the competition is very tight and candidates are checking the register of licensed sponsors when they are seeking the job. Therefore, if you want to get one, you can check the .

How do you apply?

The applications process is very easy because you can conduct it online. You need to fill a form and send certain evidence with the completed application. Before the pandemic, people needed to send evidence via post that s certified by a solicitor. However, now UKVI allowed all employers to send the evidence through email.

The application you send needs to reach the authorities within five working days from the day you submitted it. In case they do not get the evidence, you will need to start the entire process from the beginning. The required evidence depends on the organization type. However, there are some general guides. You will probably need to show that you own a genuine organization that comes with the ability to employ overseas nationals.

Do you have any tips on applying?

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When you are applying in the UK, it is essential to make sure that you own the correct documents. However, you should also think about vacancies you want to fill. In fact, you will just lose time and there would not be a point in starting the whole application procedure and sending the evidence when you realize that you do not have the correct information. The thing that will happen is that the UKVI will respond asking for the evidence and that information, and they will refuse your application because it is not completed. One more thing you should do is ensure that you have the correct key personnel in place.

More precisely, those individuals need to be ready and prepared to take the responsibility for their work and role according to the sponsor management system. Also, these people will need to work due to the special terms and conditions. Therefore, you as an employer should look for professional assistants. Those key personnel needs to meet the requirements such as record keeping, reporting, and right-to-work checks are up to date. Your tasks also include notifying UKVI if there happen to be any changes inside the organization or with the migrant’s employment. As you see, the rules of obtaining and maintaining a sponsor license are very strict. In case that you violate them, UKVI will issue a fine that can cost £10,000 and you could also get a prosecution.

What alternatives are there if you don’t apply?

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One of the main questions that people want to know the answer to is what will happen if they do not apply. More precisely, whether they have some alternative. Unfortunately, there are not really any of them. However, there will be other immigration options available to individuals without the limitations of skills or salary levels. For instance, there are sponsored workers in categories Tier 1 and Tier 2. Therefore, you can hire their workers for your organization and business without the need to apply for sponsorship.

There is also a Tier 4 category that includes students or some individuals that obtain graduate scheme visas, so they can also work. In the Tier 5 category are included youth mobility, scheme holders. Also, from this year there is a special British national overseas visa. Some other categories of people that can be eligible to work in the UK include people on settled status, indefinite leave to remain and the UK ancestry visa, and the spouses and partners of settled persons with a family visa.