Sponsor Licence Application from Canada

A sponsor licence allows companies to issue certificates of sponsorship to overseas workers as part of the recruitment process.

If you are planning to move from Canada to the UK for work or you are a business looking to hire foreign workers contact Total Law for assistance with your visa application. Speak to one of our expert immigration advisers today. Call +1 844 290 6312 or use the online chat to get in touch.

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    What is a Sponsor Licence?

    The sponsor license is required by UK employers to employ workers from countries such as Canada. A sponsor license allows UK companies to hire skilled workers from overseas to work either regularly or temporarily under various categories.

    The license shows they are permitted to sponsor you as an employee under a specific job title and have been approved by the UK Home Office.

    You will then be able to apply for a Skilled Worker or Temporary Worker visa in order to work in the UK. You must have a job offer in place before applying for a UK work visa.  Once your employer applies for their sponsor license and issues you a Certificate of Sponsorship, you will be able to complete your visa application.

    The category of sponsor license your employer will need to apply for depends on the type of job the organisation is wishing to fulfil.

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    Sponsor Licence Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible for the sponsor license, the UK employer must:

    • Prove that they do not have any criminal convictions for immigration offences, fraud, or other crimes
    • Prove that they do not have a history of failing to carry out sponsorship duties from a previously held Sponsor Licence

    The UK employer will be required to provide detailed information on their organisation in order to apply online. For this reason, the sponsor licence application can seem complex to navigate without assistance.

    The employer can choose to complete a sponsor licence application to sponsor either regular workers or temporary workers, depending on the nature of work and job title the employee/visa applicant will be applying under.

    The UK Home Office will require the employer to provide evidence that the employment of a foreign worker is necessary for the company due to a lack of local workers who were willing or capable to perform the job in question.

    Once the employer’s sponsor license application is accepted, a certificate of sponsorship can be assigned to each regular or temporary foreign worker to allow them to apply for a work permit.  

    What Type of Sponsor Licence Is Appropriate?

    There are several types of sponsor license for visa applicants.

    Temporary Worker Sponsor Licences

    The Temporary Worker visa is reserved for skilled workers who will be taking on temporary employment in the UK. The Temporary Worker visa has the following subcategories of professional occupations which you can apply online following your job offer, with varying time lengths:

    • International agreement worker (work which is covered by international law) – the visa is valid for up to two years
    • Creative Worker – the visa is valid for up to two years for eligible creative workers
    • International Sportsperson – the visa is valid for up to one year for sportspersons
    • Religious worker – the visa is valid for up to two years
    • Charity worker – the visa is valid for up to one year

     Skilled Worker Sponsor Licences

    The Skilled Worker visa category is reserved for longer-term skilled workers. These workers will have the right to work in the UK for a time period of three to five years.

    Costs and Fees For A Sponsor Licence Application

    The costs and fees associated with a sponsor license application can depend on several variables including the size of the company applying, as well as if the company chooses to expedite the application for an additional fee.

    When you apply online, processing fees can range from approximately £536 – £1,476. There is also an additional fee for each Certificate of Sponsorship issued and this is usually £199.

    This certificate of sponsorship fee must be paid by the sponsoring organisation and the cost can not be passed on to the worker.

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      The Three Sponsorship Management Roles

      The sponsoring business will need to appoint specific people to manage the sponsorship process during the application process for the sponsor license.

      All sponsor license operations will be conducted through a sponsorship management system (or SMS) online account. There are three main roles that need to be filled. These are:

      Key Contact

      The Key Contact will be the main point of contact with the UK Visas and Immigration office to ensure that each applicant maintains valid status.

      Authorising Officer

      The Authorising Officer will be a senior or executive member of the company. They will be responsible for the staff and other representatives.

      Level One User

      The Level One User will be responsible for the day to day management of the sponsor license.

      All three roles may be carried out by one appointed person. In addition, although at least one level one user must be an employee of the sponsoring business, other levels one and level two users may be employed from third-party companies.

      Each person who works within the sponsor license operation will need to undergo certain background checks including checks regarding criminal record.


      UK Sponsor Licence Application Process

      Sponsor licences must be applied for through the UK government website at gov.uk.

      You will need the following in order to complete your application:

      • Information about your business or organisation, including confirmation that you meet the eligibility criteria to hold a sponsor licence
      • A credit or debit card
      • Supporting documents and a way to scan or photograph them

      The first step of the application will involve filling out the online form. This will typically take 20 to 30 minutes.

      After this, you will be given a submission sheet. This sheet will need to be submitted to the Home Office along with your supporting documents via the email given on the sheet when it is generated.

      You must ensure that the images are in PDF, JPEG or PNG format, have suitable, descriptive file names and are of sufficiently high quality that they can be easily read.

      In the event that you’re unable to scan or photograph your documents to email them to the Home Office, the sheet will have details on how to send them using an alternative method.

      UK Sponsor Licence Ratings and Importance

      All businesses in the UK capable of sponsoring foreign workers will have either an A-rating or a B-rating.

      A-ratings are granted to businesses that comply with all necessary regulations set out by the Home Office. A-rated businesses are able to grant certificates of sponsorship to foreign workers as long as they continue to adhere to the necessary restrictions and guidelines.

      All businesses will receive an A-rating once their application for a sponsor licence is approved, except those intending to sponsor workers on an Expansion Worker visa.

      Organisations looking to sponsor workers on this visa will instead receive a provisional rating rather than an A-rating after successfully applying. This will allow them to assign only one certificate of sponsorship, which should be used to allow the organisation’s authorising officer to travel to the UK and work.

      Meanwhile, B-ratings are given to organisations that have not complied with their sponsor licence requirements.

      A B-rating will mean that organisations will no longer be able to grant new certificates of sponsorship. Instead, they will have to earn back an A-rating following steps laid out an action plan that can be purchased from the Home Office.

      It is essential that if your business is downgraded to a B-rating that you follow the steps in the action plan carefully. If you fail to do so, you will be given another B-rating and you will have to follow a new plan. If you receive another B-rating after this, you will lose your sponsor licence and you will be required to apply for it again in order to sponsor new foreign workers.

      Are you a UK employer who wants to sponsor Canadians? Let us help you with the Sponsor Licence! Contact Us

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        Responsibilities of a Sponsor

        Responsibilities that the sponsoring company must fulfil during the time of employment of foreign workers include:

        • Ensuring that the foreign workers hold the necessary skills and qualifications for the job title and duties in question
        • Maintaining all documentation of foreign workers throughout the sponsorship and for one year following the end of the sponsorship in the online account
        • Assigning Certificates of Sponsorship to foreign workers for suitable jobs
        • Communicating with the UKVI regarding the compliance of the foreign workers with the conditions and terms of their respective visas.

        Reasons Why A Company’s Sponsor Licence Application May Be Rejected

         It can be a frustrating experience to have a sponsor license application rejected. The most common reasons why an application form might be rejected include the following reasons:

        • Inaccurate or misleading documents
        • Incomplete application form, such as withholding a criminal record
        • The company has had a previous sponsor license revoked
        • The company has failed to furnish additional requested information within the given time limit

        It is advisable to ensure that the visa applicants online form is completed as thoroughly and accurately as possible the first time around because the application fees are non-refundable and can become quite costly.

        In addition, there may be a waiting period after which the company must wait before re-applying. This waiting period will depend on the reason that the application form was rejected. Commonly, the waiting period will be around six months.

        While an administrative review may be requested in the event of a rejected application, you do not have the right to appeal the decision.

        The best way to prevent your application form from being rejected is to work with a qualified legal team to save time and money and put together the most comprehensive application package possible.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Obtaining a sponsor licence is an essential part of any business’ plans when hiring workers from abroad.

        If you’re a Canadian citizen looking to come over to the UK to work, either as a short-term or a long-term worker, it’s important to know that you and your employer are adhering to all of the legal requirements that will allow you to do so.

        Total Law can help with this. We offer comprehensive, expert immigration advice for people looking to travel to the UK for work, study, family, or for any other reason.

        Whether you need assistance with your work visa application, need help in ensuring that your UK-based employer is fully compliant, or have any other query about UK employment or immigration law, we can help.

        For more information about the services we offer, and what we could do for you, reach out to us on +1 844 290 6312 or use the online contact form to get in touch.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  A Sponsor Licence lasts for 4 years and it is possible to extend the license if the sponsor meets the eligibility requirements. After four years, the sponsor must renew their license if they wish to continue employing non-UK workers.

                  Sponsors can access all the information relating to the sponsor license in the sponsorship management system online account.

                  If your licence is renewable on or after the 6th of April 2024, you will not need to apply for a renewal. It will be automatically renewed for 10 years.

                  The Canadian citizen who will be applying for a work visa connected to the company’s sponsor license may wish to have their spouse or common law partner join them in the UK.

                  Any family members of the employee including dependent children will need to apply for their own visa under the category that best fits their situation, such as a visitor visa for family members.

                  The spouse or partner as well as any children will need to supply all supporting documents on the document checklist for their own visa including visitor record and financial records that show they will not be relying on social assistance, and will be returning to their Canadian permanent residence at the end of the valid visa term.

                  An employee who has a work permit under a visa connected to a sponsor license may wish to hold permanent resident status in the UK.

                  Permanent residents are afforded a number of benefits as compared to temporary visa holders.

                  The Canadian citizen who wishes to become a permanent resident will need to apply for the appropriate visa prior to the end of their valid visa status.

                  The sponsor license itself will not afford employees of the company permanent resident status. If the employee is not approved for a new visa or permanent residency in the UK, they will need to return to their Canadian permanent residence.