Sponsorship Status for a UK company
Since November 2008 all employers who wish to recruit foreign national workers have been required to register for a Sponsorship License with the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA). Registration is mandatory if you wish to be eligible to recruit from the foreign labor pool.
Under the point based system only licensed sponsors will be eligible to issue potential migrant employees with a Certificate of Sponsorship. Migrants seeking to come to the UK under the PBS will need to obtain entry clearance, and a Certificate of Sponsorship issued by a licensed employer is required before an entry clearance application can be made. Furthermore, each potential migrant worker must also satisfy the points based assessment criteria for the visa category under which they are applying.
The licensing process is one of the fundamental changes under the Points Based System and the most critical stage in the relocation process. Before an employer can sponsor a migrant worker a Sponsorship License must be approved in advance by the UKBA. There are a number of stages in the application process:
- Initial verification of eligibility;
- Review of current company policies and practices;
- Confirming company policies comply with UK immigration legislation;
- Collecting necessary corporate documents;
Filing the application with the UKBA.
How long is a sponsor’s license valid for?
Licenses are valid for two to four years, starting from the day it is issued or the day that applications start for the relevant tier of the points based system, whichever is the later.