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Navigating Sponsorship Licences: Expert Legal Support for Hiring Migrant Workers with MSR Solicitors

At MSR Solicitors, we have decades of experience assisting start-ups and established businesses in recruiting and retaining migrant workers. We help these companies obtain the appropriate sponsor licence from the Home Office and ensure they comply with their responsibilities as employers of migrant workers. With stringent immigration regulations and compliance procedures, our legal advisors are key to guiding companies through policy and procedure adjustments to ensure sponsor compliance and audit readiness.

To sponsor a skilled worker from outside the UK, a company must first obtain a sponsor licence from the Home Office. The employer, acting as the Skilled Worker sponsor, must adhere to several duties and responsibilities to obtain and maintain this licence. Eligibility and requirements state that companies must be active and trading in the UK, and genuinely intend to sponsor a skilled worker. Furthermore, they must demonstrate their ability tocomply with s ponsorship duties and responsibilities.

The application process involves submitting the application online, with supporting documents being sent electronically. The required documents will depend on the company’s situation and may include audited accounts, HMRC registration as an employer paying PAYE and NI, proof of business premises ownership, and evidence of a corporate bank account with an FCA-registered UK bank. The process typically takes around 8 weeks, but it may take longer if the Home Office requests further information. However, it can be expedited for urgent business needs.

Different types of licences are available based on the size and nature of the business. The Home Office may conduct compliance visits to ensure sponsor licence requirements are met. Regarding the management of sponsorship, it is important that the person managing the sponsorship must be permanently based in the UK for the duration of their role and be a paid staff member or director. Only a settled person or British national can be the Authorising Officer.

We assist in the following key areas to help companies navigate the sponsorship licence process: Licensing, Hiring, and Compliance. We help businesses obtain the appropriate sponsor licence from UK immigration authorities. In terms of hiring, we assist in obtaining and assigning Certificates of Sponsorship (COS) and applying for Skilled Worker or Global Business Mobility Visas. We evaluate employees on a case-by-case basis to provide maximum flexibility and cost-effectiveness for business employers. For compliance, we support companies in meeting their sponsor licence duties and responsibilities, including right-to-work checks to prevent illegal working.

The process of preparing documents and complying with immigration rules is complex, and common mistakes can lead to a refused sponsorship licence. Such mistakes include failing to provide the correct supporting documentation within five days of submitting the application online, lacking sufficient systems or personnel to manage the sponsorship, and being unprepared for potential compliance visits by the Home Office. If your sponsorship licence application is refused, you will face a six-month “cooling off” period before you can apply again. Common reasons for refusal include not meeting sponsorship requirements or potential errors in the Home Office’s consideration of your supporting documents.

Our dedicated team of immigration legal solicitors has extensive experience dealing with business immigration matters for organizations of all sizes and industries. We have successfully handled numerous business visa applications and are adept at finding practical and effective solutions for our clients’ unique challenges. We continue to represent and support our clients as their trusted legal advisors, ensuring their compliance and success in obtaining sponsorship licences.

By partnering with us, businesses can navigate the complexities of the sponsorship licence application process with confidence, knowing they have expert legal guidance every step of the way.

For more further information about sponsorship licence or the UK immigration, please contact us.

*This article is not legal advice but provides a general overview. The specific details of your case will determine the best course of action.