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How can companies register as a licensed sponsor for foreign workers in the U.K.?

I own a company in the U.K. With the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, I might need to sponsor work visas for my current employees for them to keep working and living in the country. What is the process of registering my company as a licensed sponsor for foreign workers? What requirements does my company need to meet?

  • Global 4 Immigration
    November 20, 2019

    If you are referring to your EU workers already in the U.K., even if there is a no-deal Brexit, for EU nationals that were in the U.K. before the U.K. departs the EU, all they have to do is to register on the Home Office website as either pre-settled or settled. Once the U.K. departs the EU, if a Brexit deal cannot be agreed, all EU nationals that are not in the U.K. will need a visa to work in the U.K. Theresa May in December 2018 signed off a white paper on how UK businesses can recruit EU nationals when the U.K. leaves the EU. This document is likely to change because we had a change in the prime minister and if Conservatives lose the General Election. The white paper signed by Theresa May recommended by the MAC report that U.K. businesses holding a sponsor license could then recruit EU and non-EU workers at RQF level 3 (currently RQF level 6) with a minimum salary threshold of 30,000 pounds per annum. U.K. businesses can recruit EU nationals without sponsorship only for 12 months as long as they hold a valid visa. If you plan to register for a sponsor license, it is currently only for Tier 2 and Tier 5 of non-EU nationals. To obtain a UK sponsor license, you first need to ensure you comply with the five key areas of good HR practices. If the jobs you need to fill fall under the Resident Labour Market Test, you will have to advertise the job for 28 days. You will have to provide at least four pieces of business evidence, a hierarchy chart and evidence that you have a "genuine" vacancy/vacancies when submitting your sponsor license application. The Home Office may request further evidence and turn up at your office unannounced or announced and carry out a compliance audit. If you fail the audit, you cannot apply for another sponsor license for six months. If a sponsor license is what you think you need, you should first obtain legal advice and consultancy to verify if investing in this route is viable or even required.