Business Sponsorship Licence

Business Sponsorship Licence

Who requires a Business Sponsorship Licence?

A Business Sponsorship Licence is essential when you intend to employ individuals from outside the UK, whether for paid and unpaid positions. This applies to citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020.

Types of Sponsorship Licence

The specific licence you need depends on the type of workers you aim to hire:

  • ‘Workers’ – for skilled or long-term employment
  • ‘Temporary workers’ – for specific types of temporary employment

You have the option to apply for a licence that covers one or both types of workers.

What are the eligibility requirements for a Business Sponsorship Licence?

To get a licence, you must not have:

  • any unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or certain other crimes
  • had a sponsor licence revoked in the last 12 months

Your also need appropriate systems in place for monitoring sponsored employees and designated personnel to manage sponsorship within your business. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will review your application and may conduct on-site visits to ensure your trustworthiness and capability to fulfil your duties.

What is a Sponsorship Management System?

When you apply for a sponsorship licence, your business must designate individuals to oversee the sponsorship process. The primary tool for this purpose is the sponsorship management system (SMS), which includes the following roles:

  • authorising officer – a senior and competent individual responsible for the actions of staff and representatives who use the SMS
  • key contact – your main point of contact with UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI)
  • level 1 user – responsible for all day-to-day management of your licence.


To give your case the best chance of success, get in touch

To give your visa the best chance of success, and to reduce your stress, please contact our immigration experts.

If you wish to speak directly with one of our immigration specialists to get advice about business and personal immigration, or education in the UK and other visa issues, then please contact our Glasgow Head Office on Phone T: +44 (0)141 212 3355 or request a call back by completing the Online Form. You can also email us at More information can be found from Contact Us.  

*Disclaimer: The above information is for general reference only. Specialist legal advice should be sought.

Latest update: August 2023