Self-sponsored with a Skilled Worker Visa

Self-sponsored with a Skilled Worker Visa

Are you keen on establishing a new business in the UK, or perhaps you already own an existing UK business? If so, you may find the Self-Sponsored Skilled Worker Visa route intriguing, as it allows you to secure a Skilled Worker visa through sponsorship by your own UK company. However, before diving into this exciting opportunity, your UK business must obtain a Skilled Worker sponsor licence.

Key Points
  • You need an established and active UK company.
  • The UK company must have successfully applied for a Skilled Worker sponsor license and assigned a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for your intended job role.
  • The job offer must be a genuine vacancy at an appropriate skill level and offer a suitable salary that meets Skilled Worker Visa requirements.
  • English language proficiency and maintenance are prerequisites for this route.
  • Settlement in the UK is attainable.
  • You can bring your family along on this journey.

How to Apply for a Self-Sponsorship Skilled Worker Visa

To sponsor yourself for a Skilled Worker visa, you’ll need to navigate through four essential steps:

Stage 1: Establish a UK Company

First and foremost, to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa via the self-sponsored route, you must either register a new company in the UK or have an existing UK company.

Stage 2: Apply for a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence

Once your UK company is registered, the next critical step is for your business to apply for and receive a Skilled Worker sponsor license. This step is crucial, and we’re here to assist you throughout the process. The Home Office will scrutinize your business to ensure:

  • It’s a genuine business operating lawfully in the UK.
  • It can effectively carry out sponsor duties.
  • It offers employment that aligns with Skilled Worker route requirements.
Genuine Business Operating Lawfully in the UK

To satisfy the Home Office that your business is a genuine entity operating lawfully in the UK, you will need to provide at least four specified documents as set out in Appendix A of the sponsor guidance.  The specific documents required may vary depending on the particulars of your application, so it is advisable to seek professional legal advice. For additional information or inquiries about the application process or specific requirements, you can refer to the official UK government website or contact us to consult with a qualified immigration advisor for the most up-to-date information.

Business Is Capable of Carrying Out Its Sponsor Duties

All licensed sponsors are obligated to fufil certain duties, including recording, record-keeping and compliance with UK immigration laws. The Home Office will assess whether your business is capable of carrying out its sponsor duties by examining your current human resources and recruitment systems and practices.

Genuine Employment That Meets Salary and Skill Level Requirements

In addition to reviewing documentation about your company in the UK, the Home Office will need to ensure that:

  • Your UK company will offer employment that meets the skill level requirement of the Skilled Worker route;
  • Your UK company will offer employment that meets the salary level requirement of the Skilled Worker route;
  • The job you are looking to sponsor is indeed genuine;
  • There is a direct employer-employee relationship between the sponsoring business and the worker;
  • The business does not intend to sponsor a role which involves hiring a worker for a third party to undertake an ongoing or routine role.
Appointing Key Personnel

Before submitting your sponsorship licence application, you must appoint 3 Key Personnel:

  • An Authorising Officer – responsible for managing the sponsorship licence and ensuring that sponsor licence duties are met.
  • A Key Contact – the primary liaison between your business and the Home Office.
  • At least one Level 1 User – responsible for day-to-day sponsorship activities using the Sponsorship Management System (SMS).

Please be aware that specific requirements exist for the key personnel mentioned above. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Stage 3: Assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

After obtaining a sponsor license, your UK company will apply for and assign a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Each CoS corresponds to a migrant worker you wish to employ and includes a unique reference number used for self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa applications. Keep in mind that your CoS must be issued within three months before your Skilled Worker visa application date.

Stage 4: Apply for a Self-Sponsored Skilled Worker Visa

With your CoS assigned, you’re now ready to apply for a Skilled Worker visa through the self-sponsored route. Your visa application must demonstrate:

  • the validity of your Certificate of Sponsorship.
  • that your job offer is a genuine vacancy.
  • your job meets the appropriate skill level.
  • you’ll receive a salary that meets or exceeds the general salary threshold and the ‘going rate’ for your occupation.
  • your sponsor has paid any required Immigration Skills Charge.
  • your English language proficiency is at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0).
  • you possess sufficient funds to support yourself without relying on public funds.
  • you’ve provided a criminal record certificate, if needed.
  • you’ve submitted a valid TB certificate, if required.

You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa up to three months before your intended UK work start date.

Feel free to embark on this remarkable journey to self-sponsorship and business growth in the UK. If you have further inquiries or require more information about the application process, don’t hesitate to refer to the official UK government website or reach out to us for consultation with a qualified immigration advisor or solicitor.


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

Latta International