Image by Ethan Wilkinson


The concept of sponsorship is at the heart of the points-based system. Companies who want to employ a migrant worker must be their sponsor during their stay in the UK. And before the company can sponsor a migrant, they must obtain a sponsor licence.

Companies or organisations can apply for a ‘Sponsor licence’ if:

  • They are a genuine & legitimate organisation operating lawfully in the UK;

  • They are honest, dependable, reliable, and are not engaging and have not engaged in behaviour or actions that are not conducive to the public good;

  • The organisation ensure that they have the right human resource (HR) recruitment systems in place to comply with your sponsorship duties

  • They can offer genuine employment which meets the skill level and salary requirements;

  • There are no reasons to believe that they are a threat to immigration control

Once the sponsor licence is granted, they will be given a sponsor rating. For employers, this will be an 'A rating' or a 'B rating', and will be listed on the register of sponsors. Sponsorship licences are valid for 4 years.

The sponsor must also be A-rated, unless the applicant is applying for an extension to continue working for the same sponsor.
Companies can apply to have different tiers and categories on one licence, or they can have separate licences for different tiers and categories.

Frequently asked questions

Government Fees?

Processing Times?

In line with the Home Office service standards for processing Sponsors applications, the application process can take up to 8 weeks.