ArticleShould your business apply for a sponsor licence?

With the end of free movement between the UK and the EU on December 31, 2020, the landscape of UK immigration has undergone a significant transformation. EU nationals entering the UK after this date are now subject to the same immigration rules and regulations as non-EU nationals. This change marks a new era in the UK’s approach to immigration, with far-reaching implications for employers and international employees alike.

Sponsor Licence: A Key Requirement for Employers

Since January 1, 2021, UK employers aiming to recruit both EU and non-EU nationals find themselves exploring a new requirement: the sponsor licence. The introduction of this licence is a central element in the UK’s revised immigration system, bringing with it a set of new processes and considerations for businesses. In a move towards flexibility, the Home Office has relaxed the rules, allowing employers to apply for a sponsor licence without the need to have specific candidates identified, enabling speculative applications.

Considerations for Prospective Sponsors

The encouragement from the Home Office for a sponsor licence application notwithstanding, employers need to weigh their circumstances against the sponsorship conditions. Key aspects include:

  • Genuine employment: Employers must demonstrate their need for specific roles, backed by financial evidence ensuring they can sustain employment costs. Smaller businesses might face more stringent requirements.
  • Details of prospective hires: Where possible, applications should detail planned employment aspects like employment dates, job titles, job descriptions, and salaries.
  • Compliance with sponsor guidance: Familiarity with the extensive Sponsor Guidance is crucial. Prospective sponsors must have the right personnel and procedures to fulfil their duties and responsibilities.

Employers should critically evaluate the benefits of making a sponsor licence application for their business. If deemed advantageous, it is prudent to apply sooner rather than later, even in the absence of an immediate vacancy or need to sponsor. However, it’s paramount to demonstrate the ability to meet all relevant conditions and the likelihood of having genuine vacancies that meet sponsorship criteria. This approach not only aligns with legal requirements but also positions businesses to tap into a diverse global talent pool, which is crucial for a competitive edge and growth in a global marketplace.

Get in touch:  For a comprehensive understanding of your options or queries on UK immigration matters, contact GigaLegal Solicitors at 02074067654 or click here to book a no-obligation consultation with an immigration expert.