UK visa sponsorship for employers

Apply for your UK visa sponsorship licence

Guide

You need to apply online for your licence.

Once you’ve finished the online application, you need to send in:

Any affidavits or statutory declarations you send must be witnessed by a qualified, independent person - for example, a solicitor, Notary Public, Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Oaths, or (in Scotland only) a Councillor.

Apply for a sponsor licence


How to send the documents

You can scan or take pictures of your submission sheet and supporting documents and send them to the email address given on the submission sheet. Make sure your files:

  • are in PDF, JPEG or PNG format
  • have descriptive titles, with 25 or fewer characters
  • are high enough quality to be read

If your documents are not in English or Welsh, they must be accompanied by a certified translation - there’s more information in part 1 of the guidance for sponsors.

If you cannot scan and send the documents by email, contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) using the contact details on the submission sheet.

Licence fees

You need to pay a fee when you apply. The fee depends on the type of licence you’re applying for and what type of organisation you are.

You’re usually a small sponsor if two of the following apply:

  • your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less
  • your total assets are worth £5.1 million or less
  • you have 50 employees or fewer

You’re a charitable sponsor if you’re either:

  • a registered, excepted or exempt charity
  • an ecclesiastical corporation established for charitable purposes

Contact businesshelpdesk@homeoffice.gov.uk if you’re unsure which category your business fits into.

Type of licence Fee for small or charitable sponsors Fee for medium or large sponsors
Worker £536 £1,476
Temporary Worker £536 £536
Worker and Temporary Worker £536 £ 1,476
Add a Worker licence to an existing Temporary Worker licence No fee £940
Add a Temporary Worker licence to an existing Worker licence No fee No fee


How long it takes to get a decision

Most applications (8 out of 10) are dealt with in less than 8 weeks. UKVI may need to visit your business.

You may be able to pay £500 to get a decision within 10 working days. You’ll be told if you can after you apply.

Applications refused because of a mistake

You can apply to request a review of your application if you think it was refused because:

  • the caseworker processing your application made a mistake
  • your supporting documents were not considered

You cannot apply just because you disagree with the decision.

Help and advice

Sponsors can get advice from the sponsorship, employer and education helpline:

Sponsorship, employer and education helpline
Telephone: 0300 123 4699
Monday to Thursday, 10am to 3pm
Find out about call charges

You can also join the premium customer service scheme to get extra support from a licence manager - this costs at least £8,000 a year.

UK businesses and Tier 1 (Investors) can get help from the Home Office Business Helpdesk:

Business Helpdesk
businesshelpdesk@homeoffice.gov.uk