Sponsorship Licences are of 3 types Tier 2, 4 and 5 which are subdivided as following:

  • Tier 2 (General) – for skilled workers
  • Tier 2 (Intra company transfer)
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
  • Tier 2 (Minister of religion)
  • Tier 4 (General) for adult students
  • Tier 4 (Child)
  • Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Creative and sporting)
  • Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Charity worker)
  • Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Religious worker)
  • Tier 5 (Temporary worker – International agreement)
  • Tier 5 (Temporary worker – Government authorised exchange)

In order to hire a worker from inside or outside the UK or EEA, Or to extended your workers/student’s stay in the UK, you need to have the sponsorship Licence –


You can apply for a sponsorship licence as a single body or as a number of branches, Franchises or if you have taken over a company. The documents requirement for each kind of company is different. Imperial Visas are expert in making sponsorship Licence applications we will provide you with the exact list of documents you need to make an application in a relevant category to receive a successful outcome.

Sponsorship licences are valid for 4 years. Once the sponsorship licence has been granted to the sponsor they need to request for certificates of sponsorship in relevant categories.

What does a certificate of sponsorship entail?

Possessing a certificate of sponsorship alone does guarantee approval for entering or staying in the UK. The applicant must also meet the requirements of the relevant tier or category.

Applicants for the certificate of sponsorship who are already residing in the UK will need to be aware the effect their current immigration status may have on their application, in order to have expert advice contact Imperial Visas today.

Certificate of sponsorship

Certificate of sponsorships are divided into 2 categories:

Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship:

These are mainly provided to individuals coming from outside the UK and the numbers of these certificates are renewed every year by the UK Border Agency on 6 April. In order to get a certificate of sponsorship the sponsors are required to place an advertisement for 28 days period in specified websites and places identified by the Codes of Practice for Skilled Workers, every code has different requirements to be met in terms of advertisement, salary and hours. For professional assistance with regard to the codes of practicecontact Imperial Visas on 0203 627 4777.

Unrestricted Certificate of sponsorship: 

These certificates are issued to the applicant who is already in the UK with an immigration status permitting them to switch into Tier 2 and 5 categories, for information on the categories and permission with regard to switching you can contact Imperial Visas today.

Validity of Certificate of Sponsorship

Any certificate of sponsorship is valid for a period of 3 months from the date of issue under a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa. If the applicant no longer wishes to take the employment role, they will be required to contact their sponsor to withdraw from the offer.

Once a Certificate of Sponsorship is issued, a sponsor is held fully responsible for the actions of the employee. Non-compliance of the rules may result in either the withdrawal of the certificate or demoting the sponsor to a lesser rank.

Resident Labour Market Test

The resident labour market test is required in order to satisfy the requirement of Home Office which confirms that there are no suitable candidates to fulfil the occupation. The advertisement is required to be advertised at Job Centre Plus and another website or newspaper approved by the Home Office. However if your potential employee is in the UK on Tier 4 or Tier 1 Post Study Work visa you will not be required to advertise the role. If you are based in Northern Ireland you will not be required to advertise the job in Job Centre plus if you are offering your employee a salary of £71600. The exemption applies to job roles being paid in excess of £153500.00. The resident labour market test is mandatory for all others except NHS employees. The advertisement should be put in a particular format, For professional assistance with regard to the codes of practice contact Imperial Visas on 0203 627 4777.

Salary and allowances 

From April 2014 you will be required to pay a minimum salary of £20500.00. However the salary must meet the Shortage occupation codes published by Home Office. The things which are taken into account are:

a)Basic pay excluding any overtime.
b) Allowances and any guaranteed bonuses. Allowances can include payments to cover extra
costs of living whilst in the UK but cannot include:
▪ benefits such as overtime, bonus or incentive pay which is not guaranteed
▪ employer pension contributions
▪ allowances to cover business expenses including travel between the source country and the UK
▪ the value of any shares which the migrant receives when offered a job under an employee shareholder employment contract.
c) Accommodation allowances, but only up to a maximum of 30% of the total gross salary and guaranteed allowances being paid to employee excluding accomodation allowances.

After the Certificate of Sponsorship

Once the Certificate of Sponsorship is allocated the applicant should make an application in the relevant category, please see the home page for relevant category you want to apply under.