It might be time to consider a sponsor licence

The UK’s labour market shortage peaked at the end of 2021 with a record number of unfilled vacancies across a range of industries. The ratio of unemployed people for every vacancy is now one for one. This situation is likely to continue now that the remaining coronavirus restrictions have been lifted. Whilst this is positive for the economy, it has left many organisations understaffed and unable to operate at optimum levels. B P Collins’ business immigration team advises on what you can do if you’re struggling to fill your vacancies.

Employing migrant workers

If you are struggling to fill vacancies from within the UK, it might be time to broaden your options and consider overseas candidates. Eligible roles as set out by the Home Office include positions ranging from chief executives to hotel managers and builders. If you are seeking to flesh out your workforce, it is worth considering whether this route is an appropriate one.

Before you can employ a worker from outside of the UK, you need to have a sponsor licence. The same system now applies to workers both inside and outside of the European Union.

Once you have obtained a sponsor licence, a potential migrant worker can apply for a Skilled Worker visa to enter the UK and work for you. Visas are valid for up to five years. Skilled Worker visas cover an extremely wide range of roles spanning a number of industries such as agriculture, education, hospitality and healthcare.

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply for the licence and how long is it valid for?

The application is made online with the Home Office. The licence is valid for four years.

How long is the application process?

The standard processing time is around eight weeks but there is an expedited service that costs an extra £500 and takes up to ten working days.

How much will it cost?

Fees differ depending on the type of licence you are seeking and the size of your organisation.

How we can help

At B P Collins LLP, we assist employers with every stage of making a sponsor licence application. We can advise you on:

  • Whether your business is eligible for a sponsor licence
  • Whether the job in question is suitable for sponsorship
  • The most appropriate type of licence
  • Relevant fees
  • On-going compliance

Once the licence has been granted, we can advise on Skilled Worker visa applications for potential employees.

If you are considering making an application or would like some initial advice on whether a sponsor licence would be appropriate for your business, our Business Immigration experts can assist.

Email our business immigration team at or call us on 01753 889995.

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Related Services

Related Team Specialists

Greg Clark
Jo Davis
Practice Group Leader

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