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If your company wishes to hire a foreign national who is from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) it is likely you will need to apply for a sponsor licence. The sponsorship licence application is quite complex, and immigration officials might visit you at your business premises to ensure that you have everything in place. One important thing to bear in mind is that once you have your sponsorship licence, it does not guarantee that a visa application will be approved, and in order to avoid the very real possibility of wasting a lot of time, money and resources, you should enlist the help of an experienced immigration solicitor.

Specialised Field of Law

All areas of modern society are governed by laws, and solicitors tend to focus on a single field, which could be criminal, corporate, or family law, to name but a few. The field of immigration itself is wide, with asylum seekers and those seeking to relocate for other reasons, all requiring a thorough screening by UK immigration before any application is approved, and there are legal firms that are dedicated to immigration matters. How does one source such a law firm? A good question, and up until a few years ago, the answer would have been “with difficulty”, yet with online solutions, all you need to do is type “best immigration solicitors in London, UK” into the Google search window, and voila!

Sponsor Licence Eligibility

There are conditions to applying for a sponsor licence, and you are NOT eligible if:

  • You have unspent convictions for a range of offences, which include immigration, fraud, and money laundering, along with several others.
  • You have a history of failing to carry out your sponsorship responsibilities.

The other requirement is that you have appropriate systems in place to effectively monitor sponsored employees, and these include monitoring a sponsored employee’s immigration status and the safekeeping of relevant document copies, such as passport and the right to work documentation. The employer is also required to notify immigration if the sponsored employee fails to turn up for work, and should also a record of the employee’s attendance. On top of this, you should keep all contact details up to date, and should there be any issues, you should contact UKVI. Failure to adhere to the monitoring system might result in you losing your sponsor licence, or having it suspended or downgraded.

Should you not have the above issues, you are eligible to apply for a sponsor licence, which you must obtain prior to attempting to hire any foreign nationals who come from outside the EEA, and one must bear in mind that having a sponsor licence does not automatically mean the visa application will be approved, as each application is judged on its own merits.  If you are planning to hire someone from outside the EEA in the near future, talk to an experienced immigration solicitor, and with their expertise, they will guide you through the rather complicated process.