You might need a sponsor licence to employ someone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland to work for you in the UK.
To get a licence, you can’t have:
- unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or certain other crimes, such as fraud or money laundering
- any history of failing to carry out your sponsorship duties
You’ll need appropriate systems in place to monitor sponsored employees. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will review your application form and supporting documents. They may visit your business to make sure you’re trustworthy and capable of carrying out your duties.
The licence you need depends on whether the workers you want to fill your jobs are:
- Tier 2 – skilled workers with long-term job offers
- Tier 5 – skilled temporary workers
You can apply for a licence covering either tier or both.
Tier 2 is for skilled workers who you want to employ long-term or permanently. It’s split into:
- General – the role must meet the job suitability requirements
- Intra-Company Transfer – for multinational companies which need to transfer employees to the UK
- Minister of Religion – for people coming to work for a religious organisation (for up to 3 years)
- Sportsperson – for elite sportspeople and coaches who will be based in the UK
Tier 5 is for skilled workers you want to employ on a temporary basis. It’s split into:
- Creative and Sporting – to work as a sportsperson (up to 1 year), entertainer or artist (up to 2 years)
- Charity Worker – for unpaid workers (up to 1 year)
- Religious Worker – for those doing preaching, pastoral and non-pastoral work (2 years)
- Government Authorised Exchange – work experience (1 year), research projects or training, for example practical medical or scientific training (2 years) to enable a short-term exchange of knowledge
- International Agreement – where the worker is coming to do a job which is covered by international law, for example employees of overseas governments