Generally, for any overseas person to be able to come to the UK, he/or she needs to be sponsored by another person or organization who is legally resident in the UK. An individual may sponsor their partner or child whereas a company may sponsor an employee. The party on whose basis the overseas national is coming to the UK is called the sponsor.

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For an employer to sponsor a non-European (non EEA), such an employer is required to ‘sponsor’ them under the Tier 2 Point based System. This requires the employer to apply for a sponsor licence from the UKBA.

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An education provider on the other hand who wishes to enrol students from outside the European Economic Area is also required to ‘sponsor’ them under the Tier 4 Point based system. They are also required to obtain a Tier 4 sponsor licence from the UKBA.

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The requirements for obtaining a sponsor licence varies with the type of organisation. It is however important that the prospective sponsoring organisation must be a genuine organisation or sole trader legally operating in the United Kingdom.

Sponsor Licence Requirements

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Tier 2 sponsor licence requirements

 

In order to be able to obtain a sponsorship licence, the employer or business will need to meet the following requirements: –

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·      A genuine organisation: – As obvious as it may sound, it is important that businesses that seek to employ overseas workers must be genuine in every sense of the word. The definitions of what a genuine business is will in the broader sense include its registration status, either as a limited liability company, partnership, sole trader, etc. It will also include its accounting (payroll, tax, etc.) as well as human resource structures.

 

·      Operating in the UK: The business must also be legally operating in the United Kingdom.

 

 

·      No threat to immigration control: It is also important that the business’ key personnel do not pose a threat to immigration control. This means that it might be harder for individuals with adverse immigration history or there are evidences that suggests that the key personnel may pose a threat to immigration control. Posing a threat to immigration control means that such an individual may have had a history of violating immigration rules.

 

·      Persons to fulfil immigration related roles: There must be persons within the organisation who will be fulfilling the immigration related roles in the organisation. These persons are sometimes referred to as the Account/Compliance Officers. 

 

The immigration related roles include: –

 

·      An authorised officer

·      A key contact

·      A level 1 user

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