A company set up in the UK that wishes to employ a non-EU overseas applicant in the UK on a Tier 2 visas must have a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence.


The UK based organisation is required to register with the UK Visas and Immigration as a licensed sponsor by submitting an online application and provide a number of original documents to apply for Tier 2 Sponsorship. The Tier 2 sponsor will have to allocate the prospective employee a Certificate of Sponsorship before they can apply for leave to enter the UK or remain in the UK, under a Tier 2 visa. The employer must keep good employment-related records:

  • Employees’ passport copies

  • Employees’ NI number

  • Employees’ Biometric Residence Card

  • Contact details of employees – current address, change of any address, landline and mobile phones, email addresses

  • Notify the UKVI of any changes relating to Tier 2 employees such as contracted hours, criminal convictions, and change of positions.

The employer is an obligation to report matters to the Home Office such as employee is absent from work for more than 10 working days without the sponsor's reasonably granted permission, or the sponsor has any information which suggests that the migrant is breaching the conditions of his or her leave.

Sponsorship Licences may be revoked

The obvious effect of a civil penalty for immigration is a fine of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. Where a business has employed several illegal workers, these fines can be very significant. If the employer has not received an official warning or civil penalty in the previous years, the maximum penalty is reduced to £15,000. If a business can provide evidence that other mitigating factors apply, this amount can be reduced, or wiped entirely. Civil penalties for immigration breaches are taken into account by the Home Office when considering any future sponsorship applications a business might make.