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November 1, 2019

Tier 2 Sponsor Licence: How UK Startups can employ talented overseas staff

Tier 2 Sponsor Licence of the points-based system in place in the United Kingdom are the primary immigration routes for skilled workers who wish to work in the UK. These skilled workers must be sponsored by an organisation or company that holds a permission given by the Home Office, usually named sponsorship licence. When assessing a company or organisation for the grant of such licence, the Home Office conducts thorough checks on the company’s background to identify that:

  1. Is the company a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK?
  2. Is the company honest, dependable and reliable?
  3. Is the company capable of carrying out your sponsor duties and evidencing your compliance in a time frame and manner as per regulation?
  4. Can the company offer genuine employment that meets the required skill level and appropriate rates of pay?

Companies that have been trading for less than 18 months are regarded as “start-up” businesses and, for not being trading for a long period, undergo a tougher scrutiny by the Home Office. The burden set upon them are higher, for the sole reason they have not been on the market long enough for the Home Office to rely on different sources to confirm their authenticity, honesty and reliability.

For that reason, start-up companies are required to evidence that they have a current, corporate bank account with a bank registered by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and provide the following documents:

  1. a certificate of VAT registration;
  2. a letter from your corporate banking provider, setting out the dealings it has had with you, including the nature and duration of those dealings;
  3. Proof of ownership or lease of your business premises;
  4. Evidence of Registration with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as an employer to pay PAYE & National Insurance;
  5. Current financial report or audited annual report with the name of the accountant clearly shown.

All those documents will need to be arranged and sent to the Home Office, allowing them to conduct checks on your company. To assess suitability criteria, the Home Office look at whether:

  1. The company has human resource and recruitment systems in place to meet, or continue to meet your sponsor duties;
  2. They are able to visit and conduct checks to ensure that the sponsor duties are being complied with on an immediate, unannounced basis;
  3. The company can offer a genuine vacancy which meets the criteria of the category it is applying to be licensed for
  4. The owners of the company have an unspent criminal conviction for a relevant offence;
  5. They have any evidence of previous non-compliance by the company.

Once your company has been granted a licence, it will be allocated with an initial amount of Certificate of Sponsorship, which you will need to issue on the candidates name in order to apply for an overseas worker to come to the UK.

Call us to book an appointment and initiate the process of being licenced by the Home Office on Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.


You can request 15 minutes free consultation from our immigration lawyers; it will be conducted over the phone only.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong, Istanbul and St Petersburg and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at or call +44 207 993 63 46.