In order to become a licensed sponsor, the establishment concerned must be a genuine educational facility operating legally in the United Kingdom.
Those students who wish to come to the UK to study must be eligible to do so, and must have a reputable education provider who can genuinely provide adequate knowledge.
The educational facility will be expected to report any change no matter the size or scope about the student to the Home Office via the SMS system.
Failure to follow this system can result in the cancellation or downgrade of the licence.
We can help you make a successful application.
You will need to apply for a Tier 4 Sponsorship licence if you wish to enrol students from outside the European Union (or to be more precise the EEA and Switzerland).
A Tier 4 Sponsor is an education provider that offers courses of study to full-time students in the UK. There are some exceptions (for instance not all institutions need a sponsorship licence to teach short-term study students).
You will need to appoint people within your business to manage the sponsorship process when you apply for a licence.
The main tool for this is the Sponsorship Management System (SMS)
The relevant roles are:
The mentioned roles can be filled with just one person (or different people if you prefer).
It is also possible to appoint an optional level 2 user once you have your licence. This is an SMS user with more restricted access than a level 1 (for instance, they will not be able to withdraw a certificate of sponsorship).
You and your staffed will be checked whether anyone is suitable for these roles. You may not receive your licence if anyone involved with this licence has:
You and your staff must be:
You must have at least one level 1 user who is your employee. You can have other level 1 or level 2 users employed by third-party organisation contracted to provide you with HR services. Your level 2 user can be a temporary member of staff supplied by an agency.
You can also allocate any of the roles to a UK-based legal representative. Apart from the authorising officer role. Your representative must be qualified to give immigration advice or services.
To apply for a Sponsorship Licence you will need to provide at least 4 documents
Documents must be originals or certified copies.
When you successfully apply for a Tier 4 licence, UKVI will issue you a probationary sponsor licence. This is a transitional period lasting 12 months whilst you demonstrate you can fulfil all of your duties as a Teri 4 sponsor. You must apply for a basic compliance assessment after those 12 months
Your staff must be paid member of staff or office holders.
This is a virtual document, similar to a database record. After you complete the necessary process you will be issued a CAS number which you have to give to the student for his/her visa application form. This reference number is a way of confirming, that:
When you apply for a sponsor licence, you must apply for the number of confirmations of acceptance for studies (CAS) you would like to assign in your first year.
The number must include:
You can request a CAS allocation for up to 50 per cent of your current student body. Your student body must comprise UK, EU or Swiss nationals.
You must provide evidence to support your request, as well as your educational oversight report. As set out in our sponsor guidance, UKVI will consider a range of factors in order to reach a decision on your CAS allocation.
Before you apply you must have made certain preparations.
When applying for a sponsor licence, you must show that you meet the relevant eligibility and suitability requirements as an education provider.
You must show that all your sites meet acceptable relevant education standards. You must either:
As a Tier 4 sponsor, you must comply with the guidance for sponsors and fulfil your duties. For example, you must contact UKVI if:
You will be required to keep proper records of the students you sponsor, including contact details and a copy of their passport and BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) and give them to UKVI when asked.
UKVI will monitor your compliance with your duties. It will:
Where there has been a breach of sponsor duties, UKVI will consider the nature of the breach and may take compliance action against you.
When you have had a probationary sponsor licence for 12 months, you must apply for a basic assessment in order to gain full Tier 4 Sponsor status. UKVI will revoke your licence if you do not meet the requirements.
I run a language school, do I have to apply for this licence
No, if you run a language school that offers short-term study courses (up to 11months) you may not need this licence. However, other accreditation is necessary.
I used to have a sponsorship licence but it was revoked. Can I apply again
Yes, you can apply again, however you will need to wait for the "cooling period" to end before you can do so.
How long is the sponsorship valid
If you are not downgraded or your licence is being revoked, it will be valid for 4 years. After that it must be extended.
My licence has been downgraded what should I do
You will be issued an "action plan", you must send a response to the Home Office within 10 days or your licence will be revoked.
Can students leave and join a different educational institution
Yes, however they will need to reapply and you will have to keep records on the SMS that this happened.
Do I need this licence for European students
No, Europeans (just like British) students do not need to be sponsored.
Who can I place for reporting duties
You can place yourself or an employee that is working for you and knows how to do it.
Will the Home Office visit my place of work
It is possible that they might even come unannounced. It is advisable to keep standards of reporting high.
EXTENSION extensions after 4 years
ENROLLMENT enrol non-European students
On 16 March 2017, the Home Office has released a Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules. These new changes will affect those applications that need to have a Certificate of Sponsorship and these changes will be in effect on 06 April 2017.
What you should know about European visas after Article 50. The UK Prime Minister Theresa May has so far not changed her mind in regards to the plans of triggering Article 50 before the end of March 2017.
For international students who wish to remain in the UK longer or would like to eventually settle. There are options to choose from, granted you are willing to stay.
As of 16 January 2017 the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, has given hints that the UK is moving towards a hard Brexit. Although Theresa May insists EU citizens are ‘welcome’ to be in the UK, she cannot guarantee the right of EU citizens in the UK at an early stage. These are troubling news for Europeans and British Citizens currently living and working in the UK.
As of 24 March 2016, the UK government has announced new changes to Tier 2 type visas. This is the migration route for those who have a confirmed job offer to undertake skilled employment in the UK.
The UK government has recently introduced a significant amount of changes to immigration rules and procedures that can influence nationals of European Economic Area. These changes will come into force on the 1st February 2017, however, some changes are happening now.
A new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC667 has been laid down on the 3rd November 2016. These changes come in a whopping 90 pages however, most changes are in the language itself rather than effect. The significant changes include the increase of the minimum salary requirement of Tier 2 skilled workers; the introduction of a fresh English language requirement for family immigration regarding to Tier 4 visa and the removal of the previous 28 days’ grace period for making out of time immigration applications.