Corporate Immigration

Sponsor Licence

Becoming a Sponsor

A company should apply for a sponsorship licence if it is looking to hire people from outside the United Kingdom. The licence is valid for 4 years and can be renewed if the company still employs workers internationally


Applying for a Sponsorship Licence

A company looking to employ a foreign national will need to hold a Sponsorship Licence.

In order to obtain a Sponsorship Licence, you (the authorised signatory responsible for the licence within the company) must demonstrate that:

  • Your company is genuine and lawful
  • You are honest, dependable, and reliable
  • You have the appropriate systems in place internally to manage the sponsorship licence
  • You are able to offer genuine employment that meets the appropriate skill level and appropriate rate of pay.

When applying for the licence, the company will provide a set of documents in support of the application to demonstrate that you meet the requirements of the Home Office.

Holding a Sponsorship Licence is an important responsibility, and the employer must ensure that it is compliant at all times. In this respect, the Home Office may conduct audits at any time to ensure that the company meets the compliance duties.

Bonheur Legal has been assisting several small to large companies with their Sponsorship Licences since 2009. We have since our inception helped some major corporations to strengthen their workforce in the UK and attracting some of the best talents worldwide.

We have also been assisting clients with the Sponsorship Licence application during Mergers and Takeovers.


As a Sponsor, it is important that you understand the duties that accompany your Sponsorship Licence.

As a Sponsor you are expected to:

  • Keep an up-to-date record of your migrant employees
  • Report any changes to the Home Office
  • Always comply with the Immigration Rules
  • Cooperate with the Home Office in the event of an audit

All the documents relating to sponsoring a migrant worker should be kept in an electronic format or a paper format. The documents should be kept for the duration that the migrant is being sponsored for or until a Compliance officer has examined and approved the documents; whichever is the longer period.

Assisting our clients

We assist and train our clients daily on remaining compliant. We act as the Level 1 user for most of our corporate clients and are able to help our clients with the duties and responsibilities surrounding the Sponsorship Licence as well as sponsoring migrant employees for e.g we assist with requesting and assigning Certificates of Sponsorships, preparing for an audit, process for new hires etc.

Our level of assistance includes:

  • Liaising with the UKBA on behalf of the client on any immigration related questions pertinent to your employees or Sponsor Management System.
  • Assistance in the event of an audit.
  • Creating an on-line record for all the employees
  • Ensuring that the Sponsorship Management System is up to date.
  • Providing any immigration updates that may affect your position as a Sponsor.
Business visitor visa 

If you are planning to come to the UK on business for a short period (generally less than 6 months) you may be able to come under a visitor visa. Depending on whether you are a visa national or not please ensure that you have the appropriate visa prior to your travel to the UK.

Examples of activities covered under a business visa are:

  • Attending interviews, meetings, conferences and seminars
  • Negotiating and signing deals and contracts
  • Attending trade fairs to promote your business (you cannot sell things)
  • Carrying out site visits and inspections

Please note that you cannot do paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person as a visitor.


Applying for a visa:

As part of the required documents, you will need to show that you are able to cover the costs of the whole trip to the UK, demonstrate the purpose of your trip in the UK as well as show and support your intention to leave the UK after you travel in the UK.

UK Representative of an Overseas Business visa

The UK Representative of an Overseas Business visa is for a senior employee of an overseas business to come to the UK to establish a commercial presence (branch or subsidiary) for the company.


Applicants of Representative of an Overseas Business visa must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be recruited and employed outside of the UK by a non-UK company
  • Have extensive experience and knowledge of the relevant sector
  • Although not a majority shareholder; the applicant must hold a senior position within the company and have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the company
  • Intend to establish the company’s first commercial presence in the UK
  • Meet the financial maintenance requirement
  • Have the appropriate level of English language


Duration of stay in the UK
The visa is generally issued for an initial period of 3 years that can be extended for another 2 years. You may also be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years of legal and continuous stay in the UK.

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