Appendix A: Supporting Documents For Sponsor Licence Applications Updated

Business Immigration, 14 April 2023

Appendix A: supporting documents for sponsor licence applications has been updated, to be used for all sponsor licence applications made or decided on or after 14 April 2023. Appendix A lists all of the documents which a company must send to the Home Office to support its application for a Sponsor Licence on the Worker, Temporary Worker or Student routes.

The following key changes have been made:

Scale-Up Worker visa route additions

The Scale-Up Worker visa provides a route for UK businesses who have demonstrated a sustained period of growth (sometimes called a ‘scale-up business’), to sponsor talented individuals who have the skills needed to enable that business to continue growing.

If you are applying for a sponsor licence under the Scale-Up Worker route,  and are applying under the ‘standard pathway’ (where the Home Office automatically assess your employment growth and/or turnover growth based on information you have submitted to HMRC), you do not need to send the Home Office any documents, unless you are required to be registered with, or inspected or monitored by a regulatory body to operate lawfully in the UK. 

New requirements have been added for the Scale-Up ‘endorsing body pathway’.  If you are applying under the ‘endorsing body pathway’ (where an approved endorsing body confirms your eligibility to apply for a sponsor licence), you must send a letter from a Home Office approved endorsing body, containing your valid endorsement reference number, which must have been issued no more than 3 months before the date of your sponsor licence application and if you are required to be registered with, or inspected or monitored by a regulatory body to operate lawfully in the UK, you must submit relevant evidence of this.

Global Business Mobility (GBM): UK Expansion Worker visa route additions

The Global Business Mobility: UK Expansion Worker visa enables overseas businesses seeking to expand into the UK to temporarily assign senior managers and specialist employees to the UK to establish a branch or wholly-owned subsidiary of the overseas business in the UK.

For overseas businesses which are listed on the London Stock Exchange Main Market or AIM market or on an international stock exchange that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considers to have an equivalent level of regulation to UK markets (such as the ASX, MONEP, MEFF or the New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc), there is no longer a full exemption to submitting any documents as evidence of your overseas trading presence and of evidence of your planned expansion to the UK.

Such listed businesses which were previously exempt from submitting any evidence of overseas trading presence and any evidence of planned expansion to the UK must now submit all of the following:

  • A summary of your planned expansion to the UK
  • A link to the relevant London Stock Exchange Main Market, AIM market or international stock exchange listing
  • Proof of your UK ‘footprint’ (Companies House reference number or lease of business premises)
  • Information about your overseas business including information about which sector, or sectors, you operate in, a current hierarchy chart for the overseas business detailing any owners, directors and board members and the total number of employees, and information about any jobs you intend to fill in the UK, including the job title, occupation code and salary

Audited accounts and accredited accounting bodies updates

If you are legally required to file audited accounts, you must submit these with the sponsor licence application and ensure these have been audited by an appropriately qualified person. The list of suitable accredited accounting bodies has been updated to include bodies in different regions of the UK including Scotland and Ireland as follows:

  • Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Association of International Accountants (AIA)
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)

Implications for companies

A company usually needs a sponsor licence to employ foreign nationals from outside of the UK to work for you. This includes citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020. This authorisation is known as a ‘sponsor licence’, and employers who hold a sponsor licence are known as ‘sponsors’.

For your sponsor licence application to be valid, you must send the Home Office all of the documents within 5 working days of the date on which you submitted your online sponsor licence application. If any of the mandatory documents are missing or incorrect, your application will be invalid and the application fee will be refunded.

It is imperative that you submit the correct documents to avoid labour shortages and business disruption.

For more detailed UK immigration advice and for any other questions on this and other UK immigration developments, please contact us at info@viajeukimmigration.com