Sponsorship

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HOW DOES SPONSORSHIP WORK?
6. To get a licence, you must apply to us, supplying specified documents to prove that you are suitable and eligible. These documents are listed in Appendix A which is separate to this guidance booklet. We will carry out appropriate checks before deciding whether to grant you a licence. We may refuse your application if there is anything in your history or your Key Personnel’s (see paragraphs 86-120) history that suggests you could be a threat to immigration control or that you would be unable or unwilling to carry out your duties as a licensed sponsor.

7. We consider an application to join the sponsor register by assessing whether you meet the requirements below. You must:
a) complete the appropriate online sponsor application;
b) pay the correct fee;
c) provide proof that you are based in the UK (see Appendix A for supporting documents);
d) be able to provide original or certified copies of the documents listed in Appendix A, unless we say otherwise, to establish that you are genuine and operating2 or trading
lawfully in the UK;
e) meet the suitability criteria;
f) show there are no reasons for us to believe that you represent a threat to immigration control;
g) agree to comply with the duties of sponsorship;
h) if asked, be able to provide evidence of holding the appropriate planning permission or Local Planning Authority consent to operate your type/class of business at your trading address (where this is a Local Authority requirement);

i) where you are a food business, if asked, be able to provide evidence of registration with or approval from a relevant food authority.

8. Your applications for a licence will only succeed if you meet all the above requirements. If you do not meet the requirements your application will be refused. However, if you do not pay the correct fee, we will not be able to consider your application and we will reject and return it with any accompanying fee. (Please see paragraphs 22-23 as there are also other circumstances in which we will reject your application rather than refuse it.)

9. Once you have been granted a sponsor licence under Tier 2 and/or Tier 5 you will be able to assign certificates of sponsorship (CoS) to migrants who wish to come to, or stay in the UK to work. We decide how many certificates of sponsorship (CoS) you will be allowed to assign.

10. For migrants, being assigned a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) is an essential part of qualifying for entry clearance (if they are outside the UK) or leave to remain (permission to extend their stay while in the UK). But there are also other requirements set out in the immigration rules that they must meet and their application is likely to be refused if there is anything in their personal or immigration history that suggests that their presence in the UK is not desirable. We make the final decision about who is allowed to come to or stay in the UK.

11. As a licensed sponsor you must comply with certain duties, including, but not restricted to, a duty to inform us if migrants do not turn up for work, or if they are absent without permission for a significant period. You must also keep proper records of the migrants you sponsor, including contact details and a copy of their biometric residence permit (BRP) (previously known as the Identity Card for Foreign Nationals (ICFN)), and supply any documentation to us on request.

12. We will monitor your ongoing ability and willingness to comply with your duties once you are licensed. In particular we will: a) set a limit on the number of certificates of sponsorship (CoS) you can assign; b) visit you, to check you are complying with your duties; and c) refer cases for civil penalty action to be taken if we find evidence that you have breached the illegal working regulations. We may take prosecution action where appropriate.

13. As a licensed sponsor, we will ‘rate’ you as either A or B according to our...
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