top of page

Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence

Checking Text on a Document
 What is Tier 2 Sponsor License ?

In order to make an offer of employment to a non EU national requiring a work permit / Tier 2 visa the UK based employer must first of all make a successful application for sponsorship licence.

To register, UK based employers need to complete an online application to the Border and Immigration Agency and provide specific hard copies of relevant data that the BIA deem necessary. Following this initial process the BIA will in most cases make a “pre registration” appointment to assess current and discuss future processes and needs of the business with regard to the handling of non EU nationals and the volume of “certificates of sponsorship” required.

The BIA will wish to see evidence from the employer that their HR systems are robust enough to cope with the responsibilities they wish to undertake in managing non EU nationals on staff in the future.

If successful the company will be granted an “A” or “B” rating and also issued with an agreed number of certificates of sponsorship that can be issued in the next year. It is important to note that the initial sponsorship licence will be valid for four years unless it is for any reason revoked. Certificates of Sponsorship however will be issued on an annual basis.

Once registered it is the responsibility of the employer (or in conjunction with their advisers) to ensure that the positions they wish to fill are genuine vacancies that would be difficult to fill from the local labour force. They will also have to evidence that the candidate has the appropriate skills and experience to fill the role, that the job in question is of an appropriate level and that an appropriate remuneration package is in place for the individual (as per the defined codes).

The Tier 2 system has the benefit that it allows employers to move quickly once registered to issues certificates and hire workers from abroad. The "sting in the tail" however its that compliance measures to issue certificates correctly are strict and penalties for employers abusing the system are extremely harsh.

It is strongly recommended that employers use advisers throughout the Tier 2 process especially whilst the program is new and with the penalties for non compliance bordering on "draconian". This point has been emphasised by the BIA printing a list of commercial advisers that they have approved as fit to advise on the Tier 2 process.


Voyage is on this list which can be viewed by following the Approved Adviser List.

For a FREE initial visa assessment please complete the Free UK Visa Assessment and one of our consultants will respond within 48 hours of your submission

bottom of page