Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Application

If you are an employer hoping to recruit skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, then your business must be licensed to do so. Holding a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence allows an employer to issue Certificates of Sponsorship (COS), which are an essential part of every non-EEA individual's immigration application.

The experienced Immigration Lawyers at Wilford Smith, with a proven track record of helping companies across a wide range of sectors successfully apply for Tier 2 Sponsorship Licences, are the best choice when it comes to providing legal support and guidance throughout this process. Our Immigration Solicitors, assisting clients across England and Wales, will help you to ensure that your business meets the Home Office's strict sponsorship criteria, as well as maintaining compliance with immigration rules once your licence has been granted. Wilford Smith also have the infrastructure to manage your COS allocation and ongoing reporting process.

Whatever the nature of your business, contact Wilford Smith's Immigration Team today to find out how we can help.

What is a Tier 2 Visa?

Tier 2 Visas are the main route for skilled workers from outside Europe to enter the UK, allowing individuals to apply for long-term employment or to transfer from an overseas company to one based in the UK. There are a range of Tier 2 Visas including General Workers Visas, Intra Company Transfer Visas, Sportsperson Visas and Minister of Religion Visas. Businesses that wish to employ workers under the Tier 2 Visa scheme, or that want to extend work permits already held by current employees, must hold a sponsorship licence (COS) issued by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI), in addition to individual applicants satisfying a range of immigration criteria and satisfying then English language and maintenance requirements.

What must businesses prove in order to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence successfully?

To successfully apply for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence, a company will have to show that:

  • It is a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK
  • Its key personnel named on the sponsorship application are honest, dependable and reliable
  • It has suitable human resources and recruitment systems and practices in place that will enable it to carry out its sponsorship duties
  • It is offering genuine employment that meets the Tier 2 skill level and appropriate levels of pay

As part of the application process, businesses are required to provide supporting documentation to prove that they can meet these requirements. Time limits are in place that require applicant businesses to provide all relevant documents within five days of completing the initial online application, with failure to do so likely to result in an application being delayed or rejected. Once an application has been submitted, organisations may then be subject to a compliance visit from UKVI to determine whether or not a licence should be granted. Companies will also be required to comply with illegal working requirements that all non-EEA employees provide documentation to show they have the right to work in the UK before their term of employment begins. As the employer, the company sponsoring the employee's visa must retain a copy of this information for future reference.

How can Wilford Smith support my business to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence?

The specialist Business Immigration Solicitors at Wilford Smith have all the skills required to ensure your Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application is successful. We have years of experience in working with businesses of all sizes, advising on all aspects of the visa sponsorship system and compliance issues. Our Immigration Lawyers will provide you with guidance as to the most appropriate type of sponsorship application to meet the needs of your business and key personnel, and support you in the completion of your online application. We will assist in the collation of supporting documents and can provide an auditing service in relation to your HR systems and procedures to make sure these comply with UKVI requirements. Our immigration teams have a comprehensive understanding of UKVI's testing and assessment procedures and will work closely with you to ensure that you satisfy the Home Office's ‘genuineness' test, and that prospective employees meet the required points criteria.

Contact our Immigration Lawyers in Sheffield

Wilford Smith's experienced Immigration Solicitors are based in Sheffield and advise clients throughout England and Wales. Find out more information on our fees here. We take pride in our reputation for providing a service that is of the highest quality and client-focused. Contact us today on 0808 164 1349 to find out how we can help.


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  • Tel: 0808 164 4106
  • Fax: 0844 225 0572


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2024 Wilford Smith is the trading name of WS Strategic Ltd. a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 07777022. Registered office – Meadowhall Business Park, Sheffield S9 2EQ. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA Registration Number 640898.