Premium customer service for employers

Guidance about the premium customer service for employers, explaining the benefits, costs, eligibility and how to apply.

This is an introduction to the premium customer service scheme for employers sponsoring foreign workers. It explains the benefits of the scheme, what it costs, who is eligible and how to apply.

Tier 2 & 5 premium customer service scheme

About the service

The premium customer service offers an enhanced level of support for organisations employing foreign workers.

Each premium customer has their own dedicated account manager who provides tailored advice and support with all their immigration needs.

What the premium customer service does

The premium customer service will provide:

  • expert and tailored advice to your business, offering guidance and support with any immigration queries or issues a premium sponsor might have

  • a dedicated account manager with the knowledge and contacts to deal with queries relating to a wide range of immigration routes, including but not limited to all aspects of the points based system

  • access to a bespoke account management portal, giving you a quick and efficient way to track and monitor your interactions with your account manager

  • 5 free 5 day priority upgrade slots per year

  • unique access to a number of additional services and benefits, including an annual event, tailored workshops and training packages and closer working with compliance teams

  • For a full list of benefits, an introductory guide can be provided on request

For the full list of services on offer, please contact the team.


Any Tier 2 or 5 licensed sponsor can apply to join the service providing they meet the criteria.

They must:

  • have no civil penalties from UKVI in the past 3 years and have paid in full any penalties issued before that

  • have an A-rating in all tiers of their licence

  • have passed a compliance check, before or during the application process, to make sure they still qualify for an A-rating


Sponsors can apply for the premium customer service using the sponsorship management system (SMS) and selecting ‘Apply for or renew Tier 2/5 premium customer service’.

More information on SMS can be found in the applications, renewals and services guidance.

Licence renewal applications and Premium Service applications can be processed at the same time. Fees must still be paid for each application.

How applications are processed

Sponsors who meet the eligibility requirements, and have been visited by a compliance officer in the past 6 months, will have their applications approved within 10 working days.

Applications may take longer if the sponsor hasn’t had a compliance visit in the past 6 months. If this is the case, a compliance officer will visit their organisation within 3 weeks of an application being made.


The cost of the service is £25,000 per year for large organisations.

Sponsors who qualify as a small, medium or charitable organisation, and have paid the lower license fee, can apply for the SME+ package at a cost of £8,000 per year.


The premium customer service operates between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (not including bank holidays in England) for subscribers. The team also operates between 9am and 5pm at the weekends for emergency calls or exceptional circumstances.

You will receive direct contact details for your account manager upon joining, along with access to the bespoke Account Management Portal. You will also receive a welcome pack introducing you to your account manager and the services you are eligible to use.

If you are interested in receiving further information about the premium customer service or are interested in joining, then you can contact the team by email

Interested sponsors can also request an introductory guide which provides a more comprehensive overview of the service and its functions, which can be issued by request.

Published 5 February 2014
Last updated 3 December 2019 + show all updates
  1. Have made slight amends to the content under the following headings, The premium customer service will provide, Cost, Contact.

  2. The premium customer service team can be contacted for assistance between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday by email only.

  3. Updated guidance.

  4. Updated guidance.

  5. Guidance updated

  6. First published.