5. Apply for your licence

Apply online for your licence.

Print out the submission sheet at the end of the application - you need to post it to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) with the correct supporting documents.

Sponsor casework operations
Sponsor applications team
UK Visas and Immigration
PO Box 3468
Sheffield
S3 8WA

Most applications (8 out of 10) are dealt with in less than 8 weeks. UKVI may need to visit your business.

Supporting documents

You need to send the correct supporting documents to prove that you’re a genuine business. Your application could be refused if you don’t.

You need to provide at least 4 documents - unless:

  • you’re a public body recognised by the UK government, eg a local authority
  • you’re a company listed on the London Stock Exchange Main Market

The documents must be the originals or certified copies.

Check whether you’re a public body and what documents you need to provide before you apply.

Certify a copy of a document

A copy of a document can be certified by either:

  • the issuing authority
  • a practising barrister, solicitor or notary

The certifier must provide a statement confirming that the document is an accurate copy of the original document and write their name, signature and the name of the organisation they represent on every page of the copy.

Printouts of documents sent as an email attachment can be certified if the person certifying them has seen the original email containing the file.

Licence fees

You need to pay a fee when you apply.

Type of licence Fee for small or charitable sponsors Fee for medium or large sponsors
Tier 2 £536 £1,476
Tier 5 £536 £536
Tier 2 and Tier 5 £536 £ 1,476
Add a Tier 2 to an existing Tier 5 No fee £940
Add a Tier 5 to an existing Tier 2 No fee No fee

You’re usually a small business if:

  • your annual turnover is £10.2 million or less
  • you have 50 employees or fewer

Contact the Business Helpdesk if you’re unsure which category your business fits into.

You can join the premium customer service scheme to get extra support from a licence manager - this costs at least £8,000 a year.

Applications refused because of a mistake

You can apply to correct a mistake with your application if you think it was refused because:

  • the caseworker processing your application made a mistake
  • your supporting documents weren’t considered

You can only do this if you applied on or after 1 April 2016.

You can’t apply just because you disagree with the decision.

Help and advice

Sponsors can get advice from the sponsorship, employer and education helpline:

Sponsorship, employer and education helpline
Telephone: 0300 123 4699
Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm
Friday, 9am to 4:30pm
Find out about call charges

UK businesses and Tier 1 (Investors) can get help from the Business Helpdesk: