UK visa sponsorship for employers

6. Your licence rating

You’ll get an A-rated licence if your application is approved.

A-rating - full sponsor licence

An A-rated licence lets you start assigning certificates of sponsorship.

Your business will be listed in the register of sponsors.

Downgrading to B-rating

Your A-rated licence may be downgraded to a B-rating at a later stage if you don’t continue to meet your sponsor duties.

If this happens, you won’t be able to issue new certificates of sponsorship until you’ve made improvements and upgraded back to an A-rating.

You’ll still be able to issue certificates to workers you already employ who want to extend, or who are switching from a Work Permit.

Upgrade to an A-rating

You need to follow an ‘action plan’ provided by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to upgrade your licence.

You have to pay £1,476 for an action plan.

You must pay the fee within 10 working days of the date UKVI tells you about the downgrade. If you don’t, you’ll lose your licence.

At the end of the action plan

You’ll be upgraded to an A-rating if you complete all the steps and there’s nothing else you need to improve.

You’ll lose your licence if you don’t complete all the steps.

If you need to make other improvements, you’ll be given another B-rating and will have to follow a new action plan. You’ll have to pay the fee again.

If you get a second B-rating

You can only have 2 B-ratings in the 4 years that your licence is valid.

You’ll lose your licence if you still need to make improvements after your second action plan.

How to reapply

You can’t appeal if your application is unsuccessful, but you can reapply. You may have to wait before reapplying - the time will depend on your circumstances.

You need to start a new application.

You have to wait up to 12 months before reapplying if you’ve been fined for employing illegal workers and you lost your licence.