What is Self Sponsorship?
Self-sponsorship is essentially a method where an individual holds full or part of the shares of a company, obtains a sponsorship licence and is sponsored under the Skilled Worker Visa category by this company.
It is important to understand that Self-Sponsorship is not a visa route, nor is it the name of a scheme under the UK Immigration laws and policies.
It is an alternative method that can be used where real-life circumstances suggest this to be the solution to resolve the company’s genuine need to recruit a suitable worker.
The migrant worker will come to the UK under a Skilled Worker Visa sponsored by a company of which he is a shareholder.
How to apply for a self-sponsorship?
There are three main steps for the self-sponsorship process:
First, you must either take over or establish a business and prepare to apply for a sponsorship licence to ensure the company has the required systems to monitor sponsored employees and manage the sponsorship management system.
Second, the business must delegate the sponsorship duties to the relevant people and apply for a sponsorship licence with well-prepared supporting evidence.
Third, the Sponsorship Management System users issue a CoS certificate to sponsor your Skilled Worker visa application to fill the genuine vacancy for up to 5 years, as five years is the qualifying period for ILR application.
What are the main criteria for a self-sponsorship visa?
The requirements are two-fold: the sponsorship licence process and the individual visa application process.
All businesses must be UK-based, not bankrupt, have the necessary HR processes in place, be in good standing with government agencies such as Companies House and HMRC, and be registered with any regulatory authorities should the company’s services require so.
Before applying for the Sponsorship application, you must ensure relevant people have been employed or joined your organisation as a director, partner or office holder.
The three main roles to create the Sponsorship Management System are the
Authorising Officer, Level 1 User and Key Contact. If the conditions are met, you can gather all the main roles in one person e.g. the Authorising Officer can also assign the first Level 1 User role to themselves if they hold settled status or ILR in the UK or are British National. Using the Sponsorship Management System, the Authorising Officer can also act as the Key Person by appointment.
The “Authorising Officer” is a senior and significant figure within the organisation applying for a sponsor licence. This person holds the highest level of responsibility for the organization’s sponsor licence and compliance with the UK’s immigration rules. The Authorising Officer plays a central role in overseeing the sponsorship activities and ensuring that all obligations and duties are met, recruitment of the migrant workers is made in compliance with the regulations, and all users on the Sponsor Management System (SMS) perform their duties in compliance.
The Level 1 User
This person will deal with the daily tasks such as monitoring migrant worker’s attendance, making the relevant changes via SMS, issuing Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and administrative duties to manage the SMS. At least one of the Level 1 Users in your company must be settled or British Citizen.
The Key Contact is responsible for monitoring and executing communication with the Home Office in regard to the Sponsorship.
Skilled Worker Eligibility
Individually, any applicant must score 70 points in the new points-based system. The mandatory requirements are for the individual to have a valid offer for a job at an appropriate skill level for a role listed on the eligible occupations list, be paid at an appropriate salary level, have a sponsorship certificate, and pass the B1 level English exam.
Also, any immigrant who wishes to apply for a Skilled Worker visa either shows a certain level of savings or has their company certify the maintenance if they are an A-rated sponsor. Additionally, they must not be in breach of the general grounds for refusal.