Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

UK Immigration

Sponsor Licences for Charities

Charities wishing to employ overseas workers will need to comply with immigration law; they must be registered with the Home Office as licenced sponsors and must accept certain responsibilities to help with immigration control. 

There are over 180,000 registered charities in the UK and an increasing number of these charities are becoming licenced sponsors so they can sponsor charity workers in paid or unpaid positions. 

Our business immigration team are proud to represent reputable international charities which are based in the UK. We regularly assist charity clients with initial sponsor licence applications, immigration compliance and prepare visa applications for their overseas charity workers. 

How do I become a sponsor? 

Charities wishing to become sponsors must first seek permission from the Home Office; this is done by submitting an application which is accompanied with supporting documentation confirming that the eligibility criteria has been met. 

Generally, to sponsor charity workers, you must be a registered, excepted or exempt UK charity and you must have an appropriate HR system and sound procedures in place to monitor your employees. Depending on the type of licence you require, you may also need to show the role you wish to recruit for cannot be filled by a suitably qualified or skilled settled worker. 

Who can I sponsor? 

Under the Points Based System, you can sponsor migrants in a range of categories: 

  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Charity Workers: This covers people coming to the UK to do voluntary, unpaid work for a charity. The work must be directly related to the work of your charity.
  • Tier 2 General: This category is for sponsored skilled workers with a job offer who will be working in permanent, paid positions.
  • Tier 5 Creative & Sporting Workers: This is for people coming to the UK to work or perform as sports people, entertainers or creative artists for up to 12 months.
  • Tier 5 Religious Workers; This covers people coming to the UK to do preaching, pastoral or non-pastoral work for a religious organisation.
  • Tier 2 Ministers of Religion: For those undertaking preaching and pastoral work, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order and are taking up employment or a post/role within their faith community in the UK. 

How much does it cost? 

There is an application fee of £536. Once you are a sponsor, you will need to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the employee you wish to sponsor; each CoS costs £21 (Tier 5) or £199 (Tier 2). The Home Office’s fees are subject to change and it is recommended you speak to our solicitors to discuss fees associated with the process. 

Are there ongoing duties for a sponsor? 

Yes. Sponsors must monitor the worker, keep information about them and report certain things to the Home Office. This is for example, if the worker does not turn up to work on the first day or has a long period of unauthorised absence. 

How can you help? 

Our expert solicitors who are based in London and Reading, are fully authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and are available to consult with you in person at our offices, or via Skype or telephone to consider your eligibility. 

Once you are ready to make an application, we will guide you on the steps you will need to take and let you know what documents you will need to submit with your application to demonstrate you meet the eligibility criteria. 

When you are granted sponsor status, we can help you understand your sponsor duties and help your workers obtain the correct visa permission so they can begin work with you without unnecessary delays. 

If you would like to know more about our business immigration services and fee packages, please do get in contact with us today by filling in the Contact Form or calling/emailing us directly.

T: 020 7539 8000
F: 020 7539 8001