Employer Sponsorship Licence - Key Personnel

To receive an Employer Sponsorship Licence, an organisation must nominate a person or persons to fill 3 specific roles within the immigration system in that company. Each of these roles will work to prevent illegal employment and maintain records for the Home Office database of migrant workers.

  • One person can occupy all three roles, or the roles can be split between one, two or three different people.  Some roles can be filled by a nominated legal representative outside of the organisation.

The person or persons nominated for these roles must be based in the UK and must currently have a National Insurance Number.

Check If You Qualify For An Employer Sponsorship License

Sponsoring Employer Roles

Authorising Officer:

  • The Authorising Officer is a staff member of the organisation that wishes to employ migrant workers. The Authorising Officer is ultimately and fully responsible for the actions of the organisation as they relate to hiring migrant workers.  The Authorising Officer should be given to a competent and senior person within the organisation.
  • The Authorising Officer must be a permanent paid staff member of your organisation. The Authorising Officer cannot be a consultant, temporary employee, or person contracted for a specific project. A legal representative cannot be the Authorising Officer for an organisation.
  • People who are undischarged bankrupt cannot act as an Authorising Officer for an organisation.

Key Contact:

  • The Key Contact acts as the primary point of contact between an organisation and the Home Office.  The Home Office will contact the Key Contact in the event that they have any questions, need documentation, or encounter any other issues with the organisation's hiring of migrants.
  • You may nominate a legal representative from outside your company to act as your Key Contact.

Level 1 User:

  • The Level 1 User is responsible for using the Home Office Sponsorship Management System to conduct the day-to-day activities and record keeping relating to immigrants employed by the organisation.  This day-to-day activity may include assigning sponsorship certificates to migrants, notifying the Home Office of any changes, reporting the activity of migrants and managing the administrative functions of the Sponsorship Management System.
  • You may nominate a legal representative from outside of your company to act as your Level 1 User.

An organisation may also appoint Level 2 Users to undertake simple day-to-day duties and maintain the Sponsorship Management System by assigning Certificates of Sponsorship to migrants and updating the Home Office of migrant activities.  However, there must always be a Level 1 User.

Legal Representatives

Although the Authorising Officer is the ultimate responsibility and must be a permanent staff member, an organisation may nominate people outside of the organisation to act as the Key Contact, Level 1 or Level 2 users.

In practice, this allows organisations without in-house expertise in migration law to contract out the day-to-day maintenance of their system to a qualified legal representative.

Legal representatives must be based in the UK, and must be regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), or exempt from the requirement, or otherwise compliant with the Immigration and Asylum Act of 1999.

The UK Visa Bureau is qualified to act as a Legal Representative and can fulfil the Key Contact and Level 1 or 2 user roles for your organisation under OISC registration no. F200600117.

For more information about Employee Sponsorship:

Employer Sponsorship Licence and the Tier 2 Work Permit

The Employer Sponsorship Licence is required by any employer looking to hire a worker through the Tier 2 Work Permit programme.