How Much Does a Sponsor Licence Application Cost?

Uk sponsor license

Securing a sponsor licence is a crucial step for UK businesses aiming to employ skilled overseas workers. This licence allows employers to tap into an international talent pool, ensuring they can recruit the best prospects for their necessities. 

For any business planning to apply for a sponsor licence, it’s important to understand the costs involved in the sponsorship process. This article breaks down the various fees associated with obtaining and maintaining a sponsor licence, including the application fees, certificate of sponsorship fees, and other relevant fees.

Fees to Apply for a Sponsor Licence Application 

The application fee for a sponsor licence fluctuates based on the type and size of the company seeking the licence. UK businesses can apply for two primary varieties of sponsor licences: the Worker licence and the Temporary Worker licence.

For small or charitable sponsors, the fee for both licence types is £536. Conversely, medium or large sponsors must pay £1,476 for a Worker licence. This differentiation in fees ensures that the sponsorship process is accessible to organisations of all sizes and sectors.

Moreover, companies have the option to apply for both types of licences simultaneously. The combined application fee remains £536 for smaller or charitable organisations, while larger entities must pay £1,476.

Businesses must accurately assess their needs and choose the appropriate  licence type to avoid unnecessary costs. The decision to apply for one or both licences should align with the organisation’s recruitment strategy and the specific types of roles it plans to fill with overseas talent. 

How Do I Determine Whether My Organisation is a Small, Medium, or Large?

Determining the size of your organisation is crucial for applying for a sponsor licence, as it affects the fee you will pay. Your organisation will generally be classified as a small sponsor if it meets at least two criteria: an annual turnover of £10.2 million or less, total assets valued at £5.1 million or less, and a workforce of 50 employees or fewer.

The organisation will be recognised as a charitable sponsor if it is a registered charity in England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland and can provide proof of its charitable status from HMRC unless already listed on an official register.

How Much Does Sponsor Licence Application Priority Service Cost?

For businesses seeking expedited processing of their sponsorship licence application, the UK Home Office offers a Priority Service that significantly reduces the waiting time for a decision. This service is especially valuable for employers who need to quickly onboard overseas talent to meet urgent business needs. Talk to UK Sponsor Licence Lawyers for Businesses to ensure a smooth application process and maximise your chances of success.

The cost of this Priority Service is set at £500. Opting for this service allows companies to receive a decision on their sponsor licence application within 10 working days, compared to the standard processing time, which can take up to 8 weeks. 

However, it’s crucial to note this service does not ensure a favourable result and is contingent upon access on a first-come, first-served basis. The service is limited to a certain number of daily applications, ensuring that only a few can benefit from this expedited process daily.

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Fees

Employers must assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) when sponsoring international workers to work in the UK. This certificate is a vital component of the visa application process and carries the fees set by UK immigration. The fees vary depending on the visa category and the length of the employment.

For positions under the Temporary Worker routes, the fee to assign a CoS is relatively low, set at £25 per certificate. This includes roles such as charity workers, creatives, and those in the youth mobility and government-authorised exchange schemes. 

In contrast, for more long-term and specialised positions under the Worker routes, such as the Skilled Worker visa and the Senior or Specialist Worker, the fee is considerably higher at £239 per CoS.

A different fee is applicable to the International Sportsperson route in the Worker category, where if the CoS is assigned for less than 12 months, the fee is £25 and £239 for CoS valid for more than 12 months. This reflects the temporary nature and specific conditions of such appointments.

Read also: What Is a Sponsor Licence Rating?

Immigration Skills Charge

The Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) is an essential financial consideration for UK employers who sponsor skilled workers under the Skilled Worker, Senior, or Specialist Worker visa categories. The ISC is mandatory for workers applying for a visa from another country for employment of 6 months or longer or for any length of stay if they apply from within the UK.

This fee is designed to encourage employers to source and train the domestic workforce while allowing the essential hiring of specialised skills from abroad when necessary. The ISC is applicable when assigning Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) and varies based on the employer’s size and the duration of the visa.

For small or charitable organisations, the cost is £364 for the initial 12 months, with an extra £182 for each successive six-month period. For medium or large organisations, the ISC is £1,000 for the initial year, followed by £500 for every six months thereafter. The employer must pay this charge and applies to each sponsored employee.

See also: What Documents Will My Company Need to Apply for a Sponsor Licence?

Premium Sponsor Licence Customer Support Fee (Optional)

Employers who hold a ‘Worker’ or ‘Temporary Worker’ sponsor licence can opt for premium customer support to enhance their sponsorship management experience.

This service costs £25,000 for medium or large sponsors and £8,000 for small or charitable sponsors. It provides a dedicated account manager who offers personalised guidance and support tailored to the organisation’s specific immigration needs. 

Additionally, for a fee of £200, sponsors can access expedited processing for urgent sponsorship management requests. This service significantly speeds up administrative changes, such as extra Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocations or modifications to key personnel.

You can get responses typically provided within 5 working days compared to the standard processing time of up to 18 weeks with the expedited processing fee. 

Let Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors Help You

Applying for a sponsor licence can be complex and time-consuming. Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors is here to make the procedure seamless for your business. Our team of expert immigration lawyers provides thorough support and guidance, ensuring your application meets all Home Office requirements.

We handle everything from the initial application to compliance management, minimising the risk of delays or refusals. Let us handle the legal obligations so you can concentrate on expanding your business.

Contact us today for a free consultation and discover how we can help you secure the skilled talent your company needs.


Yes, any UK business that wants to hire migrant workers from outside the UK needs to obtain a sponsor licence. This licence is necessary for issuing Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) to prospective employees, which they will require in order to apply for a visa to work in the UK.

There are two main categories of sponsor licences available: the Worker sponsor licence and the Temporary Worker sponsor licence. The Worker sponsor licence allows businesses to hire employees for the long term. The Temporary Worker sponsor licence is for short-term roles.

As of 6 April 2024, the requirement to renew a sponsor licence has been removed by the Home Office. Licences due to expire on or after this date will be automatically extended by 10 years without any additional renewal fee.

Besides the initial sponsor licence fee, businesses should budget for the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC),  Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) fee, and optional costs such as the Priority Service fee for expedited processing and premium customer support services.

No, the cost of obtaining a sponsor licence remains the same regardless of whether you apply from within or outside the UK. The fees are based on the type of licence you need and the size or charitable status of your organisation, not the location from which you apply.

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At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.

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