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Can I Self-Sponsor Myself To Work In The UK?

It has come to our attention that there is an article circulating in the Indian media which states that overseas entrepreneurs are able to self-sponsor a skilled worker visa for themselves in order to work in the UK. Thal Vasishta, a Director and Immigration Solicitor at Paragon Law is here to draw clarity on the article and the concept of ‘self-sponsorship’.

There is no such thing as ‘self-sponsorship’ and in that regard, the article is somewhat misleading.

Whilst you are able to set-up a company in the UK with the intention that it will trade, this company cannot apply for a sponsor licence until it has provided evidence. To apply for a sponsor licence, a company will need to providing the following evidence (as a minimum) in support of the application:

  • Latest corporate bank statement.
  • Employers Liability Insurance
  • Proof of business premises
  • HMRC registrations (minimum registration for PAYE)

In addition to submitting this evidence when applying for a sponsor licence, the UK company will need to employ someone at a relatively senior level in order to file the sponsor licence application on behalf of the company. The person who is employed will need to be nominated to the roles of Authorising Office and the Level 1 User. As an overview, an Authorising Officer is the person who is ultimately responsible on behalf of the company for duties and obligations of the company under the sponsor licence. Similarly, a Level 1 User is the person that will log-in to the sponsor licence once granted to issue you with a certificate of sponsorship. It is important to note that this person IS NOT yourself or a relative.

As a newly registered company with little trading history in the UK there is a chance that the company will be selected for a pre-registration audit by the UKVI. This audit is a check done by the UKVI to ensure that they are satisfied that the business has adequate systems and processes in place to satisfy the duties of a sponsor. Whilst Paragon Law can help for the preparation of this UKVI audit, the audit itself will take place at the company business premises where the UKVI officers would expect to meet with the person employed by the business to discuss the sponsorship application.

Therefore, if you are able to implement the points discussed and in particular, employ a UK resident, then a UK immigration law advisor will be able to advise you on the acquisition of a sponsor licence and your subsequent sponsorship.


If you require further information and assistance about sponsor licence applications or working in the UK then don’t hesitate to get in touch.