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Sponsorship License Processing Time

Navigating the Wait: Understanding Sponsor Licence Processing Times in the UK 

Securing a Sponsorship Licence in the UK unlocks the potential to sponsor skilled workers and other eligible individuals, enriching your business with diverse talent. While the benefits are clear, understanding the processing time can be crucial for planning and managing expectations. Let’s delve into the factors influencing how long it takes to receive your licence. 

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Standard vs. Priority Service

Standard Processing: The Home Office aims to process most applications within 8 weeks. However, this timeframe can vary based on several factors. 

Priority Service: For an additional fee, you can request a decision within 10 working days. However, this service has limited availability and doesn’t guarantee approval. 

If the sponsor licence application is deemed to be valid, you will get an email which notifies you of an enhanced service to fast-track the application. 

You will have to make a priority request via email by filling out the email request form and sending it to the home office. If the priority request is sent outside of the home office working days and stipulated time frame, the priority request will not be processed.

You will receive a couple of emails upon making a successful request for priority service.  The first will let you know that your request has been accepted and the second will provide you with a link to Worldpay so that you can pay the fee for the enhanced service. Payment must be made within 72 hours. 

It is only eligible requests with successful payment that are eligible for priority service.

Priority service applications are processed within 10 working days.

Sponsorship License Processing
Processing Time for Sponsorship Licences

Factors Affecting Processing Times

Complexity of your application: Businesses with a complex business structure, sponsoring multiple individuals, or with a history of compliance issues might experience longer processing times. 

Completeness and accuracy of your application: Ensure all information and documents are complete, accurate, and meet the required format to avoid delays due to requests for clarification. 

Current workload at the Home Office: Processing times can fluctuate depending on the volume of applications they receive. 

Tips for a Smoother Process:

Start early: Don’t wait until the last minute to apply. The earlier you submit your application, the more time the Home Office has to process it before your desired start date. 

Seek professional guidance: Immigration specialists can help assess your eligibility, prepare your application meticulously, and address potential issues proactively, minimising delays. 

Stay informed: Monitor the Home Office website for updates on processing times and any changes to requirements. 

Beyond the Standard Waiting Period:

If your application exceeds the expected timeframe, here’s what you can do: 

Contact the Home Office: You can check the status of your application online or contact the Home Office directly through their enquiry system. 

Seek legal advice: If you face unreasonable delays or have concerns about your application, consider seeking legal advice from immigration specialists. 

Additional Considerations

Processing times for CoS issuance (assigning a licence to a specific individual) are usually quicker than licence applications, taking around 5 working days. 

Be prepared for potential delays: While uncommon, complex cases or unforeseen circumstances can extend the processing time. 


Planning is key! By understanding the influencing factors, starting early, and considering professional guidance, you can navigate the sponsor licence processing time more effectively and welcome new talent into your business sooner. 

Sponsorship License timescales

Why Choose BPA Immigration Lawyers

At BPA Immigration Lawyers, we are highly rated experts in helping businesses obtain a Sponsorship License, your Skilled Work visa needs and remaining compliant with the stringent Home Office regulations. We operate in all areas of Immigration Law. 

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