You can apply for Tier 4 General sponsor licence if you are an education provider and wish to sponsor Tier 4 General students aged 16 and over for their post-16 education. A Tier 4 General sponsor licence is valid for four years from the date it is granted, unless it is revoked or surrendered.

Academies and schools maintained by a local authority, including those with sixth forms, cannot hold a Tier 4 licence or sponsor students under Tier 4. If the Home Office, UKVI receives an application for a Tier 4 licence from such an educational establishment, the Home Office, UKVI will reject it and refund the fee.

How To Make Tier 4 General Sponsor Licence Application?

Applications for a Tier 4 General licence must be made using the online form located on the Gov.uk website using the following link: https://www.points.homeoffice.gov.uk/gui-sponsor-jsf/SponsorHome.faces

The Tier 4 licence application process is set out below:

  1. An education provider registers online with their name and email address: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-tier-4-sponsor-licence
  2. The provider completes the application form, pays the fee online and submits the application.
  3. The provider is then taken to a submission sheet page. It must print this, complete it and send it to the Home Office, UKVI with supporting documentation. The following must be sent to validate an application:
    1. the original submission sheet (not a certified copy), signed and dated by the authorising officer (all pages must be sent); and
    2. all of the mandatory documents listed on the submission sheet (originals or certified copies). These must all be sent together within five working days of the submission of the application or the application will be rejected and the fee refunded.
  4. UKVI processes the application, making any checks that are necessary.
  5. UKVI notifies the provider of its decision.
  6. If a Tier 4 licence is granted, the education provider’s name and status will be published on the Tier 4 Register of Sponsors.

Probationary Status As Tier 4 General Sponsor

A Tier 4 General sponsor is given Probationary Sponsor status when it is first granted a licence. A Probationary Sponsor must demonstrate that it can fulfil its sponsorship duties, will continue to do so, and can be trusted to hold Tier 4 General Sponsor status. When a Probationary Sponsor applies for and passes its first annual Basic Compliance Assessment, it will be given Tier 4 General Sponsor status.

Legacy Sponsor As Tier 4 General Sponsor

In some circumstances, a sponsor may be made a Legacy Sponsor. A Legacy Sponsor is not permitted to sponsor any new students, but can continue to sponsor students who are already studying with it until either their leave expires or its Tier 4 General licence expires, whichever happens first.

All sponsors, including Probationary Sponsors and Legacy Sponsors, must comply with the Tier 4 sponsorship duties including the duty to apply for and pass an annual Basic Compliance Assessment.

Requirements of Tier 4 General Sponsor Licence

To be issued a Tier 4 General licence, an education provider must be:

  • a genuine education provider that has acceptable educational quality standards, and is operating lawfully in the UK, complying with all appropriate rules and regulations;
  • considered eligible and suitable to hold a Tier 4 General licence; and
  • capable of carrying out its duties as a sponsor.

An education provider must meet these criteria in order to be granted a Tier 4 General licence, and continue to meet them in order to retain its licence. In order to establish whether or not an education provider meets these
criteria, UKVI will consider a number of factors, including (but not limited to) its history and background, the Key Personnel named on its application and anyone involved in the day-to-day running of the organisation.

The Home Office, UKVI views any history of dishonest conduct or immigration crime, either by the relevant organisation as a corporate entity, or by individuals in the organisation, seriously and may refuse an application solely on the basis that such activities have taken place. The Home Office, UKVI will also look at an education provider’s policies and processes, including how student attendance is monitored, to ensure it will be able to fulfil its sponsorship duties. The Home Office, UKVI may visit an education provider before making a decision on its application for a Tier 4 General licence. If the Home Office, UKVI has significant doubts about the ability of an education provider to fulfil its sponsorship duties after visiting it, it may refuse its application.

Eligibility And Suitability For A Tier 4 General Licence

The Home Office, UKVI will consider whether an education provider is eligible and suitable to hold a Tier 4 General licence. It will take into account any relevant factors, including (but not limited to) whether or not:

  • the provider and all of its sites meet the Tier 4 Educational Oversight requirement;
  • the provider has complied with any time restriction for an application for a Tier 4 General sponsor licence;
  • the provider and all of its sites have complied with the Immigration Rules and sponsor guidance in the past (including consideration of whether a Tier 4 licence has been revoked);
  • the provider is a genuine institution that is operating lawfully in the UK, including registering for VAT with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) where required to do so; holding a written record of a fire risk assessment conducted by a competent person; and holding the appropriate planning permission or local planning authority consent to operate the relevant type or class of organisation at its trading address;
  • Key Personnel, and individuals involved in the day-to-day running of the organisation or any of its sites, have complied with the Immigration Rules and sponsor guidance in the past (including whether any of its Key Personnel have held a role in an institution that has had its Tier 4 licence revoked, or surrendered a Tier 4 licence);
  • Key Personnel, or any individuals involved in the day-to-day running of the organisation or any of its sites, have:
    • an unspent criminal conviction for a relevant offence;
    • received a civil penalty for immigration offences;
    • previously come to the notice of the Home Office for potential investigation; or
    • been named as Key Personnel at any institution which was refused Specific Course Designation, or had Specific Course Designation removed, during their time at the institution;
  • the provider has systems, policies and processes in place that enable it to meet its sponsor duties (under the Immigration Rules and/or the sponsor guidance); and
  • the provider has at any time misrepresented its Tier 4 sponsorship status on its website or marketing material (for example, by claiming it was a licensed sponsor while its licence was revoked).

If an individual named as Key Personnel, or any individuals involved in the day-to-day running of the organisation or any of its sites, has a prosecution for a relevant offence pending, their application will be put on hold pending the outcome of criminal proceedings and any appeals.

If an education provider has not included with its application all the required documents, UKVI will consider it ineligible, reject the application and refund the fee paid. If UKVI considers that an education provider is not suitable to hold a Tier 4 General licence, it will refuse the application. If a sponsor ceases to be suitable to retain its Tier 4 General licence, compliance action will be taken against it.

Why Choose Sunrise Solicitors For Tier 4 General Sponsor Licence Application?

The immigration solicitors at Sunrise Solicitors are experts in dealing with application to the Home Office for Tier 4 General Sponsor Licence. The quality of our service is self-evident from the clients' reviews about the service provided by our immigration lawyers. You can contact us if you are seeking legal help from immigration lawyers in London in relation to your application for Tier 4 General Sponsor Licence and our immigration solicitors will provide you fast, friendly, reliable and professional immigration service.

If instructed to represent you regarding your application for Tier 4 General sponsor licence, the work to be done by our immigration solicitors will include the following:

  • Taking detailed instructions from you and advising you whether or not you meet the relevant criteria for the grant of the Tier 4 General sponsor licence;
  • Advising the steps to be taken prior to submission of the Tier 4 General sponsor licence application;
  • Advising on the documentary evidence to be submitted in support of the Tier 4 General sponsor licence application;
  • Considering the contents of the documentary evidence to be submitted in support of your Tier 4 General sponsor licence application and discussing the same with you;
  • Discussing your Tier 4 General sponsor licence application in detail with you and advising you about the weaknesses and strengths of your application for sponsorship licence;
  • Completing the online application form for Tier 4 General sponsor licence application to be submitted online; 
  • Preparing a detailed cover letter and providing the relevant information as required by the Home Office in relation to the education provider, the genuineness of the education provider as an educational institution, the details of the Authorising Officer, etc;
  • Assisting you with sending the original documents to the Home Office, UKVI following submission of the online application for sponsorship licence within the specified time;
  • Liaising with the Home Office, UKVI for a timely decision on the Tier 4 General sponsor licence application;
  • Protecting your interests while your application is pending with the Home Office, UKVI and keeping you informed about the progress on your sponsor licence application;
  • Advising on how you should handle the visit by the Home Office for compliance check before decision on the sponsor licence application and advising you on the sponsor duties including the record keeping duties as a sponsor;
  • Doing all the follow up work until decision is reached on the Tier 4 General sponsor licence application by the Home Office, UKVI;
  • Advising you on the next steps to be taken upon receipt of the decision on the application.

Our Fee For Tier 4 General Sponsor Licence Application

  • We will charge you a fee from £2,000 + VAT for our professional immigration services in relation to your application for Tier 4 General sponsor licence. The agreed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
  • The agreed fee will cover all our work until decision by the Home Office, UKVI on the Tier 4 General sponsor licence application. However, it is pertinent to note that the agreed fee will not cover any disbursements to be incurred by us on your behalf e.g. the Home Office, UKVI fee for the licence application etc.

© Sunrise Solicitors 2017 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA Registration No. 490903