Skip to content

22 June 2023

Update for employers intending to apply for a Sponsor Licence

2 mins

Breaking news: the Sponsor Licence application process has become slightly more streamlined.


The Home Office has delivered an much longed-for change to the process, with the inclusion of optional priority service in the initial Licence application. The news was embargoed until the update went live at 9.00am on 21 June 2023.

  • This is welcome news for employers who do not yet hold a Sponsor Licence – the change negates the need to participate in a 9.00am lottery for one of a very limited number of priority slots (30 daily) after filing an application.
  • Organisations that currently have a Sponsor Licence application pending will be able to apply for priority service retrospectively, by logging back into the sponsor application account and selecting ‘finish an incomplete application’, and by following the relevant steps. 
What’s the catch?

It should be noted, however, that there remain a maximum 30 daily priority slots available, and so when submitting a Sponsor Licence application it may be prudent to submit it on a different day during the ‘service operating times of 9.00am to 11.59pm, Monday to Friday’, if the priority service is not immediately available at the payment page.

For further information please see the document linked here as forwarded by the Home Office.

Tanya Goldfarb, Head of our Business Immigration team, comments:

Whilst this is a welcome development from the Home Office, the ongoing limit to the number of daily priority slots may continue to be somewhat frustrating, particularly for employers who have an urgent need to sponsor an employee or prospective employee.

This change comes hot on the heels of other upgrades to the Sponsor Licence system (the SMS) and is a further step in the increased digitalisation of all UK immigration visa routes and processes.


For further details on how this change may impact your business or your employees, please contact Tanya Goldfarb, Head of the Business Immigration team at Bindmans:

How can we help you?

We are here to help. If you have any questions for us, please get in touch below.