UK Expansion Worker Sponsor Licence

You will need to sponsor any overseas national you wish to employ to establish a branch or subsidiary in the UK if they are not a settled worker or do not otherwise have immigration permission to work for you in the UK. This includes most EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020. In order to sponsor a UK Expansion Worker you will need to be authorised by the Home Office.

UK Expansion Worker sponsors can only sponsor the number of workers that they genuinely need to establish the UK business, up to a maximum of 5 workers at any one time. You will be able to replace individual workers within this allocation (for example, if a sponsored worker leaves your company or returns to their employer overseas) but you will not be permitted to sponsor more than 5 workers on the UK Expansion Worker route at any one time.

Eligibility requirements

In order to successfully apply for a UK Expansion Worker sponsor licence, you will need to satisfy general and route-specific requirements.

General Requirements

You will need to satisfy the Home Office that:

  • You are a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the UK;

  • You are honest, dependable, reliable and are not engaging and have not engaged in behaviour or actions that are not conducive to the public good;

  • You are capable of carrying out your sponsor duties and evidencing your compliance in a timeframe and manner set out in sponsor guidance.

Route-specific Requirements

You will need to satisfy the Home Office that:

  • You can offer employment which meets the skill level requirement for the UK Expansion Worker route;

  • You can offer employment which meets the salary level requirement for the UK Expansion Worker route;

  • The job(s) you are looking to sponsor is (are) genuine;

  • You are not looking to sponsor a role which will involve working for a third party;

  • There is a qualifying link between you (the sponsor) and the overseas business that will send workers to you;

  • You are not already actively trading in the UK, but you have a UK ‘footprint’;

  • The overseas business that is expanding to the UK is active and trading overseas and,

    unless an exception applies, has been active and trading for at least 3 years;

  • You genuinely intend, and are able, to expand to the UK and establish a UK trading presence within two years;

  • The planned expansion is in the same type of business that you conduct overseas;

  • The business you are establishing in the UK is either wholly owned by the overseas

    business or is part of the same legal entity (such as a branch);

  • You have appointed an Authorising Officer, Key Contact and at least one Level 1 User.

    Further information, help, and advice

    Our team of specialists has years of experience in visa services. We are registered with the OISC at Level 3 to provide Immigration advice and services.

    For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or at

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