What is Self-Sponsorship?

Self-Sponsorship refers to an application to come and work in the UK for your own business without the need of having a UK Sponsor. This can lead to permanent residency and British citizenship for yourself and your family.

Who is this for?

If you are a successful businessperson, and you have identified a business opportunity in the UK, OR you have a great business idea and want to explore your business opportunity in the UK,

  • You want to own the UK business
  • You want to lead, manage and maintain your UK business
  • You want to live without fear of losing your UK visa (i.e. sense of freedom)

Then this route could suit you.

Who would qualify?

Self-Sponsorship is open to anyone who satisfies all of the following:

  1. Has experience OR skills OR qualification(s) within the area of the business they want to establish
  2. Has a business idea or has identified a pre-existing UK business to takeover
  3. Has adequate resources to support their proposed business in the UK
    1. Please note, there is no minimum or maximum investment required for your business venture. It depends on your business need and may range from £25,000 or more.
  4. Ideally, has a person who is settled in the UK or a British citizen to take on the responsibilities of the Authorising Officer, and
  5. Has the ability to sit and pass an approved English language test at Level B1*
    1. *Please note, this is a basic level of the English language requirement.
Download Our Guide On How To Apply For Self-Sponsorship Route


What business would qualify for Self-Sponsorship?

Any business can qualify for the self-sponsorship route

Can I be a 100% shareholder in the UK business and Director?

Yes, you can have 100% of shares and you could be the Director.

What is the process of Self-Sponsorship?

Stage 1 – Establish a UK company, and apply for a Sponsor Licence

With the help of a registered UK accountant, your UK company can be registered.

Note: If you are a NON-UK resident, you will be required to appoint a UK based Director initially.

Timeline: Approximately 6 to 8 weeks.

How to apply for a Sponsor Licence

Your UK company will be required to provide a minimum of 4 of the below documents:

  • Most recent UK bank statement, showing funds in account (the amount required will depend on the type of business you are planning to run)
  • Employer’s Liability Insurance
  • VAT certificate
  • PAYE and Accounts Reference Number

Other information

It is advisable for the UK company to have the following:

  • A functional website (if applicable)
  • A company email address
  • A business plan, if the business is in the early stages
  • An organisation chart – showing the current staff and vacancies.
  • A letter confirming various details about your company such as business details, operating hours, the vacancies you have, and the salary you will pay yourself.

Stage 2 – Create and provide your UK company with a Human Resources pack

As part of the process of applying for a sponsor licence, you must ensure that your company has the necessary policy and procedures in place to sponsor you as a skilled worker.

Timeline: Approximately two days.

Stage 3 – Be assigned a Certificate of Sponsorship and we assist you with the Skilled Worker Visa

Upon the approval of your UK company Sponsor licence, you will require a Defined Certificate of Sponsorship.

Timeline: Approximately 4 to 12 weeks.

How much investment do I require for the UK business?

There is no minimum or maximum investment; it can range from £25000 or more.

When do I need to demonstrate the funds?

Before the Sponsor Licence is submitted to the Home Office.

What will be my position in the UK company?

You may be one of the majority shareholders in the UK business, and the job title may range from Managing Director, Director of Operations and any other relevant role you may take to run your business.

How much is a Skilled Worker Visa?

Between £464 to £1408. Additional fees are applicable, including the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is currently £624 per year for adults and £470 per year for child dependants.

Can I take on other employment in the UK?

There may be an option to take on supplementary employment in line with your job classification.

How can A Y & J Solicitors assist in obtaining Self Sponsorship?

We can:

  • Introduce you to strategic partners to help you achieve your objective such as, but not limited to, an accountant, a web designer, and a sales/marketing consultant.
  • Company business plan preparation
  • Guidance on opening a business bank account
  • Prepare and advise on your company sponsor licence application
  • Prepare and train your Authorising Officer
  • Prepare and submit your Skilled Worker Application
  • Provide you with complete hand holding support for your UK immigration process.

What if the business does not perform well during the 5-year period, what happens to your visa status/sponsor licence?

The Sponsor Licence is valid for 4 years, at the end of the 4 years a renewal application will need to be made to the Home Office. As long as you have an active/trading business you can retain the sponsor licence. If business was to stop trading, then you will be required to switch your immigration category.

What if the Authorising Officer (AO) leaves the company?

The company will be required to replace the Authorising Officer (AO).


Yes, you can bring your partner/spouse and children to the UK.

Between 3 years to 5 years.

Yes, your company will need to pay you a monthly salary in line with the correct job classification.