On 31st May 2023, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) updated its ‘Workers, Temporary Workers and Students: guidance for sponsors Appendix A: supporting documents for sponsor licence applications’. In this article, we will explain the key changes to Appendix A and how these will impact UK sponsor licence applicants in 2023.
Appendix A provides a full list of the documents that are permitted by UK Visas and Immigration in support of sponsor licence applications. The most recent version applies to all sponsor licence applications made or decided on or after 31st May 2023.
The appendix specifies the permissible evidence in 3 tables, as follows:
It is important to ensure that any documents you send in support of your organisation’s sponsor licence meet the exact requirements of Appendix A. Doing so will ensure that the sponsor licence application has the best chance of approval.
The latest version of Appendix A published on 31st May 2023, has 3 main changes, all of which affect table 3 (see above), as follows:
UKVI have added clarification to the ‘Government Authorised Exchange’ category stating that diplomatic missions and consular posts applying under the ‘Diplomatic Missions Interns Scheme’ are required to provide an applicable copy of a signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The guidance now states:
“If you are applying as a diplomatic mission or consular post under the Diplomatic Missions Interns Scheme, you must also send a copy of the signed Memorandum of Understanding between you and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) with your application”.
The second change to table 3 relates to the ‘Global Business Mobility – Service Supplier’ sponsorship route. The guidance has now been made clearer regarding the need to provide an eligible contract for the supply of a service covered by a relevant and current UK trade commitment. The text has been redrafted as follows:
“You must provide evidence that you have an eligible contract with an overseas
service provider for the supply of a service which is covered by a relevant UK trade
commitment that is currently in force or being provisionally applied and that meets
the requirements set out in section GBM2 of Sponsor a Global Business Mobility
The final change concerns the UK Expansion Worker sponsor licence category. The amendments have been made to the section entitled ‘Exception for Japanese businesses’. This has now been changed to ‘Exception for Japanese and Australian businesses’. The purpose of this change is to acknowledge the new UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which came into force on 31st May 2023. This section has also had some minor amendments and now reads as follows:
Exception for Japanese and Australian businesses
You do not have to send the documents listed under (2)(b) below (evidence you have
been trading overseas for at least 3 years) if you are either:
You must still submit the evidence listed under (1), (2), (a), (3) and (4).
You should be aware that if you do not submit the evidence under (2)(b), you will only be
permitted to sponsor one person at a time. If you wish to sponsor more than one person
at a time, you must also submit the evidence under (2)(b)”.
The new UK / Australian trade agreement removes tariffs on trade between the two countries and will enable the opening up of the UK market for agricultural goods to Australian companies on a gradual basis. It also sets out preferential terms for trade in the areas of services, digital trade, public procurement and intellectual property. Furthermore, under the FTA, it will be possible for UK nationals under 35 to more easily work and travel in Australia.
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The changes to Appendix A are minor in nature and do not substantially change the evidential requirements for sponsor licence applicants. Changes 1 and 2 are primarily about ensuring that organisations have the appropriate contractual arrangements in place to meet the requirements of the sponsor licence route.
If you are unsure if you have the appropriate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or commercial contract to support your sponsor licence application, speak to an immigration Solicitor who can check this for you. They will verify that the document you have meets the evidential requirements for your chosen sponsorship route, i.e. that it is applicable, signed, dated, valid, and in force on the date you apply. If further clarification is needed, they may recommend providing a covering letter explaining any details that UKVI should be aware of when considering your sponsor licence application.
A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with sponsor licence applications and compliance. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please phone us on +44 20 7404 7933 or contact us today. We’re here to help!