Sponsor Checklist

Here are some things to consider before sponsoring a non-British or non-Irish citizen to work for you in Scotland.


As an employer in Scotland who wants to sponsor a non-British or non-Irish citizen to work there are some things you should consider before you start the process.

You can then access our helpful factsheets for each step in the sponsorship.

Are you a registered sponsor?

As an employer, you can only sponsor non-British or non-Irish citizens to work in Scotland and the rest of the UK if you are registered with the Home Office. If you are not already registered with the Home Office, you must register.

What type of sponsor licence do you require?

There are different types of licence available to you to sponsor an employee and it is important that you make sure you have the right licence.

If you want to recruit a new employee from outside your organisation who is a non-British or non-Irish Citizen, you must be registered as a Skilled Worker sponsor.

If you want to transfer an existing employee who is a non-British or non-Irish citizen to the UK, then you need to be registered as an Intra-Company sponsor.

Be aware that there are different visa requirements under each licence.

Find Licensed sponsorship guidance on GOV.UK

Skilled Worker

For example, if you are sponsoring a Skilled Worker, you must ensure that you pay them the appropriate salary rate e.g. “New Entrant” (at least £20,480) or “Experienced” (at least £25,600) or as identified in the Standard Occupational Codes (whichever is higher) and that they speak English to the required degree.

Your Skilled Worker employee may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after being in this visa category for at least 5 years.

Intra-Company Route

If you are sponsoring an Intra-Company employee, you need to consider how long you want them to work for you in Scotland, on what basis, and whether their current salary allows them to come to Scotland on a long-term basis (as your employee should be paid at least £41,500) or the appropriate rate, whichever is higher.

If an employee is coming to work for you in Scotland as a Graduate Trainee, then the salary paid should be at least £23,000.

Your employees sponsored under the Intra-Company route will not normally be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain under this category but it may be possible for them to switch in to the Skilled Worker route mentioned above.

How long is the licence valid for?

Whichever sponsor licence you apply for and are granted, the licence is normally valid for 4 years. During the validity of the sponsor licence, you will be able to sponsor migrants if the usual requirements are met, such as:

Does the potential employee meet the visa requirements?

There are some requirements your potential employee must meet before they can be granted a visa by the Home Office.

The requirements depend on the type of visa your potential employee is applying for.

If your potential employee does not meet these requirements, then their application will be refused by the Home Office and you will have to restart the process again. Therefore, it’s important that you consider the requirements early on.

For example, you must consider:

  • Whether your potential employee needs to show that they have an English language qualification
  • If your potential employee (and any dependents they bring with them) meet the maintenance requirement, showing they have the relevant sums in their account for 28 days. You may also be able to certify the maintenance for your employee and their dependants in some cases.