UK Self Sponsorship: The secret of setting up a business in the UK (2023)


Self-sponsorship is an innovative idea that hardly anyone knows but that can be the perfect solution for entrepreneurs who are hampered from taking the better-known routes to international expansion in the UK.

UK Self Sponsorship: The secret of setting up a business in the UK (1)

Yash Dubal

Director and Senior Immigration Associate, A Y & J Solicitors, ET

Under Dubal's mentorship, the A Y & J Solicitors has become a Legal 500 law firm and won ‘Best Immigration Law Firm’ in 2018. Dubal also specializes in complex Judicial Review cases and appeals. His research skills are unparalleled, and he is an expert on sponsor licenses.

Currently, businesses wishing to expand into the UK have few options, each of which have drawbacks. With UK shutting down the Investor visa route, only two remain- the UK Sole Representative visa and the Innovator visa.

Want to see if you're eligible to migrate to the UK? Click here

Majority shareholders are unable to apply for Sole Representative visas and Innovator visas only apply to those with innovative businesses. These limitations preclude a vast number of smaller business owners.

(Video) Self-Sponsorship Route 5 Dos and Don'ts | UK Immigration | UK business

But what if I told you there was another way which, until now, has been a closely guarded secret?

Self-sponsorship is an innovative idea that hardly anyone knows but that can be the perfect solution for entrepreneurs who are hampered from taking the better-known routes to international expansion in the UK.

Self-sponsorship is also simple. If you have a genuine intention to open a business in the UK and want to run an active trading company in the UK, you can follow this route. It is open to anyone who has experience in the field they wish to run their business and enough money to fund their expansion. Applicants must also be proficient in English to a level set by the UK government.

There are no strict rules on the type of business that can be run in the UK under the scheme, and you can own 100% shares of your UK company and be the director.

So how does self-sponsorship work?

It is an easy three stage process.

Stage one is to establish a UK company, and then apply for a sponsor licence, which allows that company to sponsor an overseas worker on a Skilled Worker visa. That skilled worker will be you. In effect you will be sponsoring yourself to come and work in your own company. The process is completely legal and within the rules.

Overseas nationals are legally allowed to set up companies in the UK although this should be done with the aid of a registered UK accountant, as there are certain stipulations that must be adhered to.

Once the UK company is established, the next stage is to apply to the UK Home Office for a Skilled Worker sponsor licence. There are certain requirements a company must fulfil in order to be successful, for example the company must have the necessary policy and procedures in place.

For this reason, the self-sponsorship process should be embarked upon under the guidance and advice of a UK legal expert. A Y & J Solicitors is the pioneer behind this process and offers the most comprehensive expertise.

Once your UK company has successfully been granted a Sponsor licence, you can proceed to the final stage of the process, which is employing yourself through your own company and applying for a skilled worker visa, using the job offer as the basis for the visa application. In order to hold a Skilled Worker visa, you, and the role you are taking, must meet certain criteria including English language proficiency, salary and level of education. As long as you meet these requirements, you will be able to come and work in your UK company and enjoy the benefits of the UK’s booming economy.

(Video) UK Self Sponsorship Visa Route - FAQs | Skilled Worker Visa

After five years you may also qualify for residency and after six, for citizenship. You can bring over your spouses and children under 18.

UK Self Sponsorship: The secret of setting up a business in the UK (2)ET Online

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of

UK Self Sponsorship: The secret of setting up a business in the UK (3)

UK Self Sponsorship: The secret of setting up a business in the UK (4)Saturday, 10 Dec, 2022

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How do I get a self-sponsorship in the UK? ›

What documents do I need for the UK self-sponsorship visa?
  1. Your certificate of sponsorship reference number, as your UK company will be able to provide once it has been granted a sponsor licence.
  2. Proof of your English language knowledge.
  3. A valid passport or other document showing your identity and nationality.

Can I sponsor my self in UK? ›

To work for a UK-based organisation, the company will need to have a sponsor licence in place. For overseas citizens looking to start up a business in the UK, they can take the self-sponsorship visa route.

Can I start a company and sponsor myself? ›

The immigration rules layout that you can set up a limited company while living in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa, as this would not necessarily affect your immigration status (as long as you were not actively working in the business).

What is a self-sponsorship? ›

“Self-sponsored” means the application does not need to be approved or prepared by your employer. The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) at Yale recommends using a qualified immigration attorney for any self sponsored LPR application.

How do you write a self sponsorship letter? ›

What Should Be Included in a Sponsorship Letter?
  1. An Introduction to Yourself and Your Opportunity.
  2. The Reason You Got in Touch.
  3. Information about Your Audience.
  4. Your Activation and Sponsorship Opportunities.
  5. A Mention of When You Will Follow Up.

How can I go to UK without a sponsorship? ›

Other work visas
  1. UK Ancestry visa.
  2. Get an exempt vignette.
  3. Frontier Worker permit.
  4. British National (Overseas) visa.
  5. Overseas Domestic Worker visa.
  6. Representative of an Overseas Business visa.
  7. Turkish Businessperson visa.
  8. Turkish Worker visa.
11 May 2022

How much money does a sponsor need for immigration UK? ›

Immigration Skills Charge

So the cost of sponsoring someone for five years would be £1,820. For a medium or large sponsor, the charge is £1,000 for the first year and £500 for each additional six months. The cost of sponsoring someone for five years would be £5,000.

How much money do you need to sponsor someone in UK? ›

You and your partner must have a combined income of at least £18,600 a year if: you're applying as a partner. you want to settle in the UK (get 'indefinite leave to remain') within 5 years.

Can I apply for UK work visa without job offer? ›

You can apply for this visa if you have been offered a skilled job in the UK. The salary requirements for this visa are £25,600, or the specific salary requirement for the occupation or the 'going rate'. You must also have been offered a COS-Certificate of Sponsorship from the licensed sponsor in the UK.

Is it hard to get sponsored in UK? ›

Is it difficult to get a UK work visa? Some UK work visas are more difficult to obtain than others, with different route-specific requirements. In many cases, the applicant will need to have the offer of a job meeting minimum skill and salary requirements from a licensed sponsor.

How long does it take to get certificate of sponsorship UK? ›

When you get the certificate. Applications are usually approved within one working day. It may take longer if UKVI need to carry out further checks on the information in your application. Defined certificates will appear in your SMS account once they have been approved.

How much does it cost for a company to sponsor you in UK? ›

How much does it cost a company to sponsor a visa UK? The sponsor licence application fee is £1,476 for large companies and £536 for small companies and charities. Additional fees also apply, including the cost of assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship to each visa worker, at £199.

How do I sell myself for sponsorship? ›

Here are the 5 steps you should take to get sponsors for your next event:
  1. Identify a target list of sponsors. Get organized before you dive in by creating a target list of sponsors for your event. ...
  2. Get the numbers. ...
  3. Create different levels of sponsorship. ...
  4. Give yourself lead time. ...
  5. Put it all together.

What is sponsorship example? ›

Other corporate sponsorship examples involve promoting product sales that benefit a cause, campaigns that seek donations at the point of sale (purchase plus), licensing involving logos that send a portion of sales to a charity, cobranded events or programs, and social or public service marketing programs that encourage ...

How do I write an attractive sponsorship proposal? ›

How to write your event sponsorship proposal
  1. Describe the event in a nutshell. The event is the meat of the delicious meal you'll serve potential sponsors as you court them for investment. ...
  2. Present your target audience. ...
  3. Demonstrate your track record. ...
  4. Outline your process. ...
  5. Suggest some sponsorship packages.
15 May 2019

What makes a good sponsorship letter? ›

Event sponsorship proposals should be succinct. The initial cover letter should be no longer than a page and simply provide a high-level overview of what you're looking for. Be specific and direct. Once you have someone's interest, you can always provide supplementary information as a next step.

How do I write a letter to sponsor UK? ›

What to include in the visa sponsorship letter
  1. Sponsor's full name and date of birth.
  2. Sponsor's full contact details and address of their UK residence.
  3. Sponsor's occupation.
  4. Sponsor's own UK immigration status.
  5. Visa applicant's full name and date of birth.
  6. Visa applicant's full contact details and address.
20 Oct 2022

Who can sponsor me in UK? ›

Job suitability
  • a skilled worker.
  • a health or care worker.
  • a worker on any type of 'Global Business Mobility' visa (senior or specialist worker, graduate trainee, secondment worker, UK expansion worker or service supplier)
  • a scale-up worker.
  • a worker on a government authorised exchange.
  • a seasonal worker.

Can I sponsor a friend to visit me in the UK? ›

Your friend or family member can apply for a visitor visa so they can visit you in the UK. Visitor visas are usually for up to 6 months.

Can I start business in UK without visa? ›

Does a Non-Resident Need a Visa to Start a UK Business? There is no need for a visa to establish a business in the UK. When you set up a business, you are not required to provide proof that you can work.

What documents are needed for sponsorship in UK? ›

Documents you'll need to apply
  • your certificate of sponsorship reference number - your employer will give you this.
  • proof of your knowledge of English.
  • a valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality.
  • your job title and annual salary.
  • your job's occupation code.

Can I get UK visa without sponsor? ›

You must have a job offer from an approved UK employer before you apply for a Skilled Worker visa. Approved employers are also known as sponsors, because they are sponsoring you to come to or stay in the UK. View the list of approved UK employers.

How much money should you ask a sponsor for? ›

Don't sell yourself short. Ask for $10,000 to $100,000 from each sponsor. "I see people asking for $1,000," she said.

How much money does a sponsor need? ›

You must meet certain income requirements to become a sponsor. The most common minimum financial requirement is an annual income of $22,000. This figure is calculated to be at least 125% above the Federal poverty level based on the ASPE.

What documents are needed for sponsor? ›

To become a financial sponsor, you must file an I-864, or an Affidavit of Support. In this affidavit, you promise to support the non-citizen once the non-citizen enters the U.S. To be a financial sponsor, you must: Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

How much does a sponsor cost? ›

In general, a visa sponsorship costs approximately $4000 but may cost $8-9,000 if a company has more than fifty employees and 50% of those employees are foreign nationals.
How Much Does It Cost to Sponsor a Visa?
Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee$500
4 more rows
28 Nov 2022

Can I get UK visa without interview? ›

It is not necessary that each and every candidate will be interviewed by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI).

What is the minimum salary for UK work visa? ›

You can be paid between 70% and 90% of the usual going rate for your job if your salary is at least £20,480 per year and you meet one of the following criteria: your job is in a shortage occupation. you're under 26, studying or a recent graduate, or in professional training.

Why do UK work visas get rejected? ›

Inadequate supporting documentation

Supporting documents with missing or incomplete information or that are incorrectly formatted are a common reason why visa applications are rejected.

Can I move to UK without a job? ›

Yes, you can move to the UK without a job if you have enough money to support yourself and if you are born to British parents or qualify for one of the following visa's: Tier 5 Youth Mobility (this is country and age-restricted) UK Ancestry.

Who pays for certificate of sponsorship UK? ›

The employer will have to pay a number of fees to sponsor a skilled worker visa, including the sponsor licence application fee of £1,476 or £536 for smaller companies and charities.

How long does it take for UK visa to be approved 2022? ›

You should get a decision within 12 weeks once you either attend your appointment at the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) or when you submit your online documents after completing the ID Check app.

How long does a UK sponsorship licence last? ›

After you apply

You'll be given a licence rating if your application is successful. You'll be able to issue certificates of sponsorship if you have jobs that are suitable for sponsorship. Your licence will be valid for 4 years. You may lose your licence if you do not meet your responsibilities as a sponsor.

How can I go to UK with sponsorship? ›

UK visitor visa sponsor documents

The documents required to sponsor UK Visitor Visa include proof of accommodation and the sponsor's bank balance. Also the sponsor should provide a letter of invitation for the trip to be undertaken by the visa applicant.

How much is a UK visa 2022? ›

UK Visa Fee 2022 for Visitor, Tourist, Study, Spouse, and Work. From April 6, 2022, UK visa fee for 6 months is £100, which is commonly known as London or England visa price. The UK visa application fees requirements in 2022 for spouse and students are £1,538 and £363, respectively.

How do I get a company to sponsor my visa? ›

How Do I Get A Sponsorship Letter For Employment In The US?
  1. Step 1: Get An Employment Contract.
  2. Step 2: Submit A Labor Certificate.
  3. Step 3: Submit The Documents To The USCIS.
  4. Step 4: Wait For Your Visa Sponsorship Application To Be Processed.
23 Oct 2022

What are the 10 elements of a successful sponsorship proposal? ›

They will help you make your sponsors at ease when they receive your event sponsorship proposal:
  • The Event Brand. What kind of event are you organising? ...
  • Target audience. ...
  • Professional Background. ...
  • Unique strengths. ...
  • Partnership benefits. ...
  • Describe the event in a few words. ...
  • Introduce your target audience. ...
  • Prove your past successes.

What sponsorship means UK? ›

A sponsorship licence is the permission granted to you as a UK employer to sponsor skilled foreign workers wanting to work for your organisation in the UK under the Skilled Worker visa route. Employers may also transfer existing employees to a UK branch under an Intra-Company Transfer visa.

What are 2 benefits of sponsorship? ›

Benefits of sponsorship: 13 reasons companies should do it
  • Drive brand awareness. ...
  • Generate positive PR. ...
  • Define how people perceive a company. ...
  • Generate content. ...
  • Showcase a product. ...
  • Gain prospect data. ...
  • Broker introductions / network. ...
  • Directly drive sales.

How do you sell yourself sample answers? ›

Example: 'I have many strengths that help me be successful at work. First, I have a strong work ethic that drives me to meet deadlines well ahead of schedule. I enjoy feeling the sense of accomplishment that comes with doing a job well and on time.

How do you answer how do you sell yourself? ›

These tips can help you close the sale on a job offer.
  1. Look the part. Many hiring managers will form their first impression of you based on what you're wearing. ...
  2. Tailor your elevator pitch. ...
  3. Prepare meaningful anecdotes. ...
  4. Ask unique questions. ...
  5. Always quantify your achievements. ...
  6. Say the right things.

What companies are most likely to sponsor? ›

The List of Top 60 Corporate Sponsors in the U.S.
  • Wells Fargo – 2.89%
  • Marriott – 1.63%
  • Dick's Sporting Goods – 1.39%
  • Whole Foods Market – 1.3%
  • State Farm – 1.07%
  • Pepsi – 0.98%
  • US Bank – 0.97%
  • Bank of America – 0.92%

What are the 3 types of sponsorships? ›

Three types of events sponsorships to offer
  • Branding – These opportunities allow sponsors to display their logos to event attendees. ...
  • Lead opportunities – These opportunities give sponsors a way to collect sales leads. ...
  • Networking – With these opportunities, sponsors have a way to get to know attendees one-to-one.
17 Dec 2021

What are 4 benefits of sponsorship? ›

How Sponsorship Benefits a Business: What's In It for Them?
  • It increases visibility for the company and its brand.
  • It allows businesses to aim for a specific demographic of sales.
  • It improves a company's reputation for success and refinement.
  • It generates sales leads.

Who are good sponsors? ›

3. Top 32 Companies with Excellent Corporate Sponsorship Programs
  • Wells Fargo. ...
  • State Farm. ...
  • PepsiCo. ...
  • US Bank. ...
  • Bank of America. ...
  • Budweiser/Budlight (Anheuser-Busch) ...
  • Clif Bar. ...
  • The Coca-Cola Company.
2 Oct 2020

Who is eligible to sponsor in UK? ›

Who can get a Certificate of Sponsorship to work in the UK? Any foreigner who has the required skills, qualification and experience to do a job in either Tier 2 or Tier 5 of the point-based system, is eligible to get a sponsor employer in the UK.

How much does it cost a UK company to sponsor a visa? ›

How much does it cost a company to sponsor a visa UK? The sponsor licence application fee is £1,476 for large companies and £536 for small companies and charities. Additional fees also apply, including the cost of assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship to each visa worker, at £199.

How much bank balance is required for visitor visa? ›

The amount of bank balance you should have for applying to the US tourist visa depends on the duration. If it is a 15-day trip, you must have $ 5,000-10,000 in your bank.

Can I bring my friend to UK permanently? ›

If a friend or a relative wants to come to visit you in the UK and they need a visa to enter the UK, they should prepare to apply for a Standard Visitor visa. They will need to submit the application at their nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC) in the country where there are living.

How much bank balance is required for UK work visa? ›

Apart from the application fees you will have to pay a health surcharge of 624 pounds when you apply, which will be refunded if your application is rejected. You should also have proof that you have the funds to support yourself which is 1,270 pounds.

Who qualifies for sponsorship? ›

All sponsors must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, be at least 18 years old, and be living in the United States (including territories and possessions) when they file the affidavit of support.

Who is not eligible for sponsorship? ›

You may not be eligible to sponsor your spouse, partner if you: were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago. are still financially responsible for a previous spouse or partner that you sponsored.

How long does it take for a sponsorship visa to be approved in UK? ›

Applications are usually approved within one working day. It may take longer if UKVI need to carry out further checks on the information in your application. Defined certificates will appear in your SMS account once they have been approved. You can then assign them to a worker.

How long does a UK sponsorship visa take? ›

You should get a decision within 24 weeks once you attend your appointment at the visa application centre, if you are applying to settle in the UK as the spouse, partner or family member of someone who has British citizenship or is settled in the UK.


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