As of January 2022, the average processing time for a Sponsorship licence is now over 10 weeks. In many circumstances, applications are taking significantly longer than this.

The delay has been caused by an increase in applications and factors that have contributed to the increase in demand for licences which include – Brexit and Coronavirus (COVID-19).


Employers can expedite an application by using the Home Office Priority Service which enables a decision to be made within 10 working days. However, the Home Office only accept a limited number of priority applications per day and subscription to this service is heavily oversubscribed. In January 2022 the average length of time for a Sponsorship Licence is over 10 weeks. This has increased for an average of 6 weeks this time last year. In Q3 of 2021, 4,250 applications were submitted as compared to Q3 of 2020 where 1,397 applications were made. This represents an increase of 67% comparatively. Following the introduction of the new Points Based System in December 2021, the number of applications for a Sponsorship Licence has increased exponentially. The increase is predominantly due to the introduction of work visa requirements for EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals from 01 January 2021, namely, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

How to get a Sponsorship Licence quicker? Applications can be submitted via the priority service application. It is also important to instruct a regulated firm that is highly experienced and can assist you with securing a successful determination the first time round. See our recent success story here where Branch Austin McCormick secured a Sponsorship Licence and visa switch in under 10 working days. 

When should we apply for a Sponsorship Licence?

The delays experienced are likely to continue or worsen. We advise our clients to secure their licence in good time to minimise any adverse effect on your entity owing to employee shortages.

Speak to our friendly corporate immigration team at Branch Austin McCormick. We provide a free initial consultation with a senior solicitor of the firm.

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