How do I sponsor a migrant worker?
How we award A and B ratings
This page explains how we award A and B ratings to sponsors on the register of sponsors under the points-based system.
How we award your rating
When we grant your licence, we will award you either an A rating or a B rating depending on your application's merits. Your rating reflects any track record you have in employing migrants and the level of confidence we have in your ability to meet your sponsor duties. Your rating appears on the published register of sponsors.
If we suspend your licence, we remove your entry from the register during the suspension period. If the suspension is lifted, we reinstate your name on the register with the rating we award.
Your rating will usually be the same for all the tiers you are registered for. However, in exceptional cases, we may apply the B rating only to certain tiers. For example, we may do this you have adequate procedures in place for managing your Tier 5 migrant workers, but not for managing your Tier 2 migrant workers.
If we award an A rating, it means, we have no evidence of abuse, and we think you have all the necessary systems in place to meet your duties.
If we award a B rating, it means we have concerns about your ability to meet your duties.
We will award a B rating if:
- you or a relevant person have been issued with a civil penalty for one of the "offences" listed in Appendix C (apart from Employing Illegal Migrant Workers) within the five years ending on the date of application, unless we withdrew that penalty or it was cancelled on appeal; or
- you are an existing sponsor applying to renew your licence and are already B-rated (unless we are satisfied that you have successfully met all the requirements of your sponsorship action plan).
This is not an exhaustive list of circumstances where a B-rating will be granted.
We may award a B-rating if, you, or a relevant person have a conviction for offences to do with the running of your/their business and this makes us doubt your suitability as a sponsor. (For example a conviction under the National Minimum Wage Act or for benefit fraud). We do not take into account convictions that are spent under the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. (Convictions may become 'spent' after specified periods of time from the date of conviction if there are no further convictions during that time. Spent convictions are disregarded for certain purposes).
In the circumstances above, we consider, among other things, the seriousness of the offence, for example any penalty or sentence imposed by the court and what you have done since then to improve the circumstances which led to the conviction. For example, if the offence was committed by a member of staff, we would consider any action you may have taken against that person.
We hold you fully responsible for anything done by an employee who appears to act on your behalf. We may withdraw your licence or downgrade it to a B rating if you do not comply with the rules on issuing or allocating certificates.
This term is applied to a sponsor under the points-based system who is licensed to bring migrants to the United Kingdom to work, train or study. It is the rating awarded by us when a sponsor joins the register of sponsors. We will award an A-rating if you have all the necessary systems in place to meet your duties and there is no evidence of abuse.
This term is applied to a sponsor licensed under the points-based system to bring migrants to the United Kingdom to work. A B-rating can be awarded by us when a sponsor joins the register of sponsors. Existing sponsors can also be downgraded to a B-Rating if they have been found to be non-compliant with the their sponsor duties. A B-rated sponsor will be subject to a sponsorship action plan.
A 'virtual document' assigned by a licensed sponsor to a migrant who wishes to work for them in the UK. The migrant must quote the certificate of sponsorship reference number when applying for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 2 or Tier 5 of the points-based system or, where the migrant is a Croatian national, when applying for worker authorisation.
Convictions for criminal offences may become 'spent' after specified periods of time from the date of conviction if there are no further convictions during that time. Spent convictions will be disregarded for certain purposes. They will not normally be taken into account when assessing whether someone is of good character. Convictions that are not yet spent are known as unspent convictions and will be taken into account when assessing good character.