Student Sponsorship Licence Application

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What is the Purpose of a Student Sponsorship Licence?

A student sponsorship licence allows education providers to enrol international students in their courses. As a licenced student sponsor, the provider can issue prospective students with a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS).

What is a CAS?

A CAS is an electronic document, produced by approved education providers for the Home Office. Each CAS has a unique reference number which prospective students will need to provide in order to apply for either a Student visa (formerly a Tier 4 General visa) or a Child Student visa (formerly a Tier 4 Child visa) so they can study in the UK.

What Criteria Must be Satisfied to be Granted with a Student Sponsorship Licence?

There are three broad requirements that the education provider must satisfy. The education provider must be:

  • A genuine education provider that has acceptable educational quality standards, is operating lawfully in the UK and is complying with all the appropriate rules and regulations. The assessment of educational quality will be made by the relevant educational oversight body, such as the Office for Students or Ofsted. This assessment will be passed onto UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for consideration.
  • Considered eligible and suitable to hold a Student sponsorship licence. This assessment will be made by UKVI. They will consider whether the provider and all of its sites meet the student educational quality oversight requirement as well as factors such as previous immigration rule and sponsor guidance compliance (at both an institution and individual level).
  • Capable of carrying out its duties as a sponsor.

What is the Process for Obtaining a Student Sponsorship Licence?

Once an education provider is satisfied they have met the above criteria, they will need to complete the following steps:

  • Decide which employees will undertake the sponsor management roles.
  • Estimate the number of CAS to be applied for in the first year of holding the licence.
  • Apply online and pay the application fee of £536.
  • Send the relevant documents listed in the sponsor guidance appendix A to UKVI.

If the application is subsequently approved, the applicant provider will be given access to the sponsorship management system (SMS) which allows providers to carry out their day-to-day sponsorship duties. They will also be granted a probationary sponsorship licence for a period of 12 months. This operates as a transitional period for the provider to demonstrate that they can fulfil their duties as a Student sponsor.

Once the 12-month period is up, the provider must apply for their first basic compliance assessment (BCA). This is to determine whether they meet the core requirements to remain a Student sponsor. More information on the BCA is available on our page dedicated to Student sponsor duties and compliance. If this assessment is passed, the education provider will be awarded a full Student sponsorship licence. This is valid for four years from the date it is granted, unless revoked or surrendered.

How can NA Law Solicitors Help with a Student Sponsorship Licence Application?

NA Law Solicitors has a successful track record for providing practical, precise and cost-effective immigration advice to education providers on all aspects of UK immigration law. We can help you apply for a Student sponsorship licence and thereafter comply with your obligations as a Student sponsorship licence holder.

For more information on the duties imposed on education providers, visit our page dedicated to Student sponsor duties and compliance. Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch for a 15-minute telephone consultation on how to make a successful application.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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