What are sponsor ratings?

A sponsor licence can be rated either ‘A’ or ‘B’.

A-rating is awarded when you are first granted a licence on the basis that you have systems in place to be able to meet your sponsor duties. Your licence rating appears on the published register of licensed sponsors. UKVI  will not grant a licence if you are not able to achieve an A-rating.

After your licence has been granted, if we find evidence that you are unable or unwilling to continue to meet your sponsor duties, or we have evidence of immigration abuse, UKVI may take action against you.

Your rating will usually be the same for all the tiers in which you are registered. In exceptional cases, if we later find that you are not meeting your sponsor duties in only one tier on your licence, we will downgrade that tier to a B-rating.

Want to find out more about sponsor ratings?
Talk to our experts and get the right advice first time, every time.

Scoring system

When deciding the suitability of an application or when UKVI carry out checks (including if we visit you) after your licence has been granted UKVI will use the following scoring system when deciding whether to grant your application for a licence.

UKVI give a score of ‘met’ or ‘not met’ for the following:

  •  human resource systems – whether you have systems in place that allow you to know when a migrant has not turned up for work, or to identify when their current leave is coming to an end
  •  convictions and civil penalties – whether or not you have an unspent criminal conviction for a relevant offence or have become liable for a civil penalty, including those issued to landlords under the ‘Right to rent’; Annex 1 of this guidance has more information on this
  •  migrant compliance – whether you are employing any migrants sponsored or not, who are in breach of their leave, this could be a migrant with leave as a Tier 4 student working more hours than they are allowed to
  •  employment – in respect of Tier 2 (General) licences we will assess whether you can offer genuine employment which meets the Tier 2 (General) criteria on skill level and appropriate rates of pay