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Sponsor Licence for Education Providers

Our specialist immigration team provides legal support to independent schools, colleges and universities to help them prepare for, apply and maintain their Student Sponsor licence. We understand that international students provide a significant source of income for UK education providers and increase the diversity of your student community.

Your educational institution will need to be a licensed student sponsor, approved by the Home Office to attract and enrol the brightest and best international students. This status enables you to issue the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that prospective students need to successfully apply for a Student Visa or a Child Student Visa to study in the UK.

Our team of immigration specialists are here to guide your educational institution through the complicated process of student sponsor licensing.

Applying for a Student Sponsor Licence

An education provider can apply for a licence in two categories:

Student: This route is for students aged 16 or over who come to the UK for their post-16 education.
Child Student: This route is for students aged 4-17 who come to the UK for their education.

Child Students may only be educated at independent schools.

A Student sponsor licence is valid for four years.


To be issued a Student Sponsor licence, an education provider must be:

• a genuine education provider that has acceptable educational quality standards and is operating lawfully in the UK, complying with all of the appropriate rules and regulations;
• considered eligible and suitable to hold a Student Sponsor licence; and
• capable of carrying out its duties as a sponsor

To establish if an education provider meets the above criteria, the Home Office will consider a significant number of factors, including (but not limited to) its history and background, the 'Key Personnel' named on its application, its policies and procedures and how student attendance is monitored.

An inspection visit may occur before deciding on a Student Sponsor licence application.

Pre-Application Audit

Before you make your application for a sponsor licence, our expert team can visit your institution to carry out a mock audit. Our experienced compliance experts will be able to establish whether or not you will meet the eligibility criteria. Following our visit, we will provide you with a comprehensive report outlining our findings and recommendations to improve your chances of becoming a Student Sponsor.

The Mock Audit is tailored to your educational institution's needs. We will work with you to ensure that your institution is ready to pass the Sponsor Licence application process, enabling you to recruit international students as soon as possible.

Probationary Sponsorship

When you are awarded a license, you are given Probationary Sponsor status. During this period, a Probationary Sponsor must demonstrate that it can fulfil its sponsorship duties, continue to do so, and be trusted to hold Student Sponsor status. When you pass your first annual Basic Compliance Assessment, you will be awarded Student Sponsor status.

Until you achieve Student Sponsor status, the level of courses you can offer international students will be restricted. Our team can discuss this with you to enable you to make a fully informed decision on the merits of holding and maintaining a sponsor licence.

Sponsor Duties

As a sponsor, your overarching duty is to manage your students' attendance and inform UKVI of any significant or relevant changes in any sponsored student's circumstances.

The list of relevant changes is significant and dependent upon the courses you offer. Our team of experts are happy to discuss these requirements in more detail to support your understanding of your sponsor duties.

Suspension & Revocation

Suspension or revocation of a student sponsor licence can significantly impact a provider's reputation and revenue. There are many reasons why this might happen, and it can sometimes be challenging to assess how to move forward whilst minimising the adverse impact of the imposed measures.

We have experience in understanding how and where compliance duties have fallen below the expected standards and how to resolve these issues and build a compliant system as quickly as possible.

Most immigration applications have strict factual and evidential requirements that are not necessarily straightforward to comprehend or satisfy. LS Legal Solicitors are well versed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on immigration applications. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous. However, we guarantee to make your experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

For the quickest response, please WhatsApp or call us on +44 (0) 75 3595 9450. You can also contact us via email at info@LSLegaLUK.com or use the contact form to discuss your requirements further or arrange an appointment with one of our experts.