UK Self-Sponsorship Skilled Worker Visa

self-sponsorship visa

UK Self-Sponsorship Skilled Worker Visa | 2024 UK Immigration Advice

Starting a business in the UK as a non-citizen involves complex immigration rules and business regulations. The Self Sponsorship Visa UK can be a viable solution as it can allow an applicant to mitigate the need for traditional employer sponsorship.

This visa route offers the autonomy to advance business ventures forward, without being anchored to the sponsorship regulations usually imposed on foreign entrepreneurs.

Key Takeaways Table

Self-Sponsorship Visa UK Description
Self-Sponsorship Visa UK allows non-citizens to start businesses independently in the UK. Utilises Skilled Worker visa with a sponsor licence acquired by the applicants themselves.
Eligibility criteria include business experience, viable business plan, financial resources, and optional English proficiency. Application process involves establishing a UK company, obtaining a sponsor licence, and applying for the Skilled Worker visa.
Advantages include autonomy in business operations, no minimum investment requirement, potential for family immigration, longer visa validity, and pathway to settlement. Primus Solicitors offers expertise and legal advice for a stress-free application process.


What is a Self-Sponsorship Visa?

Self-sponsorship in the UK is an innovative route for business owners to establish or expand their operations within the UK market independently. This approach does not mandate a separate visa type, it instead utilises the Skilled Worker visa, facilitated by a sponsor license acquired by a company established in the UK by the applicants themselves. This immigration route allows entrepreneurs to self-sponsor their stay in the UK, bypassing the need for an external employer sponsorship.

Eligibility Criteria For Self Sponsorship 

To qualify for the self-sponsorship route, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Experience: Possess relevant experience in the business sector they intend to enter or expand within the UK.
  • Business Plan: Have a viable business idea or plan that demonstrates potential for growth and sustainability in the UK market.
  • Financial Resources: Show adequate financial resources to support the establishment and operation of the business in the UK.
  • English Language Proficiency (Optional): Although it is not mandatory for all applicants, possessing a certain level of English proficiency can be advantageous.

These criteria ensure that only those with the necessary business experience, resources, and a business plan can apply for this route, thereby contributing positively to the UK economy.

What Is The Application Process For The Self-Sponsorship Visa?

The application process to securing a self-sponsorship visa in the UK has a structured process made to ensure that your business and immigration plans align with UK regulations. 

Stage 1: Establishing a UK Company and Applying for a Sponsor License

  1. Company Formation: The initial step involves setting up your UK-based company. This is a crucial phase where you lay the groundwork for your business operations in the UK.
  2. Sponsor License Application: Once your company is established, the next step is to apply for a Sponsor License. This license is essential for sponsoring your Skilled Worker visa, demonstrating  that your company meets the Home Office requirements to hire overseas workers, including yourself. This application process can take up to 6-8 weeks.

Stage 2: Creating a Human Resources section for Your Company

  1. HR Compliance: Developing a comprehensive human resources pack is imperative. This pack should include policies and procedures that demonstrate your company’s readiness and capability to sponsor skilled workers according to UK immigration laws. This process can take roughly 2 days.

Stage 3: Obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship and Applying for the Skilled Worker Visa

  1. Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): After your sponsor license application is approved, you’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship. This certificate is a virtual document with a unique number that proves you have an offer to fill a job that meets the criteria for a Skilled Worker visa.
  2. Visa Application: With the Certificate of Sponsorship in hand, you can proceed to apply for the Skilled Worker visa. This application will involve demonstrating your eligibility under the points-based immigration system, including your job offer, salary, and knowledge of English.

What is The Process Timeline for the self-employment visa UK?

The Processing timeframe for this visa is approximately 4-12 weeks.

Advantages of The UK Self-Sponsorship Visa

Applying for the self-sponsorship route to enter and establish a business in the UK grants a variety of benefits, particularly for entrepreneurs seeking independence and control over their business ventures.

  • Autonomy in Business Operations: Self-sponsorship allows you full control over your business without the need for external employer sponsorship. This autonomy is crucial for making strategic decisions that align with your business goals and vision.
  • No Minimum Investment Requirement: Unlike other business visa categories, the self-sponsorship route does not stipulate a minimum investment amount. This flexibility allows entrepreneurs to scale their investment according to the needs and capacity of their business.
  • Potential for Dependants to immigrate to the UK: The self-sponsorship visa route enables you to bring your family members and dependants into the UK, including your spouse and children under 18. This ensures that you can settle in the UK with your dependants.
  • Longer Visa Validity: The Skilled Worker visa, obtained through self-sponsorship, can be issued for up to 5 years. This extended validity period offers a stable and long-term basis for developing and expanding your business in the UK.
  • Viable route to Settlement: Successfully running your business in the UK on a self-sponsorship visa can pave the way for permanent residence. After 5 years, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain/ ILR as a skilled worker, offering permanent residency for both your entrepreneurial pursuits and family life in the UK.


The self-sponsorship visa route in the UK is a key immigration route for entrepreneurs aiming to establish or expand their business ventures. At Primus Solicitors we offers expertise and specialist legal advice to help simplify this complex process. From understanding eligibility criteria to successfully obtaining your visa, our skilled worker visa solicitors ensures a stress free process towards achieving your business goals in the UK. Don’t Hesitate to Contact Primus Solicitors today for a consultation, and let us guide you every step of the way.


Primus Solicitors Self Sponsorship FAQ’s

Q: Can I apply for a self-sponsorship visa if I’m the sole owner of my UK business?

A: Yes, you can be the sole owner and director of your UK business and apply for a self-sponsorship visa. This route is designed to facilitate business owners, including sole proprietors, to establish and grow their ventures in the UK.

Q: What is the minimum investment required for my UK business under the self-sponsorship route?

A: There is no specified minimum investment requirement for the self-sponsorship visa route. The investment should be sufficient to establish and sustain your business operations in the UK. The flexibility in investment requirements allows entrepreneurs to tailor their funding according to their business plans and capabilities.

Q: Can I bring my family members under the self-sponsorship visa?

A: Yes, the self-sponsorship visa route allows you to bring your dependents, including your spouse or partner and children under the age of 18, to the UK. This provision helps ensure that entrepreneurs can settle in the UK with their families, supporting a holistic approach to relocation and business establishment.

Q: How long is the self-sponsorship visa valid?

A: The Skilled Worker visa, obtained through the self-sponsorship route, can be valid for up to 5 years. After this period, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), offering a pathway to permanent residency in the UK.

Q: What happens if my business does not perform as expected?

A: The success of your business can impact your visa status. However, the UK immigration system provides provisions for reviewing and adjusting your business plan. It’s essential to maintain compliance with all visa requirements and seek legal advice if your business circumstances change.

Q: Is there a pathway to permanent residency through the self-sponsorship visa?

A: Yes, after legally residing in the UK for 5 years under the Skilled Worker visa, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which offers a pathway to permanent residency. Meeting the requirements for ILR includes demonstrating continuous residence in the UK and passing a Life in the UK test, among other criteria.



Call a Skilled worker visa Solicitor!

Contact Primus Solicitors for professional, specialist legal advice with your UK Self-Sponsorship Visa Application.