The concept of sponsorship is at the heart of the points-based system. If you want to employ a migrant worker, you must be their sponsor during their stay in the UK (unless they are coming here for 6 months or less in certain circumstances). And before you can sponsor a migrant, you must obtain a sponsor licence.
Before you apply for a licence, you should check whether you are eligible to be a sponsor, and ensure that you have the right human resource (HR) systems in place to comply with your sponsorship duties.
The points-based system only covers migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. If you want to employ an EEA or Swiss national, you should be able to do this without needing permission.
Migrants in any tier except Tier 1 must be sponsored before they can apply. If a UK organisation wants to sponsor a migrant under Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 (Temporary workers), they must apply for a sponsor licence.
Under Tier 2 and Tier 5 (Temporary workers), the sponsor must be an employer based in the UK. Under Tier 4, the sponsor must be an education provider.
Migrants who want to come to the UK under Tier 5 (Youth mobility scheme) do not need to be sponsored by a UK employer.
The above summary constitutes a very brief overview of the relevant details under UK Immigration Law. Please contact Beder-Harrison & Co to obtain comprehensive, clear and concise professional advice relevant to your circumstances.