It is imperative that licence holders understand sponsor duties and responsibilities because if compliance is not met, the Home Office can suspend or even revoke your Sponsor Licence.
Pre Action Protocol
The decision to refuse or revoke a Sponsor License does not carry any appeal rights. Judicial Review (JR) may be the only option for a business if their licence application is refused or existing Tier 2 Sponsor Licence revoked. The Judicial Review is conducted through the High Court and is designed to determine if the Home Office has made a lawful and reasonable decision.
Pre Action Protocol or PAP is a notice of potential Judicial Review proceedings to the Home Office, in normal circumstances Home Office is given 14 days to respond to this pre-action protocol letter. The objective of the pre-action protocol is to avoid unnecessary litigation. The time limit to bring judicial review proceedings is as soon as possible and within 90 days from the date of original refusal decision and a pre action protocol letter has to be given to the Home Office within those 90 days.
Grounds for Judicial Review
Judicial review is a complex legal process and is normally deemed as a remedy of last resort. The purpose of a pre-action protocol letter is for the applicant bringing the judicial review to set out their case against the Secretary of State for the Home Department (the Home Office) allowing them to consider the merits of the case before any litigation commences.
The Judicial Review of sponsor licence application or revocation is conducted at the High Court. At City Legal we can assist the organisations in preparing a letter before action, after gathering all evidence in support of the case. Strong cases are often resolved at this point. If successful negotiation is not attained at this point, the organisation may be able to pursue the Judicial Review and we can signpost you to a qualified barrister or Solicitor Advocate, who can pursue this further. A strong and justifiable PAP letter may lead to UKVI withdrawing the revocation, reinstating the sponsor licence, or negotiating terms such as agreeing to downgrade to B rating rather than a revocation. Time is of the essence, so prompt action is essential, as any challenge must be made as soon as possible or in any event within three months of the revocation decision.
How can we assist?
Frequently Asked Questions
The Home Office takes the view that as employers benefit directly from sponsorship, they must play their part in ensuring the system is not abused.
From April 2017 employers face the payment of an Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) for sponsoring migrant workers.