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Business Immigration

Sponsor Licence Renewal

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Sponsor Licence Renewal

The companies who wish to continue employing foreign skilled workers for long term or temporary workers for short term must apply for their sponsor licence renewal prior to it’s expiry. The licence is initially granted for a period of 4 years and is renewable every 4 years.

Sponsor Licence renewal process

The sponsor licence expiry date is shown on the Licence summary screen of the sponsorship management system and organisations must make a renewal application prior to the expiry date. It is the responsibility of the licence holder to renew the sponsor licence and should apply in good time. If the employer applies well before expiry, it gives them a chance to apply again if the renewal application is rejected. 

The renewal application can be made from 90 days before the expiry of the licence and must be made online via the sponsor management system by a level 1 user. The organisation must also pay the relevant renewal fee for their type of licence. The Home office may ask for additional business related supporting documents further to the licence renewal application.

The Home Office compliance team may also visit the business premises as part of post licence inspection, particularly if the organisation has not been visited during the initial grant of the sponsor licence. The sponsor renewal process must be taken very seriously by the employers. Failing to do this correctly, may result in reducing or removing any CoS allocation and/or lead to the organisation's licence being downgraded,suspended or revoked. If the application is made before the expiry date and is accepted by the Home Office, a temporary extension is granted until Home Office makes further enquiries or visits and decides the application.

Common issues for licence renewal
  • Lack of compliance with their sponsor licence duties and responsibilities
  • Failing to keep adequate records
  • Failing to promptly reporting changes regarding the company and workforce
  • Not responding to UKVI enquiries promptly
  • Failing to check job suitability before offering employment to a migrant worker
  • Carrying out Resident Labour Market Test incorrectly and/or failing to keep adequate records of this
  • Failing to apply before the licence expiry
How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting small businesses and multinational companies in sponsor licence matters including new applications, dealing with suspensions and revocations, HR & Compliance audits with action plans and training, sponsoring migrant workers as well as dealing with day to day sponsor licence obligations. Even experienced HR teams can find it difficult to keep up with the latest changes in UK immigration law, policy and best practice. 

Our service extends to all aspects of sponsorship licence renewal, including:

  • Provide guidance and assistance on collating the appropriate supporting documents on the basis of company scenario for licence renewal

  • Provide Business & HR consultancy services to ensure the organisation has the right HR & Recruitment systems in place to undertake sponsor compliance
  • Conduct Mock HR audits and/or provide training and support for the organisation
  • Prepare Organisation and Authorising officer any Home Office Compliance Inspections as part of the licence renewal process
  • Assist the organisation in making the sponsor licence renewal application online and work with the authorising officer to submit this in an efficient and timely manner prior to the expiry
  • Provide guidance and assistance in completing any necessary additional information required as part of the licence renewal application
  • Preparing a compelling business case explaining the organisation’s ongoing need for the sponsor licence
  • Review and provide guidance on existing employment terms/contracts to ensure the organisation continues to comply with Home Office requirements.

We have the privilege of working with some of the most well-known companies in the world. We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve.  Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I do not apply for renewal before the licence expiry?

The organisation failing to renew the sponsor licence prior to it’s expiry will not be able to continue employing any foreign skilled workers under sponsorship or take on any new workers. The Home Office will also curtail the leave of any migrants sponsored by the organisation and a new sponsor licence application would need to be submitted, if the company wishes to sponsor foreign migrants.

What is the Home Office fee for sponsor licence renewal?

The Home office fees for a Sponsor licence renewal depends on the size of the organisation and type of the licence. At the time of writing, in May 2020 the Home Office fees for Tier 2 licence renewal for small or charitable business is £536 and for medium or large business is £1476. The fee for Tier 5 licence renewal for all business sizes is £536. A small business is one with an annual turnover of £10.2 million or less and has 50 employees or fewer.

Do I still need to renew if my licence is currently suspended?

If the organisation’s licence is suspended but is due to expire, it must still be renewed. If the licence is not renewed and the result of the suspension does not lead to the licence being revoked, Home Office will not be able to reinstate your licence if it has expired.

When is the ideal time to apply for renewal?

The renewal window opens 90 days prior to the licence expiry and it is highly recommended that organisations renew as soon as possible, ideally at least one month prior to the expiry date. Applying in good time gives an opportunity to re-apply if things go wrong prior to the licence expiry. The Home Office normally writes to the organisations 120 days prior to the expiry and then sends reminders on 90 days, 60 days, 30 days and 14 days prior to the renewal date.

What can I do if my sponsor licence renewal application is unsuccessful?

The refusal of a licence application does not carry any right of appeal. The organisations may however challenge the decision by the way of a Judicial Review at the High court.
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