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Business Immigration

Sponsor Licence Suspension

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Sponsor Licence Suspension

The Home Office may suspend an organisation’s sponsor licence whilst making further enquiries, if they suspect any breach of sponsor duties and/or if the organisation pose a threat to immigration control.

Impact of Sponsor Licence suspension

Suspension of Tier 2 licence can have devastating consequences for an organisation and should not be taken lightly. The organisation will not be able to sponsor new migrants and will be temporarily removed from the public register of sponsors during the period of suspension. The current migrant workers under sponsorship will be able to work during the suspension period.

The common reasons for suspension include failing to adhere to the Resident Labour Market Test requirements, Employees working on job description as not stated in their CoS, Not paying the right salary or making variations without meeting reporting obligations, failing to keep proper HR and Recruitment records, Unable to monitor employees working efficiently etc.

Suspension Response

The sponsored organisations will normally be given a notice of formal suspension, giving them 20 working days to provide a response to review the decision; after which the Home Office will revoke the sponsor licence.

It will be important to address the reasons given by the Home Office for the suspension and is advisable to get an expert Immigration lawyer involved at this stage to determine whether there is a factual error in these grounds or whether it is something  that can be challenged with supporting evidence.The Home Office will make a final decision; whether to revoke or reinstate the licence based on this written response, as such  it is important that all mitigating arguments are clearly set out.

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. City Legal brings substantial experience in advising companies facing sponsor licence suspension & have previously assisted companies in various sectors including IT, Care, Management etc. 

We can help the organisation by offering the below guidance and assistance:

  • Provide guidance and assistance in understanding the grounds for suspension
  • Guidance and assistance on collating the supporting evidence
  • Provide advice and guidance on remedial steps to address areas of non-compliance
  • Represent and support the organisation in engaging with the Home Office
  • Provide advice and support in relation to any subsequent follow-up scrutiny such as Home Office site visit

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

Does all sponsor breaches lead to suspension or revocation of the licence?

The Home office will normally consider the nature of suspected breach and if it is a minor one, and if the organisation is willing to improve they may just issue an action plan, rather than suspending or revoking the licence. If the breach is severe, normally indicating a significant or systematic failure and/or constitutes a threat to immigration control, then the Home Office may decide to suspend and investigate or revoke licence without suspension.

How long does the Home Office give to respond to a suspension?

The Home Office normally provides 20 working days for the organisations to provide a response to the suspension notice.

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.

What happens if the suspension response is not satisfactory?

If the suspension notice response is not satisfactory and does not refute all concerns raised by the Home Office, they will then proceed to revoke the sponsor licence.

Can I surrender the licence whilst I am suspended or being investigated?

It is possible to surrender the sponsor licence, if the organisation no longer wishes to sponsor migrants, and have no sponsored migrants working at present using the sponsorship management system (SMS) account. However, the Home Office may continue any ongoing investigations and the employer will be still liable for any wrongdoings including civil penalty liability for employing illegal workers.
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