Sponsor License Renewals
Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Renewal comes every 4 years. If an application for renewal has not been submitted on or before the expiry date, the licence will lapse. The application does not need to have been approved by the expiry date, it just must be under consideration.
Failure to renew a Sponsor Licence leads to an inability to employ your non-EEA workers and may result in a loss of your NON-EU skilled work force.
It is therefore crucial that Sponsor Licence holders diarise, prepare for, and apply to renew their licence well in advance of the expiry date. Your organisation must renew its licence if it has any employees with current Tier 2 leave, whether or not you intend to sponsor any more migrant workers.
At City Legal, we have extensive experience with Sponsor Licence renewals and are available to assist you with this process. The renewal application must be submitted on the Sponsor Management System (SMS) by a Level 1 user. This can be done three months before the expiry date of the licence. The Sponsor Guidance states that the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will write to sponsors 120 calendar days prior to the expiry date to remind them of the need to renew, and again at 30 calendar-day intervals up to the last month, and finally two weeks before the expiry date.
Often UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) can carry out a compliance visit when considering a renewal application. This visit can be announced, or unannounced. A Home Office compliance officer can request a variety of information to verify that the company has been maintaining all compliance, record keeping, and reporting duties. It is critical that your company is adequately prepared for this type of audit when preparing for an application to renew your Sponsor Licence.
As experienced immigration lawyers, our team will work with you prior to renewing your Sponsor Licence to ensure all your HR policies and procedures are up-to-date and compliant, and you are fully prepared for a compliance visit.
Common Reasons for UK Visas and Immigration UKVI to refuse a Sponsor Licence renewal application are that the employer has:
- Not complied with their Sponsor Licence duties and responsibilities
- Failed to keep adequate records
- Not promptly reported changes regarding the company and workforce
- Did not promptly respond to UKVI enquiries
- Neglected to confirm genuine vacancies before offering employment to a migrant worker
- Conducted incorrect Resident Labour Market Tests and/or failed to keep adequate records of the tests
The above reasons could result in downgrading, suspension, or revocation of a Sponsor Licence in addition to the renewal refusal. This can lead to fines, civil penalties, and even criminal charges at worst. Sponsor Licence holders must ensure they are always compliant with Home Office rules and regulations. Our lawyers will help you achieve compliance, so you can concentrate on meeting the commercial needs of your business.