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Sponsor Licence Refusal Reasons and What to Do

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has the power to refuse, revoke or suspend a Sponsor Licence. If you have been refused a Sponsor Licence, it can be incredibly damaging to your business and its reputation.

At London Immigration Lawyers, we are experts in immigration law and can help you to address any questions or concerns that you have regarding Sponsor Licence refusal. Call us on 020 4502 8582 or find us online for immediate advice and assistance.

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    If the Home Office decides not to grant you a Sponsor Licence, they can either refuse or reject your application.

    A refusal will mean that you are unable to apply again until a certain period of time has passed, usually 12 months from the date of the refusal letter.

    In some cases, the Home Office may reject your application if they do not believe you have provided sufficient evidence to support your claim.

    Whether the application is rejected or refused will depend on the severity of the issues raised by the Home Office.

    The UKVI reviews all applications for a Sponsor Licence on a case-by-case basis and can take into account any mitigating circumstances that you may have.

    If your application has been refused, the Home Office will generally provide a reason as to why they are not granting your application.

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    Common Sponsor Licence Refusal Reasons

    The UKVI will refuse a Sponsor Licence for various reasons. Below are some of the common reasons for Sponsor Licence refusals:

    Late filing of supporting documents

    If you are applying for a Sponsor Licence and do not meet the criteria of being a public body recognised by the UK government, such as a local authority or a company listed on the London Stock Exchange Main Market.

    Then you must submit your application at least 8 weeks prior to the date of intended sponsorship.

    After that, the Home Office might ask for further documents in case any evidence is required. The timeframe for submitting these documents is 5 working days (or the time limit you’ve been given), and if you miss the deadline, the Home Office may refuse your application.

    Once your application has been refused, you will not get your application fee refunded. Also, you should make sure that you submit the correct supporting documents, failure to do so can result in a cooling-off period of 12 months before you can re-apply.

    Incorrect or missing documents

    This is one of the most common reasons for the refusal of a Sponsor Licence. It’s important that all the documents submitted with your application are accurate and complete.

    If any of them are missing or you submit false documents, the Home Office will usually reject your application.

    It is also important that you update any documents if there are any changes to your business, such as the company name or address.

    Any hardcopy documents should be submitted in original and not photocopies. They should also be signed by the company director and sealed with the company stamp to show that they are authentic.

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    Failure to pass the genuineness test

    The Genuineness Test is a process that the UKVI uses to assess whether your application is genuine and if you are suitably qualified to act as a Sponsor.

    To pass the Genuineness Test, your business must be able to demonstrate that it is operating lawfully and has the funds and relevant experience to meet its responsibilities as a Sponsor.

    The UKVI will assess your application against a number of criteria, including:

    • The financial stability of the business.
    • The size and complexity of your organisation.
    • The number of skilled migrant workers employed by your organisation.
    • Your organisation’s ability to comply with UK immigration legislation.

    If the Home Office believes you were acting in good faith but failed to meet the criteria, they may reject your application.

    Still, you will be able to re-apply again immediately without a longer cooling-off period.

    However, if the Home Office believes there was bad faith or dishonesty involved, such as you submitted false documents or provided false information, then your application will be permanently refused, and you won’t be able to re-apply for 12 months to 5 years.

    You can still challenge the refusal of your application and ask the Home Office to reconsider if you feel it was unfairly refused.

    Failed home office compliance visit

    The UKVI will conduct an initial compliance visit after your Sponsor Licence has been approved. During this visit, the Home Office will assess whether you are meeting your sponsorship obligations.

    If you fail to comply with the UKVI’s requirements during this visit, then they may cancel or suspend your licence. In some cases, they may refuse to renew the Sponsor Licence when it expires.

    To ensure that you can fulfil the requirements of a Sponsor, you should keep up to date with the UKVI’s guidance on the sponsor duties and make sure you are implementing them correctly in your organisation.

    HR systems, recruitment practices, training, and record-keeping should all be up to date and in line with the UKVI’s requirements.

    Caseworker error

    The UKVI employs a number of caseworkers who are responsible for assessing Sponsor Licence applications and making decisions on whether to approve or refuse them. In some cases, caseworkers may make errors that result in a refusal of an application.

    If you believe the decision was wrong and you were not given a reasonable chance to provide the information or documentation that was requested, then you can raise this with the Home Office.

    You may be able to get the decision reversed if you make a case that the failure to provide information was not your fault. You will fill “Error correction request form” and send it to the Home Office so they can review the caseworker’s decision.

    Previous immigration breaches

    The UKVI may refuse your application if you or any director of the business have committed immigration breaches in the past or are under civil penalty.

    This includes, but is not limited to, employing illegal workers or providing false information on a previous visa or sponsor licence application. If this is the case, then you could face a cooling-off period before you can apply again.

    The length of the cooling-off period will depend on the severity and number of offences committed. In some cases, the cooling-off period can be up to five years.

    If you are concerned about previous immigration breaches that may affect your Sponsor Licence application, then you should contact the Home Office for advice.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your Sponsor Licence Application. Contact us

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      Next Steps After Sponsor Licence Refusal

      If your Sponsor Licence application has been refused, there are a few steps you can take to try and get the decision overturned.

      You can choose to re-apply for the licence, challenge the decision by asking for an administrative review, or appeal for a judicial review.

      Re-apply for the licence

      Reapplication is the most common option for those who have had their Sponsor Licence application refused.

      You can only re-apply immediately if the Home Office believes you were acting in good faith when submitting the application and failed to meet the criteria.

      If this is not the case, then you will have to wait a period of time before re-applying, depending on the number and severity of immigration breaches in the past.

      When submitting a new application, make sure that you provide clear and comprehensive evidence to support your case.

      Challenge the decision by asking for an administrative review

      If you believe that the Home Office has made a wrong decision in refusing your application, then you can challenge it by asking for an administrative review.

      This is a process by which you can ask the Home Office to re-examine the decision to refuse your application.

      You will need to provide evidence and justification as to why you believe the decision was wrong. For example, you could provide evidence that there was a caseworker error during the application process or that the decision was based on incomplete or inaccurate information.

      It is not guaranteed that the review will overturn the original decision, but it is worth pursuing if you feel you have a strong case.

      Appeal for a judicial review

      Judicial review is a process by which a judge reviews a legal decision to determine if it was made correctly.

      If you feel that the Home Office has made an unlawful decision in refusing your application, then you can challenge it by applying for a judicial review.

      This is a more complex process than an administrative review and requires legal expertise. If you decide to pursue a judicial review, then you will need to seek legal advice from an immigration solicitor.

      The review involves examining how the conclusion was reached rather than the decision itself, so it is important to be able to show that the Home Office acted unlawfully in making its decision.

      Applications for judicial review must be submitted promptly within 3 months of the decision being made.

      A Pre-Action Protocol letter should be sent to the Home Office before submitting an application for judicial review; this sets out the basis of your case and gives the Home Office an opportunity to reconsider their decision before formal proceedings begin.

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      How to Make a Successful Sponsor Licence Application?

      When applying for a Sponsor Licence, it is important to ensure that all the required paperwork and evidence are provided to maximise your chances of success.

      You should make sure that you are fully prepared before submitting your application, taking the time to ensure that all information and documents provided are accurate and up to date.

      It is also important to research and understand the requirements of a Sponsor Licence, as well as familiarise yourself with previous immigration casework decisions.

      This will help you to understand what the Home Office is looking for and ensure that your application meets all of the necessary requirements.

      It is also important to ensure that you have evidence of your ability to fulfil the duties and responsibilities of a sponsor, such as having enough financial resources and meeting the requirements of the points-based system.

      If you find it difficult to meet these requirements, then it is important to seek professional advice from an immigration lawyer, and that’s where we, London immigration lawyers, come into play.

      Find out how we can assist with your Sponsor Licence Application. Contact us

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        How Can London Immigration Lawyers Help?

        At London Immigration Lawyers, we have a team of experienced and knowledgeable immigration lawyers who are dedicated to helping clients make successful Sponsor Licence applications.

        Our experienced lawyers will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your particular situation, ensuring that all necessary evidence and documents are provided to meet the requirements of a new sponsor licence application.

        Here are some of the services we offer:

        • Guidance on the Sponsor Licence application process.
        • Assistance with preparing and submitting applications.
        • Advice on obtaining a Sponsor Licence.
        • Advice on the duties and responsibilities of a sponsor.
        • Assistance with submitting legal representations to the Home Office.
        • Advice on all immigration matters.
        • Assistance with submitting applications for administrative review and judicial review of Home Office decisions.

        We are committed to providing our clients with the best possible service and advice to ensure that they have the best chance of success.

        If you need help with your Sponsor Licence application, then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 020 4502 8582 or find us online.

        Call us for further assistance with your Sponsor Licence Application. Contact us

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Yes, a Certificate of Sponsorship can be rejected if it is incomplete or not in line with the Home Office’s guidance. This could happen if the documents provided do not meet the requirements for a successful application or if there is any missing information.

                    The Home Office can take up to eight weeks to process the application and issue a Certificate of Sponsorship. However, this time frame could be shorter or longer depending on the complexity of the application and any other factors.

                    If your Certificate of Sponsorship is rejected, then you can submit an application for administrative review or judicial review. You can also appeal the decision to the First-tier Tribunal, although this should only be done after considering all other options.