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Sponsor Licence Renewal Process

UK companies who wish to hire international workers need to apply for a sponsor licence and should ensure they have a valid licence at all times otherwise they could be breaking immigration laws.

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    Sponsor Licence Expiry Date

    It is important that you aware of when your current Sponsor Licence will expiry and when you should apply to renew the licence.

    In most cases sponsor licences are granted for four years and they must be renewed prior to their expiry. The current expiry date can be viewed on the Licence Summary Page of the Sponsor Management System (SMS) of your organisation.

    In addition, the Home Office will send an email warning you 30 days before the Sponsor Licence expires so that you can make the appropriate arrangements to ensure you continue to be compliant and can employ foreign workers.

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    Failing to Renew a Sponsor Licence

    One of the main consequences of failing to renew a sponsor licence is the ability to assign new Certificates of Sponsorships to employees as well as the impact it has on those foreign workers employed on existing certificates.

    Sponsored skilled workers will have time shortened if the license from their employer expires – meaning they will have 60 days or until their visa expiry date – whichever is shorter – to leave the UK or find an alternative sponsor.

    Failing to renew a sponsor licence could have long-term impact on workers’ futures especially if they are overseas when an employer’s licence has expired as they will not be able to legally enter the UK.

    How To Renew a Sponsor Licence

    Renewing a sponsor licence can be a lengthy process so employers need to ensure they start the sponsor licence renewal application in advance to avoid running out of time or having to make an urgent application to the Home Office.

    An application to renew a sponsor licence can be made up to 90 days before the expiry date of the current sponsor licence.

    Once a sponsor has submitted an application for renewal, immigration services may further request documentation. It is important this is submitted within five working days.

    The renewal will include checks on your application as well it being necessary to pay a renewal fee plus submit further documents. You may also have to comply with a compliance visit with a compliance officer to ensure you have the correct policies and procedures in place for recruiting overseas workers.

    If you are uncertain about what is required for a sponsor licence renewal application then you may wish to seek immigration advice. London Immigration Lawyers could help assist with any issues arising.

    Multiple Renewals of Sponsor Licence

    There are no limits to how many times a company or organisation can renew its sponsor licence. As long as a employer remains eligible for the licence then they continue to recruit overseas workers.

    Costs of Renewing Sponsor Licence

    The cost of renewing a sponsor licence is dependent on the size and type of business/organisation applying. For smaller employers the change is £536 compared to larger employers who can expect to pay £1,476 licence renewal fee.

    For sole traders or sponsors with charitable status then the cost of renewal is £536.

    Sponsor Licence Renewal Rejection

    There is not currently any right of appeal if you have a sponsor licence renewal application rejected and employers will need to wait six months until they can reapply.

    However, it may be possible to appeal the decision if it was due to an error with supporting evidence or an error made by a caseworker.

    An Error Correction Request form must be sent within 14 days from the date of the refusal. To receive professional assistance in this process, you can seek help from one of our immigration lawyers in London.

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              Frequently Asked Questions

              Every licensed sponsor must comply with specific duties, set by UK immigration law, which are:

              • Preventing any abuse of the assessment procedures;
              • Do not discriminate any of your migrant workers;
              • Report any employee behaviour that may cause concern;
              • Monitor compliance with Immigration Rules;
              • Keep up-to-date records of your international workforce.

              One of your responsibilities as an employer is to check if each job applicant is allowed to work in the UK. Part of being a Sponsor Licence holder is that you ensure you:

              • Check the applicant’s original documents;
              • Make and keep copies of the migrant’s record;
              • Check the employee’s right to work and live in the UK online, if you are provided with a reference number.

              If the migrant is unable to show any document because of an outstanding visa application, you must ask the UKVI to check the employee’s immigration status. Before you can employ the migrant, you must wait for a Positive Verification Notice from the Home Office.

              If your foreign employees’ right to work is time-limited, you will need to recheck their documents when they obtain a visa renewal.

              It is possible to apply for a single licence that covers all offices. When applying, the UKVI will ask for evidence that the head office is linked to any branch listed.

              If the head office has its licence suspended, the revocation will apply to all  branches.