How long does it take to process a Sponsor Licence application?
A valid Sponsor Licence is essential for any UK-based organisation who wish to employ migrant workers on one of sponsored work visas under the new points based system. Without the correct Sponsor Licence, you will be facilitating illegal working- which is a serious criminal offence.
The licence will allow you to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to overseas workers with a Skilled Worker visa.
The typical Sponsor Licence processing time is 8 weeks from the day you submitted your Sponsor Licence application. However, this timeframe can vary based upon the demand the UKVI are experiencing or various other variables based on your company, These can include the complexity of your application, the quality of your submission, or whether the Home Office need to perform a pre licence audit.
Sponsor Licence applications can often seem daunting, so if your business is looking to acquire a valid Sponsor Licence, or you require assistance with an existing Sponsor Licence, call our team today on 0121 667 6530 for further information.
Pre Licence Audit
The Home Office may request to perform a Pre-Licence compliance visit to your business premises ahead of making a decision on your Sponsor Licence Application. During the compliance visit, the Home Office will take the opportunity to inspect your premises and look for the following features:
- The organisation has a genuine need for a Sponsor Licence to recruit skilled workers
- The organisation has genuine employment opportunities suited to migrant workers
- The correct HR systems are in place to manage the Sponsor Licence efficiently
- The correct Right to Work checks have been conducted on prospective employees
- Whether the organisation is deemed a threat to immigration rules and control
- That supporting documents submitted are genuine and that all of the information is accurate
The Home Office will use the visit as a chance to interview those named on your application as key personnel to ensure they understand their compliance duties fully. You must ensure they are present on the premises on the day of the visit to meet with the Home Office official. Usually, the visit will take place 6-8 weeks after the application process has been initiated. Generally, the Home Office may call ahead to inform you they are coming.
You should ensure that you respond to the Home Office request for a visit in a timely manner to avoid delaying your Sponsor Licence request.
Complexity of your Sponsor Licence application
Depending on the size of your organisation and the complexity, your application for a Sponsor Licence could be delayed if more mandatory documents are required from you. If this is the case, you should submit these in a timely manner to avoid your Sponsor Licence application being rejected.
You must ensure that you are liaising with the UKVI at all times during the application process.
Quality of your application
The best way to ensure a smooth application process for a Sponsor Licence is to ensure it is of high quality- for example, ensuring clear and concise information, all of the information required is included and that grammar and spelling is correct.
By making sure all of these things are in place, your application has everything in place for the UKVI to make a decision as quickly as possible.
Sponsor Licence application priority service
If you require your Licence sooner, you can opt for the Sponsor Licence application priority service.
The priority service comes at an additional cost of £500 and allows a decision to be made within 10 days of your Sponsor Licence request being submitted. This fee is separate from the main Sponsor Licence application fee.
This service is particularly useful for those who have already found a migrant worker they wish to employ and issue a Certificate of Sponsorship- opting for a faster decision to be made will minimise the chance of the workers’ Skilled Worker visa being delayed.
If you plan to use the fast-tracking service, you should be aware that slots are limited daily and are allocated on a first come first served basis.
My Sponsor Licence application was rejected
Discrepancies or mistakes in your Sponsor Licence application can result in severe delays or even a refusal. If at all possible, it is vital to avoid having your Sponsor Licence rejected- such issues can reflect badly on you if you wish to re-apply.
Some common reasons for refusal are:
- The compliance regulations to meet Sponsor Licence duties were not met
- The eligibility requirements for the Sponsor Licence category you applied for were not met
- False supporting documents were submitted along with the Sponsor Licence application
- The Sponsor Licence applicant has an unspent criminal conviction for immigration offences
If any of these apply, the company will be subjected to a 6 month cooling off period before they can apply for the Sponsor Licence again.
Re-applying will incur the same Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence fee that was paid in the first instance of applying.
Steps to a successful Sponsor Licence application
Below are some steps to take that are considered ‘best practice’ when dealing with Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence applications:
- Appointing the correct Key Personnel- You must name the people within your company who will be taking on key personnel roles. These employees will be responsible for running the Sponsor Management System for your Sponsor Licence. The Sponsor Management System is an online tool that ensures you adhere to your Sponsorship Licence requirements
- Check your HR systems- All of your HR systems should be in order at all times in case of an unannounced Home Office visit. Before submitting your Sponsor Licence you should consider holding a mock audit to check the efficiency of your systems
- Respond to the Home Office in a timely fashion- If the Home Office attempt to make contact with you regarding your application, you must ensure you respond promptly to avoid any delays or application refusal
- Apply for the correct licence- You must ensure that you are submitting an application form for the correct type of licence. You must apply according to the types of workers you plan to employ- for example, Skilled Workers. The type of licence may also depend on the scale and annual turnover of the business
- Seek legal advice- Seeking expert advice from a trained immigration lawyer can be beneficial with such a huge process ahead of you. They can proofread your application and advise you accordingly before you submit it
How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help?
Birmingham Immigration Lawyers are highly trained in all aspects of immigration law. The team are ready and waiting to assist you with your query and see the entire licence application process through with you.
For UK employers planning on applying for a Sponsor Licence, or, for those who wish to address something with their existing Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence, our immigration lawyers can help you.
If your business is looking to obtain a Sponsor Licence, or you require assistance with an existing Sponsor Licence, call our team today on 0121 667 6530 for further information.
Last modified on October 7th, 2022 at 12:05 pm
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