- Sponsor Licence Renewal
- Why It’s Important To Renew Your Sponsor Licence
- Sponsor Licence Renewal Process
- What Is a Compliance Visit
- Sponsor Licence Renewal Process Timeline
- How Much Does The Sponsor Licence Renewal Cost
- Sponsor Licence Supporting Documents
- What is the Streamlined Renewal Process
- What To Do If Your Sponsor Licence Renewal Has Been Refused
- What To Do If Your Sponsor Licence Has Expired
- How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Sponsor Licence Renewal
The capability of UK-based firms to sponsor migrant employees is becoming critical for filling vacancies and addressing skills shortages within their existing workforce.
The validity period for a sponsor licence is a total of 4 years. As the holder of a sponsor licence, you will be obliged to submit an application to the Home Office for the renewal of your sponsor licence before the expiration of your present licence. Doing so will help prevent problems with your authorisation to sponsor foreign employees.
Your sponsor licence will be renewed for an additional 4 years if your application to renew it is approved.
If the sponsor licence is not successfully renewed before the end of the 4-year validity term, the licence will expire automatically.
The failure to renew a licence in a timely manner or the issuance of an expired licence may have severe repercussions for enterprises.
You must have a legal licence before you are permitted to recruit any more sponsored employees, and you are allowed to continue employing the sponsored workers you already have
In practice, this indicates that you will no longer be legitimately employing your sponsored employees while you are unlicensed. As a result, their visas run the possibility of being cut short since they are considered unlawful workers.
When To Renew Your Sponsor Licence
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will contact sponsoring organisations 120 calendar days before the licence expiry date to remind businesses of the need to renew. They will then write to them again at 30-day intervals up to the last month and lastly, 2 weeks before the licence expiration date. It is, however, the obligation of the sponsoring organisation to ensure that an application to renew their licence is submitted on time.
UKVI recommends that applications for licence renewal be filed at least three months before the expiration date of the existing licence. You may check the organisation’s Sponsorship Management System (SMS) to see when the earliest date is that you can submit your application to renew your sponsorship.
A sponsor licence remains valid for 4 years, unless it is voluntarily given up or cancelled. You may, however, submit an application to renew your licence in most circumstances not long before it is due to expire. Your sponsor licence will be renewed for an additional 4 years if your application to renew it is approved.
You may access this information on the ‘Licence summary’ page of your sponsorship management system (SMS) account to see the date that your licence will expire and when it can be renewed for the first time. In most cases, a sponsor may submit an application to renew their licence beginning three months before the licence is set to expire.
You don’t need to have been granted licence renewal before the expiration date; rather, it is sufficient for you to have completed your submission on the SMS for the Home Office to process.
Renewing a sponsor licence requires submitting an application via the sponsor’s SMS account and paying the applicable charge using an online portal.
An authorised Level 1 user may apply to renew the licence by submitting an online application via your SMS account, filling out a declaration, and paying the appropriate cost. This process must be done to renew your licence.
In order to submit a successful application for the renewal of a sponsor licence, you must to demonstrate that your organisation continues to fulfil its sponsorship responsibilities and is in compliance with the necessary standards of the route in issue.
However, to submit the first request for renewal, a Level 1 User will often be asked to do little more than choose the correct charge, sign a statement stating that the information they have provided is accurate, and then proceed to make the necessary payment.
After receiving the application for the renewal of a sponsor licence, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may then request more information and/or documents from the sponsoring organisation. Before reaching a conclusion, UKVI may also choose to conduct a pre-renewal compliance inspection on the premises.
The following are the main steps involved in the renewal of a sponsor licence:
Step 1: The Level 1 User Needs to Log in to SMS.
It is necessary for a designated Level 1 User to log into the SMS to begin the renewal application. Go to the Licence renewal option on the page that lists the apps and services associated with your licence.
Step 2: Determine the Size of the Organisation
After that, you will need to choose the proper renewal charge, either for small or charity sponsors, medium or big sponsors, or large sponsors.
Step 3: Fill Out the Sponsor Declaration in Its Entirety
Enter the date, your full name, and your position within the organisation on the page for the declaration of your licence renewal, and then check the box next to the declaration.
Step 4: Ensure That the Appropriate Renewal Fee Is Paid
Proceed with the payment procedure while on the screen for the licence renewal payment.
You are required to make the proper payment for the application fee. The fee varies depending on the size of the organisation, and you should verify your classification as of the date you submit your application for renewal since it may have changed in the 4 years after you submitted your first application for a licence.
Step 5: Send in the Renewal Application
Fill out the submission page, and be sure to print a copy of it for your organisation’s files.
What Is a Compliance Visit
You could get a visit from a Home Office Compliance Officer if you’re currently renewing your sponsor licence.
When determining whether or not to renew your sponsor licence, the goal of these visits will be to verify that the following conditions are accurate about you and your business:
- You are complying with the responsibilities and duties associated with your sponsor licence.
- You already have all of the essential processes and systems in place to fulfil your commitments as a sponsor.
- Your application for a sponsor licence contains accurate and truthful information.
- You are fulfilling your duty to put a stop to unlawful employment.
In addition, a Compliance Officer may want to talk with the workers you are sponsoring to verify their personal information and ensure that the appropriate processes are being followed regarding their working conditions and sponsorship. This is done to confirm that the proper information is being collected and that the necessary procedures are followed.
You need to be sure that you have appropriately prepared for your compliance visit and that all of your procedures, information, and documents are in order; otherwise, it is likely your application to renew your sponsor licence will be denied.
Sponsor Licence Renewal Process Timeline
Most applications to renew sponsor licences are processed within 8 weeks. If you want your renewal application to be completed more quickly, you may be able to pay more to have it given priority processing. You will be able to get the processing of your application completed within 10 days if you use this service.
Be aware, however, that on a daily basis, this service is only available to a limited number of applicants and operates on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.
How many times can you renew your licence?
No limits are placed on the number of times your organisation may renew its status as a sponsor licence. An organisation can continue renewing its licence and authority to sponsor foreign employees, provided that it continues to be qualified for sponsorship and meets the conditions for sponsors.
How Much Does The Sponsor Licence Renewal Cost
Here’s the sponsor licence fees:
- A worker sponsor licence costs 1,476 pounds for large sponsors.
- A worker sponsor licence costs £536 for small sponsors.
- Students sponsor licence for £536.
- Temporary worker licence costs £536.
Sponsor Licence Supporting Documents
In some circumstances, the caseworker from the Home Office may write a letter requesting more business-related papers about the organisation from the sponsor. This might be any material that is included in Appendix A of the sponsor guideline document, or it could be any documentation that is associated with the organisation.
As part of the organisation’s continuous processes for maintaining its status as a compliant sponsor, these records must be easily accessible.
When their licences are up for renewal, sponsors who are licensed for certain routes and who operate within specific sectors are required to present updated copies of relevant papers. For instance, those who want to support employees via the International Sportsperson method must submit an endorsement from a sports governing organisation.
The head of the mission, the consulate, or the organisation’s office based in the UK must sign a letter confirming agreement with the licence renewal application and the intention to continue sponsoring workers under the International Agreement route on behalf of sponsors who are diplomatic or consular missions or international organisations.
Additionally, they must state in this letter that they consent to the sponsorship requirements and the limited waiver of diplomatic protection and privileges required by the Home Office to carry out any necessary compliance activity as outlined in the published guidance.
You have five working days to provide UKVI with any further documentation if you don’t want to risk having your licence downgraded, suspended, or cancelled and having your sponsor licence renewal request rejected.
What is the Streamlined Renewal Process
There is a possibility that some employers might be eligible for the “streamlined” sponsor licence renewal procedure, which would allow for more practical processing.
According to this procedure, the caseworker at the Home Office is authorised to do a reduced number of checks on the organisation before deciding whether or not to approve the renewal application for the sponsor licence if the organisation has previously been successful with at least two applications for the renewal of the sponsor licence.
It won’t be necessary to carry out any of the following inspections:
- Audits of the company as well as the insolvency
- Taking a look at how your certificate of sponsorship is being used
- When taking into consideration the licensing arrangement
- Reviewing the visit history of the sponsor management system and identifying any pending modification requests
- Performing trade checks, including reviewing risk profiles, validating accreditation and registration data, and performing any other necessary checks
- Submitting to a compliance visit by an official of the Home Office, if one is required.
What To Do If Your Sponsor Licence Renewal Has Been Refused
There is no provision for filing an appeal if a request to renew a sponsor licence is denied. This implies that if your application to renew your sponsor licence is denied, your authorisation to sponsor migrant workers will immediately be revoked when the validity of your current licence runs out.
This results in you no longer being able to function as a licensed sponsor after that date. During that time you will not be able to grant any more sponsorship certificates, and the information of your firm will be deleted from the online public registry of registered sponsors.
Equally, the length of leave that sponsored migrants you presently employ are permitted to take will be reduced. This effectively implies that their visas will be cut to a period of sixty days, after which they will be required to choose another immigration path, depart the United Kingdom, or face the possibility of being subject to removal procedures.
This is because under the ‘error correction request’ procedure, a request may be made for the decision to be reviewed in the event that there was a mistake committed by a caseworker while denying your application for the renewal of your sponsor licence, or if evidence that was supplied in support of your application was not taken into consideration.
Your next steps can include the following:
- Putting in a request to have the decision examined again. This choice is only viable for you if you can provide evidence to support a request for a review. For instance, you think that the case office made a mistake that led to the denial of your request by, for example, failingconsider a certain document when reaching their judgement.
- Putting in an entirely new application. If you cannot seek a review and some reasons or problems may be remedied in a new application, consider selecting this option instead.
Birmingham Immigration Lawyers can help you to avoid this; call our team today on 0121 667 6530 for further assistance.
What To Do If Your Sponsor Licence Has Expired
Suppose your company does not have a current sponsor licence. In that case, it will be withdrawn from the Register of Licensed Sponsors, you will not be allowed to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to newly sponsored workers, and the leave of your already sponsored employees may be reduced.
If a sponsor licence was let to lapse, but you still need authorisation to sponsor international employees, you will need to make a hasty decision on your next course of action.
In some situations, you may be permitted to apply for licence renewal, while in others, you could be required to submit an application for a new licence. Getting professional guidance on the particular situation can assist you in determining your alternatives and the best course of action to take to minimise the costs and disruptions incurred by your organisation.
When it comes time to renew their sponsorship licences, many companies make mistakes. This is due because people have the misconception that the procedure is more straightforward than it is.
Although there are no restrictions on the number of times you may try to renew a sponsor licence, you should be aware that there will be additional expenses associated with each effort. Because of this, it makes perfect sense to do it correctly the first time.
You can count on our team of business immigration attorneys to be by your side throughout the renewal process, ensuring that it is carried out correctly and efficiently.
As part of our services, you will be provided with your own immigration lawyer who specialises in business immigration law. This lawyer will work with you to gather all of the necessary supporting paperwork and organise it logically. In addition to this, they will guide you through the process of using SMS to verify that your renewal application is sent correctly.
For more information on renewing your Sponsor Licence or applying for your first Sponsor Licence, call our team at 0121 667 6530.
Last modified on August 7th, 2023 at 6:29 am
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The majority of sponsor licences will have a validity period of 4 years, unless they are voluntarily abandoned or cancelled. However, in the majority of circumstances, you may also submit an application to renew your licence around one month before it is due to expire, providing that the organisation that sponsors you continues to satisfy the applicable conditions.
If a worker has not been given a specified CoS within three months of its creation, the CoS will become invalid, and the sponsor will be required to submit a request for a new CoS.
You also have the option to make an extra payment of £500 in order to have your application processed more quickly.