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Sponsor Licence Renewal

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Sponsor licences are only valid for 4 years. If you want to continue to employ your sponsored workers or to recruit additional employees from overseas on Work Permit Visas at the end of the 4 years you need to apply to renew your sponsor licence.

In this article, our Immigration solicitors look at what you need to do to renew your sponsor licence.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors and Sponsorship Licence Lawyers

For sponsor licence renewal advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Have you had a first sponsor licence renewal reminder?

If you have received a sponsor licence renewal reminder from the Home Office it is tempting to ignore it. After all the Home Office normally gives 120 days’ notice that your licence is edging towards its expiry date.

With HR directors busy trying to recruit additional staff or conducting annual appraisals, and key personnel firefighting sponsor licence jobs with all their other admin tasks, it is easy to put the reminder notice on the ‘’to do’’ pile. We all know what happens to those piles.

Sponsorship Licence lawyers stress that you should not ignore the first renewal reminder.

If you know you are too busy to deal with the daily sponsor licence management and you fear licence renewal issues then act quickly to get a sponsor licence management service to take over the management of your licence, audit your HR files to discover any issues (before the Home Office does) and then get systems put in order before sorting out your renewal application.

Sponsorship Licence lawyers are used to working with companies where things have been missed, key personnel have left, or things have gone awry. They will work with you to make things better.

If things are not as bad as all that it is still worth talking to a Sponsorship Licence lawyer so they can put your renewal application in motion. The sponsor licence renewal application can be made within 90 days of the expiry date.

Giving Sponsorship Licence lawyers plenty of time to sort out the renewal makes it a less stressful experience for everyone. The business immigration solicitors can also look at whether your key personnel need top-up training on changes to sponsor licence reporting and recording duties or if your business would benefit from sponsor licence management services. For example, if your company has grown without increasing its HR capacity and your HR staff are therefore struggling to fill their traditional roles as well as manage the sponsor licence.

Have you had a 14-day sponsor licence renewal reminder?

The Home Office sends a final reminder 14 days before the sponsor licence is due to expire. If you ignore that reminder then your sponsor licence will expire. Not having a sponsor licence will potentially create no end of issues with your ability to meet commercial contracts and deadlines because you will be unable to continue to employ your sponsored workers and probably unable to quickly recruit substitute employees from within the UK who don’t require sponsorship and who have the qualifications and experience to do the job.

If your business needs urgent help with a sponsor licence renewal application call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Getting ready for sponsor licence renewal

The Home Office can decide to carry out announced audits or unannounced compliance visits during your sponsor licence. A renewal application can prompt Home Office checks and a visit. That’s why Sponsorship Licence lawyers encourage business owners to always be ready for an audit and to be extra ready in the run-up to a renewal application.

One way to keep on top of things is to employ business immigration solicitors to manage your sponsor licence on a fixed monthly retainer so you know experts are handling the sponsor licence management and the costs are budgeted for. As an alternative, or in conjunction with a sponsor licence management service, Sponsorship Licence lawyers recommend:

  1. An annual audit to check everything is working as it should – this is important as you may have employed new staff who are perhaps unfamiliar with the new rules on right-to-work checks or evidence to retain on HR files
  2. Annual top-up sponsor licence training so key personnel and HR staff are up to date with all the latest immigration and employment developments. For example, the increased fines if a company employs a person who does not have the right to work in the UK or the latest guidance on how best to avoid a discrimination claim when conducting repeat targeted right-to-work checks on existing sponsored employees or on those employees who are unsponsored but only have limited leave to remain in the UK

The sponsor licence renewal process 

Online sponsor licence renewal is required together with payment of the renewal fee. The amount of the fee depends on whether your organisation is a charity or falls within the definition of a small company.

A small business falls within the definition of ‘’small’’ if it meets at least 2 of the following criteria:

  • Annual turnover of £10.2m or less
  • Total assets of £5.1m or less
  • 50 or fewer employees

A small business or registered charity pays a renewal application fee of £536. Medium or large businesses need to pay a fee of £1,476. These fees have not gone up despite the various hikes in immigration fees, such as visa application fees, the certificate of sponsorship or, from January 2024, the immigration health surcharge.

Documents needed for a sponsor licence renewal application 

The Home Office will tell you what documents are required to support your application. If you have asked Sponsorship Licence lawyers to manage your sponsor licence or to carry out a pre-licence renewal audit this can help identify the types of documents the Home Office may require.

Your company only has 5 days to supply the paperwork so it pays to be ready in advance so you have the necessary documents to hand and in order.

As well as asking for paperwork the Home Office could also carry out checks on key personnel or arrange a compliance visit. During that visit, Home Office officials could ask to speak to key personnel as well as employees. For example, a Home Office official may want to check that an employee in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa is doing the job described on his or her certificate of sponsorship. If they are not doing so this could affect their Work Permit Visa and your sponsor licence renewal application.

Renewing your sponsor licence if it is suspended

The Home Office says that if your sponsor licence is suspended then you should still apply to renew the licence before its expiry date. If you do not, the licence will lapse. If your sponsor licence has been suspended or downgraded it is particularly important that you take the best legal advice from specialist Sponsorship Licence lawyers before submitting a renewal application.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors and Sponsorship Licence Lawyers

For sponsor licence renewal advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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