Sponsor Licence Renewals

 

When a company gets its first sponsor licence, business owners tend not to think about the expiry of the sponsor licence. However, Top London immigration solicitors   advise that Sponsor Licences only last for four years. That may seem a long time at the outset of the sponsor licence but the date for renewal of the sponsor licence can come around very quickly when a company is focussed on the daily challenges of supply and demand or recruitment and HR issues.

 
When a sponsor licence is due for renewal it is important to look at the operation of the sponsor licence, the Home Office compliance requirements and the likely business recruitment needs over the life of the next sponsor licence. That is because the renewal of a sponsor licence is not an automatic process that goes through ‘on the nod’ at the Home Office. Home Office officials look at sponsor licence renewals with the same degree of care as first applications. Attention to the sponsor licence renewal process is the best option to secure a new sponsor licence
 

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

 
Central London based OTS Solicitors specialise in business immigration law and are experts in dealing with sponsor licence applications and renewals as well as sponsor licence management, suspensions and revocations. 
 
For more information about how the business immigration team at OTS Solicitors can help you deal with a sponsor licence renewal or any other sponsor licence query call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London business immigration solicitors.
 

sponsor licence duration

 
A sponsor licence is granted to a company to enable them to employ and sponsor workers from non-EEA countries. Although the sponsor licence has a four-year expiry date, the duration of the sponsor licence can be shortened if the Home Office step in and revoke the sponsor licence. The Home Office can take this step if there is evidence that the company has not fulfilled its sponsor licence compliance duties. 
 
For small companies with no HR department or large busy companies overwhelmed by the volume of non-EEA migrant workers needed to meet the business goals, the best means of ensuring that the sponsor licence runs its full course of four years is to use a sponsor licence management service. The use of a sponsor licence management service not only helps manage the day-to-day Home Office compliance requirements but also makes the sponsor licence renewal process easier for companies.
 

sponsor licence renewal process

 
When it comes to sponsor licence renewals Top London immigration solicitors say that it is normal Home Office practice to email a company to let them know that the sponsor licence is due for renewal. Whilst it can be tempting to ignore the first or even second email from the Home Office because of work commitments or recruitment pressures, to secure the best outcome a company should either action the sponsor licence renewal process or instruct experienced sponsor licence solicitors to do so on their behalf.
 
The sponsor licence application can be submitted three months prior to the expiry of the current sponsor licence. sponsor licence solicitors recommend that sponsor licence renewal applications are submitted at least a month before the expiry date of the existing sponsor licence as a matter of best practice. That is because even though a company may think that their sponsor licence renewal application will sail through the Home Office renewal application process without encountering any difficulties this cannot be guaranteed. 
 
Home Office officials can decide to investigate a renewal application and if the investigations lead to a refusal then if the renewal application has been submitted early, there should still be sufficient time to submit a second renewal application. 
 

Effect of sponsor licence expiry

 

If the sponsor licence holder does not submit a sponsor licence renewal application before the expiry of the current sponsor licence or the renewal application is refused then on the expiry of the sponsor licence the company name will be removed from the registered list of sponsors. The company will no longer be a licenced sponsor from the date of expiry.
 
The effect of a sponsor licence expiry will not only affect the employer company but also the migrant employees who were sponsored by the company under its sponsor licence. The Home Office will give the non-EEA migrant workers sixty days to either:
 

• Secure alternative Employment with a company that has a sponsor licence and that can sponsor them and provide a Certificate of Sponsorship; or 

• Leave the country.

 

sponsor licence renewal application fee

 
The sponsor licence renewal application fee depends on the size of the company applicant. If an incorrect fee is paid, the sponsor licence renewal application will be refused. The best sponsor licence renewal advice is therefore to check whether the Home Office class the company, at the time of the renewal application, as either a small or a medium/large company.
 

sponsor licence renewal process

 
The sponsor licence renewal process is submitted online. Prior to submission of the sponsor licence renewal application, Top London immigration solicitors recommend that the company carry out a mock audit to ensure that the company has all the correct compliance systems in place and that they are working effectively. A mock audit can be the most effective means of spotting errors and ensure the best outcome with a sponsor licence renewal. 
 
After the sponsor licence renewal application has been submitted, the Home Office will assess the application using Home Office criteria and detailed guidance. The Home Office may make further enquiries into the renewal application. 
 

Reasons for refusal of sponsor licence renewal applications  

 
It is surprisingly easy for a company to be refused a sponsor licence renewal. That is because the Home Office sponsor licence compliance rules are exacting and quite onerous. If a company does not use a sponsor licence management service or does not carry out mock audits then something can be missed, resulting in a renewal refusal.
 
The most common reasons for the refusal of a renewal application are:
 

• Not retaining the required paperwork on sponsored migrants or carrying out the required checks and monitoring of sponsored employees;

• Not passing a Home Office audit;

• Not complying with key personnel requirements for operation of the company sponsor licence;

• Not meeting the genuine job test or carrying out the Resident Labour Market Test correctly.

 

Penalties for not renewing a sponsor licence 

 
If a company fails to renew its sponsor licence and continues to employ non-EEA workers then the migrants will be classed as illegal workers, even if at the date of their Employment, they were employed legally under a Certificate of Sponsorship. Employing illegal workers can result in financial penalties issued by the Home Office. 
 
Therefore, if a company wants to continue to employ non-EEA citizens the best option is to apply to renew the sponsor licence well in advance of the expiry of the current sponsor licence. sponsor licence solicitors can advise on how to secure the renewal of the sponsor licence with the minimum of fuss to achieve the best outcome for the company.
    

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

 
Central London based OTS Solicitors are specialists in business immigration law. The OTS Solicitors business immigration team has substantial expertise in securing and renewing Sponsor Licences for businesses; from start-up firms to multinationals companies. The team also provides a sponsor licence management service as well as advice on dealing with suspensions and revocations of Sponsor Licences.
 
If you are worried about your sponsor licence renewal application or if you are interested in sponsor licence management services to take the hassle out of adhering to Home Office strict sponsor licence compliance requirements then OTS Solicitors can help you.   
 
The legal directory of leading UK lawyers, The Legal 500, recognises OTS Solicitors expertise in business immigration. In addition, OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration law. 
 
For more information about how the business immigration team at OTS Solicitors can help you deal with a Sponsor Licence renewal or any other aspect of business immigration law please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London business immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.
 

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