If you are reading this after you have just had learned that your company’s Sponsor Licence has been suspended, you probably are at your wits ends about what you should do and are worried about your employees’ Immigration status and the future of your business.
The focus of specialist Immigration
solicitors is to ensure that if the Home Office has suspended a Sponsor Licence
that the company gets quick no nonsense help to sort out the problem and get the best outcome.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
• Not complying with Sponsor Licence record keeping obligations – Home Office rules state that a Sponsor Licence holder must keep accurate contact details for all non-EEA migrant employees. This includes basic information such as the employee’s address and telephone number. In addition, the Sponsor Licence holder must retain copies of documents used to prove the migrant worker is permitted to work in the UK;
• Poor HR policies and procedures that result in not carrying out Sponsor Licence monitoring duties – Home Office rules state that a Sponsor Licence holder must record non EEA migrant worker’s attendance at work as well as carrying out ongoing right to work checks;
• Failure to fully comply with the Home Office rules relating to the conduct of the Resident Labour Market Test or genuine vacancy issues;
• Not paying the non-EEA migrant worker in accordance with Sponsor Licence guidance and Home Office rules;
• Not complying with Sponsor Licence holder reporting duties – the Home Office rules state that Sponsor Licence holders must report certain matters to UK Visas and Immigration, for example the regular non-attendance of a Tier 2 (General) Visa migrant worker or the termination of their Employment;
• Failure to cooperate with the Home Office – Home Office rules state that Sponsor Licence holders must comply with requests for information or access to documents during a Home Office audit;
• Failure to maintain key personnel in Sponsor Licence roles – Home Office rules state that Sponsor Licence holders must allocate certain responsibilities to key personnel within the company in order for Sponsor Licence duties to be effectively carried out through the Sponsor Management System (SMS).
• Assign any Certificates of Sponsorship, meaning that the business cannot recruit any new non- EEA migrant workers;
• The company will be taken off the public register of Sponsor Licence holders whilst the Sponsor Licence is suspended.
• Comply with all Sponsor Licence holder duties;
• Cooperate with the Home Office;
• Apply for a new Sponsor Licence if the Sponsor Licence is due to expire during the period of suspension;
• Take urgent legal advice on whether to challenge the Sponsor Licence suspension or alternative options;
• Consider any immediate reputational damage issues arising from the Sponsor Licence suspension and impact on the business and retention of existing migrant employees if they are aware of the Sponsor Licence suspension
What happens if a Sponsor Licence is suspended?
If the Home Office decide to suspend a Sponsor Licence
, the company will be notified and has 20 working days to respond to the Home Office.
The notification letter will set out the grounds for suspension, and urgent legal advice should be taken from top London immigration solicitors
on the options and how best to respond to the Home Office allegations.
Specialist Sponsor Licence
solicitors will be able to advise the company on not only the best tactics to deal with the Sponsor Licence
suspension but also will advise on the information and documents the company will need to produce when responding to each of the Home Office allegations. If required, expert Immigration
solicitors will also be able to help the company prepare for a Home Office audit.
If the Home Office is satisfied that the company has addressed the issues that led to suspension of the Sponsor Licence
then the Sponsor Licence
could be reinstated. If the Home Office is not satisfied with the reply, the Sponsor Licence
could be downgraded or even revoked. That is why it is vital that a company takes expert legal advice when a Sponsor Licence
is suspended in order to try to avoid long-term ramifications with the Home Office and achieve the best outcome.
The downgrading or revocation of a Sponsor Licence
can have a massive impact not only on the company but also on the non-EEA
workforce. With Brexit
and the end of free movement, the importance of complying with Home Office Immigration
Rules will become increasingly important. That is why making sure that the Sponsor Licence
runs smoothly is vital and that if a company does encounter a problem with the Home Office or the Sponsor Licence
is suspended that the company gets urgent help from Sponsor Licence
How can OTS Solicitors help?
Central London based OTS Solicitors specialise in business immigration
law. The business immigration
team at OTS Solicitors have substantial expertise in not only securing Sponsor Licences for businesses; from start-up firms to multinationals companies but also managing Sponsor Licences and dealing with suspensions and revocations of Sponsor Licences.
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
For more information about how the business immigration team at OTS Solicitors can help you deal with a Sponsor Licence suspension 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.