Since the PBS sponsor licence was launched back in October 2008 many of our clients are now fast approaching their sponsor licence expiry date. At present only the Level 1 Users are being notified of the licence expiry via email notification from the UKBA. The issue is if there are no active Level 1 Users or a change in Level 1 User. Therefore it is important for all sponsors who have sponsored Tier 2 migrant workers to have an active Level 1 User otherwise the sponsor will not receive notification of its renewal and could face having its licence automatically revoked on expiry.
This will result in the company needing to make a fresh sponsor licence application. As the current processing time is up to 5 months all sponsored Tier 2 General and Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer migrant workers may be required to leave the UK. Unless they find another Tier 2 sponsor within the 60 days from the date the licence is revoked. If not the Tier 2 ‘Cooling Off’ period will bar your sponsored migrant workers from re-entering the UK for12 months after their leave has been curtailed.
Registered sponsors who do not wish to renew should have their Level 1 User notify the UKBA via the Sponsor Management System (SMS). Were the licence has been unused or no longer needed and there is no active Level 1 User the UKBA have confirmed that no action to renew will result in the licence being automatically revoked.
If you wish to renew and have already received notification of your licence expiry it is important to note that a renewal may prompt a UKBA audit. This is more probable for sponsors who have not been audited within the last 12-18 months. Therefore if there have been any unreported changes to the company such as change of address, structural changes and this is revealed at a UKBA audit the sponsor could face a fine and a suspended licence. A suspended licence will prevent the sponsor from sponsoring any new Tier 2 migrant workers until remedial action has been acknowledged by the UKBA. With the current backlogs and delays the UKBA are currently experiencing no sponsor wants to be placed in such a helpless and inconvenient predicament.
However if such sponsor changes have not been reported to the UKBA within the 28 calendar days from the occurrence of the event, but the change was reported at the time of renewal it is unlikely to hinder the sponsors licence. Before a sponsor renews its licence it is important the Level 1 User is made aware of any changes that are to be reported on the SMS.
If you require assistance with renewals and/ or need a peace of mind audit to prepare your company for its anticipated UKBA visitors please do not hesitate to contact DavidsonMorris today.