Under the Points Based System UK employers have to be licensed by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) before they can employ non-EEA workers. Sponsor licences are granted for an initial period of four years and those companies which are completing the four-year sponsor cycle and who wish to continue employing migrant workers are now required to renew their licence.
Why sponsor licence renewal applications are refused:
- Failure to pass a UKVI compliance audit
- Failure to have retained the required documentation on sponsored migrants
- Failure to have advised UKVI of significant changes to company structure and personnel
- Failing to respond to UKVI’s enquiries in a timely manner
- Failure to pass the ‘genuineness test’
- Failure to comply with UKVI security standards
What are an employer’s duties?
Companies have to submit a sponsor licence renewal application via the online Sponsor Management System. The UKVI advises that renewal applications can be submitted at least three months prior to the current licence expiry date, and a nominated Level 1 User should be able to pay an appropriate fee, complete a sponsor declaration and request renewal online.
As part of the sponsor licence renewal process, the UKVI reserves a right to undertake a compliance visit to sponsor companies and request corporate documentation as deemed necessary.
Your organisation should undertake proactive steps to ensure readiness for this process:
- ensure that your organisation continues meeting sponsorship duties, including maintenance of records for migrant workers, carrying out necessary compliance checks on your staff and timely reporting migrant activities to UKVI;
- make necessary changes to your sponsor licence before an extension application is lodged with the UKVI; and
- ensure that licence management to date has been compliant and that the application for renewal is accurate, timely and effective.
How we can help you
DavidsonMorris can provide clients with a complete employer sponsorship licence application package which includes:
- Assisting with initial considerations as to the type of sponsorship application and suitable key personnel
- Help you to collate the appropriate supporting documentation
- Audit your HR systems and procedures to get them in order before the UKVI visit
Our team of UK immigration specialists is well-versed in all the document and evidentiary requirements that can be vital to a prompt and successful application. We are also happy to support you in renewing your licence and managing the information the Home Office requires to be notified of during the duration that you hold the licence.
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To employ skilled personnel from outside the EU, UK employers must first apply to UKVI for a sponsor licence.
The Home Office uses the sponsor licence application process to ensure your organisation is genuine in its need and motivation to hire from overseas. Here are some key sponsor licence guidance tips for employers looking to make a sponsor licence application.
Sponsor licence holders & Home Office compliance You've successfully navigated the Home Office sponsorship licence application process, and have been granted [...]
BEFORE YOU APPLY
Essential information before you make a sponsor licence application.
The sponsor licence application is in two parts. You have to get both stages right to be successful in your application for a sponsor licence.
We can also help with:
SPONSOR LICENCE RENEWALS
After 4 years, you will be required to apply to renew your sponsor licence, when your HR systems and processes will be scrutinised by the Home Office.
Sponsor licence holders must meet a number of duties on an ongoing basis, requiring HR systems and processes to support compliance.
HOME OFFICE INSPECTIONS
You should expect to receive a Home Office visit as part of a sponsor licence renewal. They can be daunting, making early preparation essential.
Immigration audit helps as part of your sponsor licence application or renewal preparation to you meet the duties of a sponsor licence holder.
Sponsor licence holders must comply with Home Office requirements through effective HR systems and processes.
CERTIFICATES OF SPONSORSHIP
Advice on the use of restricted and unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) under your Tier 2 sponsor licence.