Overview of Sponsor Licence Renewals
Sponsor Licence renewal is a crucial process for holders aiming to legally continue employing foreign workers in the UK.
Renewal can be completed within three months prior to the expiration of your current Sponsor Licence, and extensions may be granted under certain circumstances.
To initiate a Sponsorship Licence renewal application, you must utilize the sponsor management system (SMS), the same platform used for issuing certificates of sponsorship for Skilled Worker visa holders and other foreign workers.
During the renewal process, it’s essential to provide comprehensive, up-to-date records of all employees sponsored under your current licence.
The Sponsor Licence Renewal Process
Renewing your Sponsor Licence enables the continued employment of foreign workers in your business.
To renew your Sponsorship Licence, you must request renewal through the SMS. The renewal fee varies based on your company’s size.
Before submitting your application, ensure that all details in the SMS are accurate, including those of SMS users like the ‘Authorising Officer’ and ‘Level 1/2 Users’. As these roles can change over time, it’s crucial to keep them updated to avoid potential renewal refusals.
It’s also important to verify that new company sites are added to the SMS and employee details are up to date. Incorrect or missing information could jeopardize your renewal application.
After submitting your application and fee to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), you’ll receive a ‘submission sheet’ generated by the SMS following the licence renewal declaration screen. Complete, sign, and send this sheet to the Sponsor Licensing Unit.
As part of the Sponsor Licence renewal process, you may undergo a visit from a Home Office Compliance Officer.
These visits assess your eligibility for renewal by ensuring that:
- You fulfill your sponsor licence duties and obligations.
- Your systems and procedures meet sponsorship requirements.
- Information provided in your licence application is accurate.
- You comply with obligations related to preventing illegal working.
Compliance Officers might also interact with sponsored employees to verify their information and confirm adherence to working conditions and sponsorship protocols.
Proper preparation for the compliance visit is vital to avoid potential renewal application refusals.
After Submitting Your Licence Renewal
Upon submitting your Sponsor Licence renewal, the Home Office reviews your application to ensure compliance with necessary criteria. This entails confirming that you meet eligibility standards and guidelines for sponsor licence holders. The Home Office also reviews existing certificates of sponsorship issued by your company.
You might be contacted to provide additional documentation for the review process. If requested, ensure these documents are provided within five days to prevent renewal refusal or reduction in certificate of sponsorship allocation.
Streamlined Renewal Process
The streamlined sponsor licence renewal process expedites licence renewals under specific conditions.
To qualify, organizations generally need two successful licence renewals without compliance issues.
Streamlined renewal skips certain steps:
- Company and insolvency checks
- Certificate of sponsorship usage reviews
- Licence structure reviews
- Visit history reviews
- Outstanding change requests reviews
- Risk profile reviews
- Accreditation and registration details checks
- Other trading checks
- Compliance visit referrals
Sponsor Licence Renewal Fees
Sponsor licence renewal fees depend on your business size and the licence type you’re renewing:
|Type of Licence
|Fee for Small or Charitable Sponsors
|Fee for Medium or Large Sponsors
|Worker and Temporary Worker
Additional expedited processing is available for a fee of £500.
Duration of Renewal Processing
Most sponsor licence renewal applications are processed within 8 weeks. Timely response to any Home Office requests for additional information and maintaining compliant SMS records and processes can expedite the process. Compliance visits by Home Office officials also play a role.
Expedited processing, available for a fee, can reduce processing time to 10 days, but availability is limited.
You can apply to renew your Sponsorship Licence up to three months before its expiry date. In some cases, the Home Office may invite earlier renewal. Your current licence’s expiry date can be found in the sponsor management system. Submit your renewal application well in advance to account for potential issues.
If Your Renewal Is Refused
If your renewal application is refused, ascertain the reason before planning your next steps. Refusal reasons might include inadequate information or documentation, failure to meet sponsor duties, incorrect fee payment, lacking proper documentation on foreign workers, non-compliance with reporting guidelines, among others.
For a review, ensure grounds are valid. Otherwise, address underlying issues and reapply. Not renewing means your licence expires, impacting the ability to sponsor foreign workers. Addressing the reasons for refusal is crucial if reapplying.
Consequences of Not Renewing
Failure to renew leads to automatic licence expiration. You’ll lose the ability to grant new certificates of sponsorship and to sponsor current employees. Current employees’ leave to remain could be affected.
Any continued sponsorship after licence expiry will be reported to the Home Office, potentially leading to penalties for illegal sponsorship without a certified licence. If eligible, you may apply for a renewal, but it’s not guaranteed.
How Immigration Secure Can Assist You
Navigating the various visa categories and application procedures can be challenging. Immigration Secure offers expert guidance to help you choose the right Workers Visa category and ensure you meet all specific requirements for a successful application. Our services include comprehensive document checks, assistance with application forms, and the provision of a Letter of Representation to strengthen your case.
To initiate the process of obtaining your Temporary Worker Visa, please reach out to us or make an online enquiry. Our team of professionals is here to guide you through the entire application process.