Under the Skilled Worker Route guidelines, UK organisations that want to hire migrant workers will need a sponsor licence to employ their non-UK candidates. Likewise, for non-UK nationals to get a work permit in the UK, they need to have an offer from an approved sponsor to be able to apply for a UK skilled worker visa (formerly known as Tier 2 visa).
According to the Companies House, there are over 4.7 million organisations in the UK, as of 20th December, there are only 50,006 registered companies who can sponsor work visas in the UK. Many companies find it hard to employ an idea talent because they don’t have a sponsor licence. This has led to the need of applying for a sponsor licence to solve their staff shortage issues.
The Home Office processes Sponsor Licence Applications according to the specific circumstances of each company. Employers must meet the application requirements and submit a series of correct documents to prove that they are a genuine company and able to continually comply with their duties.
Getting a refusal or rejection can have a negative impact on your business, it means a waste of time, money, and losing opportunities to hire overseas candidates.
The next step a company can take is dependent on whether the application was ‘rejected’ or ‘refused’ by the Home Office, as well as the reasons for the decision.
If your application is rejected:
When you receive a rejection for your application, it normally means your application is deemed invalid by Home Office. It’s usually due to some relatively small issue or mistake which was made in the sponsor licence the application. Your fee can be refunded, and you can apply again, however, you need to revise your application.
The common reasons for rejections are:
- Incorrect application fee was paid
The fee of the Sponsor Licence application depends on the size of your company. If you’re a small company (less than 50 employees), you should pay £536. If you have more than 50 employees, you’ll be considered as a medium or large business and therefore, it will be £1476 for your application.
- Supporting documents issues
You might have submitted an original document which has been certified, but the Home Office are unable to verify the certifier’s details.
What you can do if your sponsor licence application is rejected:
Therefore, as mentioned, your fee can be refunded if it’s a rejection. You can re-apply, but you need to correct the issues according to your rejection reason.
If your application is refused:
When you got a refusal for your application, it is more serious than rejection. Although you receive a refund of your fee, and you will not be able to apply again for a length of time — a cooling-off period which is usually 6-12 months. You also do not have the right to file an appeal.
The reasons for refusal are related to more serious and fundamental issues with your application. The common reasons could be:
- Late for submitting supporting documents
If the Home Office has requested further documents in support of the application, you should submit them within 5 working days (or the time limit you’ve been given) after you submit your online application form. Failing to send the correct documents before the deadline may result in a refusal and the application fee you paid will not be refunded. In addition, you need to submit the correct documents, if you submit a false document your application will not only be refused, you might also be subject to a cooling-off period.
- Failed to pass the genuineness test
If you failed in the genuineness test, usually it means that the Home Office does not believe your business is genuine or the job vacancy is not genuine. You must prove that your organisation is legitimate, and the job vacancy you wish to sponsor is "real", that is, not a job vacancy created deliberately to help an immigrant enter the UK. Failing to pass the test will result in refusal.
- Did not pass the Home Office compliance visit
When the Home Office Officials visit, they will check whether your company is a legitimate business and whether it has a robust HR system to effectively manage migrant employees, to ensure that you can fulfil all your sponsor duties as an employer. It is very important to have a robust HR system in place to discover and resolve potential problems in a timely manner, so as to ensure that you can continue to meet the requirements after obtaining a licence.
What you can do if your sponsor licence application is refused:
First, you need to check the reason why the Home Office refused your application. If your refusal reason is missing the deadline to reply to the Home Office of your supporting documents, then you can re-apply.
According to the “Workers and Temporary Workers: guidance for sponsors Part 1” on section 9, if you believe there is a caseworker error, you can submit an “Error correction request”. The request much sent within 14 days from the date of the refusal letter.
Moreover, you should check whether you’ve been subject to a cooling-off period, and how long your cooling-off period is. The length of the cooling-off period depends on your company circumstances. You can only re-apply after the cooling-off period.
The Home Office can reject or refuse Sponsor Licence applications for many reasons, fully preparing for the Sponsor Licence application and submitting the correct supporting documents is crucial for your company's sponsor licence application.
How can we help:
At WorkPermitCloud Limited, we have a dedicated team to assist you in your sponsorship application process, to help your organisation avoid costly mistakes and save time and money. We also deal with rejections, refusals, and compliance. We offer professional immigration advice regulated by Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Our Founder and Managing Director Md Lutfur Rahman (FCILEx) has more than 20 years of experience in sponsorship licences management and business immigration services.
If you have a question regarding sponsor licence application, please don’t hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org