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.
Experiencing a refusal or rejection can significantly impact your business, resulting in wasted time, money, and missed opportunities to hire overseas candidates. The subsequent course of action for a company hinges on whether the application was "rejected" or "refused" by the Home Office, along with the specific reasons underlying 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. Usually, this occurs due to minor issues or mistakes in the sponsor licence application. While your fee can be refunded, you have the option to reapply. However, it is essential to revise your application to address the identified issues or mistakes.
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:
Experiencing a refusal for your application is a more significant setback compared to a rejection. While you may receive a refund of your fee, you will face a cooling-off period of typically 6-12 months during which you cannot reapply. Additionally, you do not retain the right to file an appeal.
Refusals result from more serious and fundamental issues within your application. Common reasons for refusal may include:
- 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, we have a dedicated team to assist you in your sponsorship application process, ensuring your organisation steers clear of costly mistakes while saving valuable time and resources. Our expertise extends to handling rejections, refusals, and compliance matters efficiently. We offer professional immigration advice regulated by Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). Trust us to navigate the complexities of immigration with precision and excellence.
If you have a question regarding sponsor licence application, please don’t hesitate to contact us: email@example.com