In the dynamic landscape of the UK job market, the ability to sponsor migrant workers has become an essential tool for British employers. It enables them to address skills gaps and fill vacancies within their workforce. The sponsor licence, issued by the Home Office, grants organisations the privilege to sponsor overseas workers. However, these licences have a validity period of four years, making the renewal process a critical step in ensuring continued eligibility to sponsor foreign workers.
If a UK firm wants to employ non-UK resident (including EU nationals entering the UK from 1st January 2021), the employer must have a valid sponsorship licence from the UK Home Office. The process of employer sponsorship licence application can be complex, and WorkPermitCloud can assist with this.
Once you got your sponsor licence granted from the Home Office, your sponsor licence will remain valid for 4 years from the date. You can find the start and expiration date on the licence summary on your Sponsorship Management System (SMS).
However, if you do not comply with your sponsor duties during the 4 years, your sponsor licence might be suspended, revoked or downgraded. If you want to know the duties of a Licenced Sponsor, please read our previous blog here.
If you want to continue to sponsor your migrant employees after the expiry date, you’ll need to renew your licence well in advance of the expiry date.
You can apply for a renewal 90 days before the expiration date. You cannot renew your sponsor licence when the expiration date is due, when your sponsor licence is expired, you’ll have to apply for a Sponsor Licence again if you wish to continue to sponsor your migrant workers.
Even if your employee might have a longer period visa than your sponsor licence, you still have to renew your sponsor licence to legally employ your migrant workers.
The Sponsor Licence renewal application should be done by the Level 1 user, Level 1 user must be appointed by the Authorising Officer (AO) through the SMS, if the Level 1 user and AO is the same person, the AO can also submit the renewal application. Level 1 user is responsible for all day-to-day management of your licence using the SMS.
The Sponsorship Licence Renewal process should be done through SMS. The Level 1 user must have the authority of the AO to submit the Sponsor Licence Renewal application, and the ‘Name’ and ‘Position within the organisation’ entered in the declaration form should be the level 1 user.
For a small organisation/charity (1-50 staff, less than 10.2 million annual turnovers, total assets are worth £5.1 million or less), the renewal fee is £536.
For a medium or large organisation (more than 50 staff, more than10.2 million annual turnovers, total assets are worth more than £5.1 million), the renewal fee is £1476.
Around the time of Sponsor Licence renewal, you need to make sure you still have a robust HR system in place, i.e. WpcHr (https://workpermitcloud.co.uk/hrms), keep following your sponsor duties (record keeping and reporting), should also be prepared for a compliance visit, this is to ensure that you remain compliant and still qualify for a Sponsor Licence.
Some of the common reasons that the Sponsor licence Renewal might be refused are:
- failing to comply with sponsor duties
- failed to do record keeping of changes in the organisation or their employees
- failed to report changes in the organisation or their employees
- does not have a robust HR system in place
At WorkPermitCloud, we have a dedicated team to assist you in your sponsorship licence renewal process. We offer professional immigration advice regulated by Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
Book our professional Immigration service at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our comprehensive approach to sponsor licence renewal ensures that you remain compliant and fully equipped to continue sponsoring skilled non-UK resident workers. We offer a range of services to support your organisation through the renewal process:
Auditing HR Systems: We assess your HR systems, procedures, and records, including certificates of sponsorship and your SMS, to identify areas of risk and non-compliance.
Recommendations for Compliance: We make recommendations to meet sponsor licence duties and guide you on notification, monitoring, and record-keeping duties.
Training for In-House Teams: We provide training for in-house teams, including SMS key personnel, to ensure they are well- prepared for compliance.
Preparation for Compliance Visits: We help you prepare for compliance visits, ensuring that your organisation is ready for inspection.
Follow-Up Support: We offer ongoing immigration and sponsor licence compliance advice to support your organisation's continued compliance.
To renew your sponsor licence, submit an application via your Sponsorship Management System (SMS) account and pay the appropriate fee. You can typically apply three months before the expiry date.
A sponsor licence renewal typically takes around eight weeks, but it can vary depending on the circumstances.
If you fail to renew your sponsor licence before it expires, your existing licence will lapse on the scheduled expiry date, along with your permission to sponsor migrant workers.
A sponsor licence in the UK is valid for four years. Renewing it before the expiry date is essential to maintain sponsorship eligibility.
A sponsor licence renewal typically takes around eight weeks, assuming there are no issues or compliance inspections.
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It is required by the Home Office that sponsor licence holders must comply with all sponsor duties. Failure of compliance may result in fines for up to £20,000 per illegal worker, sponsor licence downgrade to a B-rating, sponsor licence suspension or revocation.
Once an UK organisation granted a sponsor licence, sponsors must follow their sponsor duties to maintain their sponsor licence, including: Keeping up-to-date records of sponsored workers and their immigration status Reporting any changes to the worker's employment or circumstances to the Home Office Complying with the law on preventing illegal working Co-operating with the Home Office in any compliance checks or audits
A sponsor licence compliance is a set of rules and regulations that UK organisations must follow when sponsoring non-British nationals to work in the country. These rules are set by the UK Home Office and are designed to ensure that sponsorship licence holders are operating in compliance with the regulations and are fulfilling their sponsor duties.
For a UK sponsor license, you'll need to provide documentation of your company's registration, the identities of key employees, proof that you need migrant workers, HR policies and procedures, and proof that you can track and monitor them. In the course of the application procedure, the Home Office may also require supplementary paperwork.
Having a legal business, demonstrating the need for migrant workers, putting in place acceptable HR and compliance procedures, and pledging to follow the sponsor duties outlined by the Home Office are all prerequisites for obtaining a sponsor license in the UK.
The duration of a UK sponsor license is four years. However if the Home Office determines that the group is not upholding its sponsorship obligations or if the organization is discovered to be engaging in any illegal activity, it may be revoked at any moment.
Application completion and case complexity are two variables that can affect how quickly a sponsor license application is processed in the UK. Nevertheless, it usually takes 8 weeks to process an order.
An organization must submit an online application form to the Home Office along with a fee in order to become a licensed sponsor in the UK. The firm must prove during the application process that it is an actual company, that it has a genuine need for migrant labor, and that it has sufficient HR and compliance processes in place.
An organization can sponsor foreign workers to come and work for them in the UK if it has a sponsor licence, which is approval from the UK government. When hiring qualified workers from outside the UK, firms must get a sponsor license from the Home Office.