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Common Mistakes to Avoid In Sponsor Licence Applications And Sponsorship Duties

May 14, 2024

Across UK industries, there are ever-growing vacancies for skilled workers. Hiring talent from overseas provides a viable option for UK-based companies to widen their hiring potential.

To employ international workers in the UK, a company must hold a sponsor licence. This allows a company to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to migrant workers so that they can apply for a visa to enter and stay in the UK based on that employment. Companies are also bound to abide by a range of duties as part of their permission to hold a sponsor licence.

A company must apply to the Home Office for a sponsor licence – this can be a complex process, and making a mistake can be costly. If an application for a sponsor licence is refused, there is no right to appeal the decision, although a request for a review of the decision could be available. Upon refusal, an employer may have to reapply for the sponsor licence, which would involve repayment of all relevant application fees. Refusals can also produce significant delays, which can be harmful not only for the business but also for the employee and their plans to relocate to the UK.

If a business wants to sponsor overseas workers, it is vital to get the process right when it first applies for a sponsor licence. It is also vital for that business to comply with its duties as an active sponsor licence holder. To help, we have outlined some of the most common mistakes that businesses can make, and the steps companies can take to avoid them.

Errors in administration

Administrative errors can be some of the most common mistakes made during the sponsor licence application process.
The main consequence of such errors could be that an application is refused. However, it can also cause issues should an application be granted and require additional work to rectify mistakes in the future.
The best approach is to take care when filling out the application. If you need advice on the right type of sponsor licence for your organisation, speak to us. We can guide you in the right direction.

Incorrect documents

One of the most common mistakes made by a business when applying for a sponsor licence is providing insufficient or incorrect documents. After an application is made, a business has five working days to provide a full list of specified documents, which are required to prove that the business is genuine and operating or trading lawfully in the UK. Failing to provide appropriate documents or making any mistakes in this area is one of the fastest ways to have an application rejected.

Seeking advice from an experienced advisory firm like us can be useful at this stage. We can inform a business about the relevant requirements they must meet to be eligible for a sponsor licence; provide a valuable checking service for the application; and ensure correct supporting documents are provided. This is often much more cost-effective than resubmitting an application or challenging a decision and can help to make sure that an application has the best chance of approval.

Key roles and the sponsorship management system

It is integral that companies holding a sponsor licence are aware of their duties as licence holders, and that there are internal processes in place to ensure compliance with those duties. A common mistake can be failing to ensure that correct key personnel are appointed on the licence, as required in the Immigration Rules.
Businesses must delegate key responsibilities to certain staff members to comply with Home Office guidelines. At the top of the pyramid is the Authorising Officer, who must be responsible for the recruitment of overseas staff and the general oversight of the sponsorship management system (SMS). Companies must also assign a Key Contact to take responsibility for communications between the business and the Home Office.
A company must maintain its licence through the SMS and must make sure that this system is updated as part of its sponsorship duties. A company must also have a Level 1 User appointed for the day-to-day management of the SMS. There may be multiple Level 1 Users, but they must all be UK-based employees of the company.
The relevant personnel must already be in place within your business when you apply for a sponsorship licence, and the assigned members of staff should understand their roles and responsibilities. If you cannot demonstrate that you have a robust, working system to support both Home Office compliance and the well-being of migrant workers, there is a significant risk that your application will not be approved.
The Home Office also can carry out compliance checks and may visit a business at any time to make sure that these legal obligations continue to be met after the licence has been granted. As such, it is not only beneficial for the application process to install this system correctly at the earliest opportunity – it can also help to avoid future legal penalties.

Why Choose UK Visas?

Expert Guidance: Our team of immigration experts has in-depth knowledge and expertise in the Sponsor Licence application process. We stay up to date with the latest immigration regulations and provide accurate guidance to ensure a successful outcome.
Tailored Solutions: We understand that every business is unique. Our services are adapted to meet your specific needs, whether you are a small business or a large corporation. We adapt our approach to accommodate your requirements and maximize your chances of obtaining a Sponsor Licence.
Efficiency and Time Savings: Navigating the complexities of the Sponsor Licence application process can be time-consuming and overwhelming. By choosing UK Visas, you can save valuable time and focus on your core business activities while we manage the administrative aspects of your application.
Transparent Communication: We believe in clear and open communication with our clients. Throughout the process, we keep you informed about the progress of your application, provide updates on any regulatory changes, and address any concerns or queries you may have.

Choose UK Visas for your Sponsor Licence needs and unlock access to a global pool of talent. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and take the first step towards a successful sponsorship journey. Call us on 01403 801801 or email us [email protected]

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