At UK Visas we understand the importance of retaining your hired talent and we have our own talent supporting you, to be able to do so.
The ability to sponsor migrant workers has become critical for employers to fill vacancies and address skills gaps within their workforce. As a sponsor licence holder, you will be required to submit a sponsor licence renewal application to the Home Office prior to your current licence’s expiry, to avoid issues with your permission to sponsor overseas workers.
A sponsor licence is valid for 4 years. If your renewal application is successful, your sponsor licence will be extended for a further 4 years.
Our team at UK Visas know that sponsor licence renewal applications attract more attention from the Home Office than initial licence applications. This is because the organisation is obliged to have complied with its sponsor duties while it has held the licence. As a result, immigration caseworkers take this opportunity to fully investigate an organisation’s compliance processes, procedures, and documentation and to verify the lawful status of the organisation’s migrant workers.
An expired licence or refused licence renewal can result in profound consequences for businesses.
Without a valid licence, your organisation will no longer be permitted to sponsor foreign workers. You can neither hire more sponsored workers, nor can you continue to employ your existing sponsored workers, until you have a valid licence in place. In effect, this means that while unlicensed, you will no longer be lawfully employing your sponsored workers and as illegal workers, their visas risk being curtailed.
When applying to renew a sponsor licence, you must be able to show that your organisation continues to meet the relevant requirements of the route in question and that it continues to meet its sponsorship duties. However, when making the initial renewal request, the Level 1 User will only usually be required to select the appropriate fee, sign a declaration that the information they have given is true and go on to make the relevant payment.
Your sponsor licence application date is viewable on the SMS. This date should be diarised to avoid being missed. Sponsor licences automatically expire at the end of the 4-year validity period unless successfully renewed. An expired licence or refused licence renewal can result in profound consequences for businesses.
When should I make a sponsor licence renewal application?
You will be contacted 120 calendar days prior to the licence expiry date and again at 30 calendar-day intervals up to the last month, and finally 2 weeks before the expiry date. However, it remains the responsibility of the sponsoring organisation to apply to renew their licence in suitable time. Renewal applications can be submitted at least three months prior to the current licence expiry date. You can check the earliest date you can submit your renewal application on the organisation’s Sponsorship Management System (SMS).
How long does the sponsor licence renewal process take?
Sponsors should be prepared for the Home Office to be extremely thorough in vetting the organisation and its sponsorship compliance to determine the renewal application. The timeframe involved can also be longer if a compliance visit is required. To avoid delays in processing, we can guide you to ensure HR and personnel systems, records, and processes are fully compliant and that the renewal submission and supporting documents are complete and correct. A decision will usually take place within 8 weeks.
How many times can you renew your licence?
There are no restrictions on how frequently your organisation can renew its sponsor licence. Provided an organisation continues to be eligible and meet the sponsor requirements, it can continue renew its licence and permission to sponsored foreign workers.
How much is the sponsor licence renewal fee?
The fee to renew your sponsor licence will depend on whether your organisation is classed as a small or charitable sponsor or a medium or large sponsor.
|Type of sponsor licence||Renewal fee|
Under the Home Office guidance, an organisation is classed as a small company if the following apply:
- Annual turnover of no more than £10.2 million
- A balance sheet total of no more than £5.1 million
- No more than fifty employees on average
How to prepare for your sponsor licence renewal?
As it is not possible to prevent the licence from expiring past its expiry date, we advise sponsors to start preparing for the renewal process well in advance. This will allow you to identify and deal with any issues before you need to make the renewal submission and ensure continued coverage and validity of the licence.
From experience, we advise diarising to look at the renewal six months before the expiry date. This will give you time to conduct a full audit and identify areas of risk and potential non-compliance to be rectified before making your submission and opening the organisation up to Home Office scrutiny.
Being prepared and submitting your application as soon as the window opens also means that if there are any issues, delays or even a refusal, there is likely to be time to address the problems before the licence expires.
What is the streamlined sponsor licence renewal application process?
Some employers may qualify for the ‘streamlined’ sponsor licence renewal procedure, for faster processing. Under this process, if the organisation has previously been successful with at least two sponsor licence renewal applications, the Home Office caseworker is permitted to conduct fewer checks before deciding to grant the renewal application.
The following checks will not need to be conducted:
- Company and insolvency checks
- Reviewing your certificate of sponsorship usage
- Looking at the licence structure
- Assessing sponsor management system visit history and any outstanding change requests.
- Reviewing risk profiles and checking accreditation and registration details and any other trading checks
- If necessary, undergoing a compliance visit from a Home Office official.
What happens after the renewal application has been submitted?
Once received, the Home Office will start the process of verifying that the organisation continues to meet the licence requirements, i.e., that is still operates legally in the UK, is still suitable to be a licensed sponsor and is able to meet its duties to the required standards. UKVI will cross-reference the information provided with data held by the Home Office and other bodies such as Companies House.
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.
Compliance Assurance: We prioritize compliance and ensure that your HR systems and practices align with the Home Office's requirements. Our ongoing support helps you maintain compliance throughout the sponsorship process, minimizing the risk of penalties or license revocation.
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 renewal. Contact us today and let us do the heavy lifting to maintain a successful sponsorship journey.