Renewing your sponsor licence is a crucial part of maintaining your eligibility for recruiting and employing non-UK nationals. It is important to keep your licence up to date, so that you are compliant with the UKVI’s requirements.

A valid sponsor licence will normally last for four years from the date of issue, although this can vary depending on your circumstances. It is important to ensure that you renew your licence before it expires. Doing so will enable you to maintain your ability to employ non-UK nationals, as well as to continue to recruit from abroad. If you fail to renew your licence before the expiry date, then you will no longer be eligible to employ non-UK nationals and your license will be suspended until you complete a renewal application.

It is important to remember that renewing your licence does not guarantee that it will be accepted. Your renewal application must still meet all of the UKVI’s criteria to be approved. It is also important to note that you cannot submit a renewal application until at least three months before the expiry date. To ensure that you can continue to employ non-UK nationals and recruit from abroad, you must renew your sponsor licence before it expires. Make sure you plan and submit your renewal application at least three months before the expiry date.

Eligibility and requirement for sponsor licence renewal

Renewing your sponsor licence is a vital part of your immigration compliance obligations. To ensure that your renewal application is successful, it is important to understand the eligibility criteria. Generally, you are eligible to renew your licence if you meet all the requirements set out in the points-based system guidance, including those listed below.

• You must be a suitable person to act as a sponsor

• Your organisation must be lawfully established and operating in the UK

• You must provide satisfactory evidence of financial resources to support the activities for which you are applying for a licence

• You must have sufficient human resources and systems in place to manage sponsored employees

• You must not have committed any immigration offences or other criminal activity in the UK or overseas

• You must not have had your sponsor licence revoked in the past

• Your organisation must not be under investigation by UKVI or the police.

It is important to note that if your circumstances have changed since your last application, you may need to provide additional evidence. For example, if you have had any new owners or directors, you will need to provide documentary evidence of their right to work in the UK. Additionally, if there have been any changes in your organisation’s structure or operations, you will need to provide evidence of this as well.

If you have any doubts about your eligibility for a sponsor licence renewal, it is highly recommended that you seek professional advice before submitting your application.

Requirements for renewing a sponsor licence

The UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requires all sponsors to meet certain requirements when renewing their sponsor licence. To be eligible for renewal, you must:

  1. Be an existing sponsor who has a valid licence;
  2. Have been compliant with the UKVI rules for sponsoring migrants;
  3. Have met all reporting duties for the current licence period;
  4. Have had no changes in circumstances since the original application;
  5. Submit a completed Sponsor Licence Renewal Application form;
  6. Provide documentary evidence to demonstrate continued eligibility for a sponsor licence;
  7. Pay the prescribed fee.


You may also need to provide new evidence if there have been any changes in circumstances since your original application. This could include changes in personnel, address, or business activity. In these cases, it is important to provide full disclosure on the application form and supply any additional documents requested by the UKVI to demonstrate your continuing eligibility for a sponsor licence.

If you are submitting a renewal application less than 3 months before your current licence expires, you will need to provide additional information about your organisation’s recruitment efforts and planned workforce for the next 12 months. The UKVI may also request additional documents during this process, such as documents related to any compliance visits you have undergone or details of any potential changes in the structure of your organisation.

 

Will the same documents used in the initial application be used in an extension application?

When renewing a sponsor licence, certain sponsors may need to provide new documentary evidence for the renewal. This includes sponsors who have experienced a change in circumstances since the original application or since their last renewal. For example, changes in the company’s activities, financial situation, size, ownership or legal structure. In such cases, UKVI will ask for additional information or documents which demonstrate that these changes have been made and that the company still meets all the eligibility criteria for a sponsor licence.

In addition, sponsors who have not complied with all their sponsor duties will also be required to submit additional evidence as part of the renewal process. This includes documents showing that any non-compliances have been addressed and rectified.

Finally, sponsors may also be asked to provide evidence of their sponsorship management system. This includes details of their policies and procedures relating to monitoring and compliance activities. UKVI will review this information to ensure that sponsors are meeting their sponsor duties and managing sponsored migrants effectively.

To ensure your renewal application is successful, it’s important to take the time to review all the information and documents you need to provide before submitting your application. It’s also essential that all the information is accurate and up-to-date so that UKVI can properly assess your application and determine if you still meet all the criteria for a valid sponsor licence.

Changes in circumstances that may affect renewal

Changes in circumstances could include things like changes in the contact details of key personnel within your organisation or if you have had a change in ownership. These changes could have an impact on your eligibility for a sponsor licence and need to be considered when applying for renewal. Other changes such as changes in business activity, number of employees or the types of workers sponsored can also affect the renewal process and will need to be outlined in the application form.

You must ensure that all changes are up to date and accurately reported as this could have implications for your eligibility for a sponsor licence and could potentially result in a refused application. It is therefore essential to consider any changes that may have occurred and make sure that these are accurately reflected in the application form.

CGM is a corporate immigration application for expats, sponsoring companies and business immigration advisors. Feel free to contact us on 0300 000 000 or send us an email if you have any questions. 

Gathering the necessary documentation


Your documents must demonstrate that your business or organisation is still eligible to hold a sponsor licence. This includes demonstrating that you are still genuine and that you continue to meet all the relevant criteria.

For example, if you are a company or charity, you will need to provide evidence of your Articles of Association and annual accounts. If you are a college or university, you must provide evidence that you are recognised by an official governing body. You may also be required to provide evidence of your identity and address, such as a copy of your passport and utility bill. You should also provide evidence of any changes in circumstances since you applied for your last sponsor licence.

It is important to make sure that all the necessary documents are in order before submitting your application. If you do not provide the correct documentation, your renewal application could be refused or delayed.

Application fee for renewing a sponsor licence

Renewing your sponsor licence can be a costly endeavour, so it’s important to understand the costs associated with the process. The Home Office will charge an application fee for the renewal of a sponsor licence and this fee is subject to change.

At present, the application fee for renewing a sponsor licence is £536. You must pay this fee before the Home Office will consider your application. If you do not pay this fee, the Home Office will refuse your application and return your documents without further consideration.
If your licence was due to expire within 28 days, you may be eligible for a reduced renewal fee of £286. This applies if you submitted your renewal application within 28 days of your licence expiry date.

It is important to note that if you are in breach of any of your sponsorship duties, the Home Office may still refuse your application and they will not refund your fee. It is therefore essential that you ensure that you are complying with all of the rules associated with your sponsor licence.
Furthermore, you should bear in mind that the application fee is separate from any other fees associated with the renewal process, such as those charged for undertaking compliance visits. You should take this into account when planning for your renewal process.

Will a renewal always come with a visit?


As part of the renewal process, the UKVI may choose to conduct a compliance visit. This is to ensure that employers are compliant with their sponsor licence duties. During this visit, UKVI officials will assess an organisation’s records and policies to ensure that they comply with their sponsor duties.

The purpose of this visit is to ensure that employers are meeting all of the obligations that come with being a UK sponsor. This includes ensuring that the documents submitted for the renewal application are genuine and accurate and that employers are taking all appropriate steps to ensure that their sponsored employees are legally allowed to work in the UK.

During the visit, UKVI officials may ask questions about the role of the sponsor, employer, and employees, as well as other aspects related to the sponsorship. Employers should be prepared to answer these questions and provide any documentation requested.

It is important to note that if an employer fails the compliance visit, they may not have their licence renewed, or it could be revoked altogether. To avoid any issues during a compliance visit, employers should maintain a record of all documentation related to their sponsor licence and should regularly audit employee files to ensure that they remain compliant with their duties.

Validation checks during the renewal process

Renewing your sponsor licence involves a number of validation checks to ensure that you still meet the requirements to hold a licence. These validation checks are used to help determine whether your application should be approved or refused.

When you apply for a renewal, the UKVI will review your compliance history and assess your circumstances. This process will involve the UKVI asking for additional information, such as documents and evidence, to ensure that you are eligible and able to meet the sponsorship requirements.

The UKVI will also look at any changes in your circumstances since your last renewal application. This includes changes to staff, procedures, or systems. In some cases, the UKVI may require additional evidence or documentation to approve the application. The UKVI will also conduct a check on any sponsorships that have been granted under your licence. This includes checking that the sponsors have provided all of the relevant documents and met all of their obligations.

Finally, the UKVI may also conduct additional validation checks which could include carrying out unannounced visits to the premises. These visits allow the UKVI to check if a sponsor is compliant with the relevant regulations and is taking measures to prevent illegal working.

Common grounds for renewal application refusal

The UKVI may refuse to renew your sponsor licence if they believe that you do not meet the criteria for renewal.

Reasons for refusal may include:
• Not providing appropriate and adequate evidence of ongoing sponsorship duties
• Not being able to demonstrate effective management of sponsored workers
• Not complying with sponsor licence duties
• Not providing adequate measures to prevent illegal working
• Employing people who do not have the right to work in the UK
• Not updating records or providing incorrect information
• Having a criminal record
• Not being able to prove your identity
• Not demonstrating compliance with immigration rules
• Having an employer’s duty of care issue
• Not being financially viable
• Poor workforce quality
• Non-compliance with anti-discrimination legislation

If your renewal application is refused, you will be issued a notice explaining why your application was refused. The decision can be appealed if you feel that you have been treated unfairly. You should take advice from an immigration solicitor to understand the appeal process.
In some cases, the UKVI may decide to suspend your licence rather than refuse it. This will mean that all sponsored workers are required to leave the UK within a certain amount of time, or risk having their visas revoked. You will then need to reapply for a licence to continue sponsoring employees.

It is important to ensure that all relevant documentation is submitted when applying for renewal to avoid any issues or delays in processing. If you are uncertain about the renewal process, seek advice from an experienced immigration adviser.

How to avoid a refusal

When it comes to renewing your sponsor licence, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that you are in full compliance with UKVI regulations. Even if your organisation has not experienced any major changes, a renewal can still be refused for a variety of reasons. To ensure the success of your application, it is important to understand the common grounds for refusal, such as:

• A failure to demonstrate genuine need for sponsorship: UKVI expects sponsors to prove that there is a genuine need for sponsorship, especially for long-term sponsorships. This means that sponsors must be able to provide evidence that the roles they are looking to fill cannot be filled by EEA nationals and have not been advertised locally.
• Not being able to demonstrate adequate records of compliance: UKVI regularly monitors sponsors to check that they are compliant with their sponsorship duties. This includes ensuring that sponsored workers have been assigned valid Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS), conducting follow-up checks on workers and providing records of accommodation, pay and working conditions. If a sponsor fails to provide adequate records of compliance when applying for renewal, this could lead to a refusal.
• Failing to inform UKVI of any changes in circumstance: Sponsors are required to inform UKVI of any changes in circumstances, such as change of ownership, address or contact details. If these changes have not been communicated to UKVI before the renewal application is submitted, this could lead to a refusal.
• Inaccurate or incomplete applications: All sponsor licence applications must be accurate and complete, with all required documentation included. If the application contains false information or is missing required information, then this could lead to a refusal.

To help avoid a refused renewal, it is important to ensure that you meet all the requirements set out by UKVI, maintain accurate records and documentation, and keep UKVI informed of any changes. Additionally, it is important to ensure that all application forms are accurate and complete before submitting them for review.

CGM is a corporate immigration application for expats, sponsoring companies and business immigration advisors. Feel free to contact us on 0300 000 000 or send us an email if you have any questions. 

The appeals process for a refused renewal

If your sponsor licence renewal application has been refused, you can appeal. The appeals process is different depending on which category of the Immigration Rules the refusal decision was based on.

To appeal a refusal decision based on a ground of the Immigration Rules, you must first submit an administrative review request to the Home Office. You must provide supporting evidence that contradicts the grounds for refusal.

For appeal decisions based on a policy decision, you must make an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. You must do this within 28 days from the date the decision was sent to you. The Tribunal will consider all aspects of the case, including documentary evidence submitted by both parties.

You should also seek legal advice from a qualified immigration solicitor if you have any questions about appealing. They can provide you with guidance on how to present your case in the most effective way possible.
When appealing, it is important to consider all the evidence you have and include any documents or evidence which contradict the Home Office’s decision. This could be anything from bank statements to correspondence between you and the Home Office.

It is also important to remember that appeals can take a long time to process and there is no guarantee that your appeal will be successful. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your appeal is presented in the most effective way possible to increase your chances of success.

How long does the renewal process take?

The amount of time it takes for your sponsor licence renewal application to be processed by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) varies depending on your particular case. Generally, most renewal applications take around two to three months from the date of submission to receive a decision.

The time frame can also depend on how quickly you provide the necessary documentation to support your application. It’s important to note that if you do not submit your renewal application before your existing licence expires, it will be considered out of time and could be refused.
In addition, UKVI may require an assessment visit as part of the renewal process. This can cause further delays in the processing of your application. It is therefore important to begin the renewal process early, to ensure that your application can be processed promptly.

How many times can you renew your licence?


The UKVI allows companies and organisations to renew their sponsor licence up to an unlimited amount of times. However, the Home Office reserves the right to limit the number of times a sponsor licence may be renewed if there is evidence that suggests that the sponsor is not adhering to their legal obligations.

When applying for renewal, sponsors must demonstrate that they are compliant with all the requirements for sponsoring overseas workers in the UK. This includes ensuring that relevant personnel have been adequately trained and have appropriate systems in place to ensure the sponsorship is being managed by the rules and regulations.

Sponsors should also ensure that all documents submitted in the renewal application, including evidence of changes in circumstances, are up to date-and accurate. If the Home Office finds any discrepancies in the documents provided, they may decline the renewal or take other action such as a suspension or revocation of the licence.

It’s important to remember that a sponsor licence is only valid for four years, so regular reviews and updates should be made to ensure ongoing compliance and to avoid any disruption to your organisation’s ability to continue sponsoring employees.

What happens if a sponsor licence expires before it was renewed?

If your sponsor licence has expired and you have not applied for renewal, your licence is no longer valid and you must stop employing any sponsored migrants. You must also inform UKVI of the expired licence, and will be required to pay the associated fine.

It is important to note that once your licence has expired, you are no longer allowed to employ any sponsored migrants. The only exception is if you can demonstrate to UKVI that the delay in renewing was unavoidable. If this is the case, then UKVI may allow you to continue employing your existing sponsored migrants until the renewal process has been completed.

It is also possible to apply for a new sponsor licence if your current one has expired, however, this process can be lengthy and expensive. Therefore, we advise employers to ensure they renew their sponsor licence well before its expiration date.

Lastly, if you are refused a sponsor licence renewal, you may have the right to appeal the decision. However, it is important to note that your rights of appeal may depend on when your licence expired. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights of appeal if your licence expires before you can submit a renewal application.

What happens after the renewal application has been submitted?

Once the renewal has been submitted, the UKVI will begin to process it. During this time, they may contact the sponsor if they require additional information or documentation. The applicant may also receive an invitation for a compliance visit to check that the information provided is accurate.

Once all of the checks have been completed, the UKVI will decide on the renewal. If approved, the sponsor will be issued with a new licence for another two or four years depending on their initial application.

It is important to note that all sponsors must adhere to the conditions of their licence at all times and comply with any additional requirements that are imposed. A sponsor’s licence can be revoked or suspended if they fail to comply with the terms and conditions.
Furthermore, a sponsor must inform the Home Office if there are any changes in circumstance or if they become aware of any breaches in their sponsorship duties. This includes any changes in their contact details, business structure or any other information that is required on the licence.

CGM is a corporate immigration application for expats, sponsoring companies and business immigration advisors. Feel free to contact us on 0300 000 000 or send us an email if you have any questions. 

Length of sponsorship validity

The length of validity for your sponsor licence will depend on the type of sponsor licence you hold. If you hold a skilled worker or temporary worker sponsor licence, your licence will be valid for four years from the date it is granted, however if you have applied for an educational institution licence, the length of validity will be three years.

Once the period of validity has expired, you will need to renew your licence in order to continue sponsoring migrants in the UK. You will receive an email from UKVI informing you when it is time to renew your licence.

It is important to note that in some circumstances, your sponsor licence may be revoked by the Home Office before the end of the validity period. This could be due to non-compliance with your duties as a sponsor or failure to meet other obligations such as providing evidence of suitable maintenance funds. If your licence is revoked, you will no longer be able to sponsor migrants and you will need to apply for a new licence to continue sponsorship activities.

Conclusion

In summary, renewing your sponsor licence is an important process that requires careful attention to detail. By following the steps outlined above, and seeking expert legal assistance if necessary, you can ensure that your business or organization is able to continue sponsoring migrant workers and operating legally in the UK.

How we can help

CGM App is an end-to-end immigration app, designed to make the immigration and global mobility process more seamless and compliant; specifically for expats, sponsoring companies, and immigration consultants globally.

Visit cgmpartners.org.uk/register for more information.

 

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