Important update for Sponsor Licence Renewals
Sponsors who applied for and obtained their Sponsor Licence immediately following the introduction of the Points Based System in 2008, have been receiving notifications from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in relation to renewing their licence. We have been supporting several employers through this process and it has come to our notice that the sponsor licence renewal consideration is being conducted as a two stage process.
First, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) will validate the application by determining if the correct fee has been paid. The UKBA have indicated that they will aim to do this within 14 days of submission of the application and will write to the sponsor with the outcome.
At this stage if the Sponsor has paid the correct fee, the UKBA will temporarily extend the licence expiry date, meaning the sponsor can continue to operate as normal, including assigning certificates of sponsorship (CoS), notifying the UKBA of changes to their circumstances and reporting against their workers, as necessary.
The UKBA will subsequently review the sponsor’s licence details and sponsorship activity over the previous four years and write to them again to notify them of the final decision. This second stage will take longer as it depends on the extent and nature of checks to ensure sponsors have complied with their duties.
The UKBA have indicated that they will aim to complete the review as quickly as possible and will write to the sponsor again when the review is complete. As at any other time whilst a sponsor licence is valid, if the UKBA finds clear evidence of non compliance, they can suspend the sponsor licence.
Therefore, simply submitting a licence renewal application is not sufficient- employers need to take note that the UKBA will be reviewing their activity over the past four years. It has become important more than before, that sponsors ensure their files and HR systems are up to date and that they comply with the stringent UKBA guidelines at all times. The team at Hudson McKenzie have vast experience assisting employers in meeting their sponsorship duties and will be happy to assist.
If you would like a no-obligation discussion regarding your sponsor licence renewal application, please get in touch with Rahul Batra, Director and Head of Department at Hudson McKenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please call on 020 3553 7711.