Sponsor License Suspended/Revoked?
Once a Sponsorship Licence is obtained it is very important that the licence is not revoked or suspended. Revocation of a Sponsor Licence can have an extremely negative impact, not only on the business but also for the sponsored employees.
The Home Office are regularly updating their requirements and guidance notes and businesses must remain up to date with the current law and guidance relating to Sponsor Licence. If the Home Office are not satisfied that a business has competently complied with the requirements and duties of Sponsor, the Home Office has the option of either suspending or revoking the licence. At OSBOURNE PINNER we provide legal advice and assistance on maintaining the Sponsor licence once it has been acquired.
If the Home Office makes the decision to revoke a sponsor’s licence it will be revoked in all tiers and categories for which the sponsor is licenced and as such the sponsor will be removed from the register of sponsors.
Circumstances in which the Home Office will revoke a sponsor licence, include but are not limited to the following reasons:
- the sponsor knowingly provided false information on the application for their sponsor licence;
- the sponsor is B-rated and has not met any of the requirements of their action plan within the specified time period;
- the sponsor employs a migrant in a job that does not meet the required skill level.
In other circumstances, where a sponsor fails to comply with any of their sponsor duties the Home Office may decide to suspend the sponsor licence whilst they carry out further enquiries. Upon completion of its enquiries the Home Office will either reinstate, downgrade or revoke the sponsor’s licence.
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What are the most common reasons for revocation of a Sponsor licence
- Following a grant of Sponsor Licence, if the Home Office discover that the Sponsor (the business) provided false information in their application (regardless whether it is an initial or renewal application for Sponsor Licence) and if they further find that the Sponsor Licence would not have been granted had the Home Office been provided with the correct and true information, then the Sponsor Licence will be revoked.
- The licence will also be revoked If a business is found to have employed illegal workers.
- If the business failed to undertake the checks necessary to determine the employee’s right to work correctly and in accordance with Home Office guidelines.
- If the Home Office discover that a business employed a non-EEA national for a job that does not actually meet the required skill level for the role.
- Failing to provide the Home Office with requested documents within the deadline stipulated by the Home Office will also result in revocation of the licence.
- If the business supplied incorrect information on the Certificate of Sponsorship, including salary, or the CoS is used to fill a vacancy for a role not mentioned on the CoS, or a business incorrectly submits that the role was exempt from the resident labour market test when the exemption was not applicable.
In simple words the Home Office will revoke the Sponsor licence if UK Visas and Immigration considers that you are failing to meet your sponsor duties in a serious way or stop operating in the UK.
The effect of the revocation is that the Home Office will immediately curtail leave to remain for the migrant workers on a Tier 2 and/or Tier 5, who are found to have knowingly partaken in the circumstances listed above.
If your sponsor licence is revoked, any migrants you sponsor (who are not involved in any actions that led to the licence being revoked) will have their leave curtailed. They will be given 60 calendar days to find alternative sponsorship or leave the UK. If they have less than 60 days to run on their visa it will not be curtailed, but they must find alternative sponsorship or leave the UK before it expires.
If your Sponsor licence is revoked, there is no right to appeal the decision. The only legal remedy available if you believe the decision to revoke the licence is wrong, is by initiating judicial review proceedings (please see below for more details on judicial review).
What is Suspension of Sponsor licence
In cases where non-compliance with Sponsor duties has been identified by the Home Office however the non-compliance does not amount to a serious breach and the business does not constitute a serious threat to immigration, the Home Office will seek to suspend the Sponsorship licence, until further investigations are undertaken.
In what circumstances will my sponsorship licence be suspended?
- The business fails to comply with its Sponsor duties;
- The business continuously fails to comply with requirements;
- Failure to keep all records updated and failing to report change in circumstances to the Home Office;
- Employers paying their migrant workers in cash
- Failure to competently undertake the resident labour market test.
Should the Home Office conclude that the best cause of action is to suspend a Sponsorship Licence, then they will notify the Sponsor providing written reason for the suspension. The sponsor has 20 working days to respond to the decision following which the Home Office will consider your reasons and grounds for refuting the decision.
To avoid suspension and revocation of a Sponsor licence it is important for a business to receive legal advice, assistance and guidance from the very initial stages of applying for a Sponsor licence, to maintenance of the licence once it has been acquired.
If the legal advice and guidance is followed then there is no reason why your business should be facing a suspension or revocation of Sponsor licence. However, should you find your business in these circumstances, we can assist your business in confidentially refuting the decision and even possibly submitting a judicial review.
If your sponsor licence is revoked, it may be possible to submit a fresh Sponsor Licence Application, after the cooling off period. However, the application will need to address the reasons why your previous licence was revoked. In other situations, if the Home Office’s decision to revoke the licence is erroneous, challenging the decision will be appropriate to clear the business’ name and credibility. Revocation of a Sponsor licence will have a bearing on all future applications and your ratings as a Sponsor.
Our immigration experts have vast experience in immigration law and practice and further specialise in judicial review applications. They will provide an advice/opinion on the merits of applying for Judicial Review of a revocation decision.
How We Can Help?
At OSBOURNE PINNER we have experts specialising in Tier 2 sponsor licence applications. Our team of specialised immigration lawyers have over 18+ years of experience and are able to assist you in the following ways:
- Initial consultation to determine if Tier 2 Sponsor application is the best choice for your business
- Providing a comprehensive advice and assistance with carrying out the Resident Labour Market Test, if applicable. Advice will be provided if any exemptions from the RLMT apply. If necessary, the RLMT advice will include drafting of adverts and compliance advice.
- Advice on the evidence to be submitted in support of the application and assessing the evidence under the specified documentary requirements.
- Completing and checking your Tier 2 Sponsor licence application online form.
- Submitting all the appropriate supporting documents for your Tier 2 Sponsor application
- Preparing a lengthy and detailed letter of representations dealing with the additional information required.