UNITED KINGDOM – Sponsor Licences Up For Renewal
The sponsor licence system has been in place for nearly four years, which is the current life cycle of a sponsor licence. As such, those organisations that registered to be sponsors in the early days of the Points Based System will soon be required to renew their licence, should they intend to continue to employ migrants under either Tier 2 or Tier 5.
When Should Licences Be Renewed?
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced that the sponsor management system will allow sponsors to renew their licences three months before the date their current licence expires.
The UKBA is notifying sponsors of the need to renew by email.
Renewal applications can be submitted online, without the need to send in any documents; however the UKBA has stated that as part of the consideration process they may, at their discretion, request documents or information similar to those that were submitted in support of the initial application.
The guidance on renewals states that should additional documents be requested, sponsors will only be given seven calendar days to provide them to the UKBA; failure to meet this request will result in the application being refused.
It is therefore strongly recommended that companies submitting renewal applications ensure that they have the necessary paperwork ready in place in advance so that it can be submitted in good time if required, plus that all data within the Sponsor Management System (including Authorising Officer, Key Contact and Level One User) is up to date.
UKBA renewal fees are £500GBP for a Tier 2 small sponsor licence and £1500GBP for a large sponsor licence.
Companies are also advised to ensure that all they are meeting all requirements for being a sponsor in the UK, including maintaining adequate records of foreign national employees, and carrying out the necessary immigration compliance checks on all new members of staff.
- Keep an eye out for an email from the UKBA reminding you to renew your company’s sponsor licence;
- Ensure that your company is in compliance with all sponsor obligations;
- Prepare supporting documentation and information in support of your renewal application just in case it is requested.