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Business Immigration Solicitors

Have you renewed your sponsorship licence? (28 February 2019)

Date: 28/02/2019
Duncan Lewis, Business Immigration Solicitors, Have you renewed your sponsorship licence?

After successfully gaining your sponsorship licence, your licence will last for a period of 4 years, at which point you will need to renew your sponsorship licence.

It is important to apply for a renewal before it expires if you wish to continue sponsoring and recruiting migrants, even if you are not planning to sponsor any more migrants in the immediate future. If you do not renew your sponsorship licence you will be unable to assign any more Certificate of Sponsorships (CoS) and will be deleted from the register of licensed sponsors.

If you continue to employ sponsored workers but fail to renew your licence, their leave will be curtailed. The implication of their leave being curtailed will mean they will have their visa/leave shortened to only 60 days. Your workers would need to switch to a different immigration category or leave the UK within the 60 days (or be subject to removal).

This can all be avoided if you apply for renewal and your application is granted. It will mean that your sponsorship licence will be extended for an additional 4 years, during which point you can continue sponsoring migrants as you have done without any hindrance.

Your sponsorship licence renewal process in a nutshell:


  • You must submit your sponsorship licence renewal application online using the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) portal. You can apply to renew your licence up to 90 days before your licence is due to expire.

  • You will be required to submit supporting documents to the Home Office within 5 working days of submitting your application for renewal. The required documents will differ depending on the nature of your organisation (but will generally be business related documents).

    • If you fail to submit the required documents to the Home Office they might remove or reduce your certificate of sponsorship allocation or even downgrade, suspend or revoke your licence.

  • It is important to note that when you submit your application to renew your sponsorship licence the Home office might visit your business (in particular if you have not received a compliance visit within the last 4 years). If, following a Home office compliance visit, there are any concerns about your actions/systems and general compliance of duties they may downgrade or revoke your licence.

    • Before you apply to renew your sponsorship licence it is of paramount importance that you check and ensure that the sponsor licence duties/systems are in accordance with the immigration law and that all sponsor duties are complied with. (For more information on sponsorship duties please see Business Immigration Director Ayan Yalchin’s article ‘Are you failing to comply with your Tier 2 sponsorship duties?’).

For specialist advice regarding renewal, obtaining a sponsorship licence, compliance, advice on your sponsorship duties and maintaining your licence, or guidance on running a compliant RLMT, please contact author, Business Immigration Director Ayan Yalchin, on ayany@duncanlewis.com or 020 7275 2011. He has more than 18 years’ post-qualification experience acting on behalf of businesses and individuals in a variety of immigration related proceedings.

Ayan Yalchin heads our business immigration team and continues to be recommended by Legal 500 2019 for his immigration work in London. Ayan specialises in Tier 1, Tier 2, and sponsorship licences for companies including renewals and advising on processes and compliance, Tier 4 (students) and Tier 5 (temporary workers), as well as all types of entry clearance, FLR, settlement, EEA and ECAA applications.

Ayan has a strong practice representing high net worth individuals and has extensive experience providing bespoke Immigration solutions to a wide range of industries including fashion, food and beverage, precious stones, finance, insurance, media, IT, energy and healthcare.

Duncan Lewis Business Immigration Solicitors

Our Immigration department is ranked as a top-tier practice in Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay matters in The Legal 500 2019. As leading immigration specialists we advise on business immigration, right to work in the UK, Tier 2 visa applications, student/graduate visas, spousal visas and visa overstays.

Our broad practice provides a full service to SME business clients across the UK in relation to the Points Based System (PBS); Sponsorship license applications and immigration strategy/compliance advice. Our specialist solicitors are also able to advise businesses and individuals on any changes to UK immigration law during Brexit negotiations and after 29 March 2019, post-Brexit.

For expert legal advice call Duncan Lewis immigration solicitors on 033 3772 0409.


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