Sponsor Licence Decision Challenges

The Home Office may reject or refuse your sponsor licence application citing various reasons. There are a few ways where this can be challenged.

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The Home Office may reject or refuse your sponsor licence application citing various reasons. If you were a licence holder the home office may suspend, downgrade or revoke your licence citing various reasons. 

In all situations you are given a written explanation that led to the Home office making their decision. Based on the situation and considering your explanations we might be able to assist and represent you in challenging the decision with the aim of overturning the same. 

Application Refusals & Rejections

If your sponsor licence application is refused or rejected, this can have a huge detrimental impact on your business operations and planning. Rejections are normally due to the applications being deemed invalid. This is usually due to minor issues which can be rectified by the application for example missing documents, incorrect fee, missing information etc. The application fee paid are normally refunded and you are allowed to make a revised application. 

It’s vital that the revised application is made meeting all the requirements. We can review your previous application and ensure appropriate corrections and representation as required. Contact us today and let’s discuss how to go forward. 

Sponsor licence applications are refused where there is a more substantial and fundamental issue with the application. You are provided with a written explanation with the reasons why the application was refused and generally there is a cooling for period of 6 to 12 months before a new application can be made. Some frequently cited reasons for licence refusals include late or incorrect supporting documents, failing the genuineness test, key personnel issues, failed compliance visits, previous immigration breaches, not showcasing HR controls to monitor migrant workers or a case worker error.  

Each refusal is unique, and the merits of pursuing further actions to achieve a favourable outcome must be assessed case-to-case basis. Our team can help assess this and represent you on further suitable actions. 

Challenging a sponsor licence refusal

If your sponsor licence application is refused, there is no right of appeal or Administrative Review. Aside from accepting the decision and re-application post the relevant cooling-off period there are two potential ways to challenge the decision. 

The first is challenging the refusal by way of an error correction request. This can be made where the decision results from case worker error or not considering any relevant supporting documents provided. 

The second is by way of a Judicial Review wherein the refusal itself was arguably unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper. The Judicial Review is conducted through the High Court and is designed for the judge to review the lawfulness of the Home Office decision, examining how the conclusion was reached rather than evaluating the merits of the decision itself. 

This is a highly complex area, and you are advised to take specialist guidance on whether a judicial review could be appropriate and open to you.

How can we assist?

The organisation may bring in a Judicial Review relying on the following grounds.

  • Illegality (error of law in the making of the decision)
  • Irrationality or unreasonableness
  • Procedural impropriety and unfairness
  • Breach of the Human Rights Act 1998
  • Breach of UK’s obligations under the EU law

The first step is to send a Pre Action-Protocol (PAP), that notifies the Home Office of probable judicial review proceedings and gives them 14 days to respond. The objective of the pre-action protocol is to avoid unnecessary litigation. The Pre Action-Protocol letter emphasises the significant issues that will be presented, and it explains the legal grounds and indicates how the judgement was unlawful. The time limit to bring judicial review proceedings is as soon as possible and within 90 days from the original refusal decision. A pre-action protocol letter must be given to the Home Office within those 90 days.

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