Sponsor Licence Suspension Overview
When you are granted a sponsor Licence, you consent to fulfil all compliance duties imposed upon you by the Home Office. The underlying principles are to help prevent abuse of the immigration system by capturing and retaining information relating to sponsored workers’ compliance with the Immigration Rules and their visa conditions.
You may have your licence suspended if the Home Office believes that you have violated any of the sponsor licence obligations. All types of visas under your licence will be suspended as a result. The organisation won’t be able to issue any new certificates of sponsorship during the suspension, and it won’t be allowed to sponsor any new migrant workers. Any CoS assigned before the suspension with a pending application will be put on hold until a decision is made by the Home Office on the suspension. For the time of the suspension, your company will also be removed from the public register of sponsors. Throughout the duration of the suspension, you must continue to fulfil all of your sponsor obligations.
The most common reasons for suspension of Sponsor Licence
The Home Office may suspend a sponsor licence following a UKVI audit. Some of the most common reasons for a decision by the Home Office to suspend the licence are:
- Gave false information when applying for licence
- Employed a migrant even though he or she did not meet the skill requirement for the job
- Used a Certificate of Sponsorship to fill a job vacancy even though that wasn’t the job specified in the certificate
- Failed to implement the Human Resources Policy
- Failed seriously in fulfilling sponsorship duties
Impact on your Employees
The visa conditions of all your existing sponsored migrant workers will remain unaffected by the suspension unless the Home Office decides to escalate the penalty to licence revocation.
In case if Home Office decides to withdraw the suspension following your response, sponsored workers’ status will remain unchanged.
If existing sponsored workers are already in the UK and are awaiting a decision on a visa extension, their extension application will be placed on hold until a decision is made on the suspension.
New sponsored workers who are overseas and who are awaiting a decision on their visa will see their application put on hold until a decision is made on the suspension.
Next Steps Following a Sponsor Licence Suspension
Once the Home office suspends your licence, there are a couple of options for any organisation to pursue. You can either respond to the letter by disputing the claims, providing proof, and requesting the license’s reinstatement or accept the allegations in the suspension letter and respond to state how each of the breaches would be addressed.
If you do not respond to the suspension letter, or if you fail to respond in the required timeframe or refuse to engage actively with the Home Office through the suspension process, your licence could be revoked.
If the Home Office accepts your response and remedial actions, your licence should be reinstated, either as an A-rating or a B-rating.
If reinstated with a B-rating, the organisation will still have a lot of work to do to meet the required standards.
Consequences of being non-responsive
Your licence may be cancelled if you ignore the suspension notice, don’t answer within the required window of time, or decline to fully cooperate with the Home Office during the suspension procedure.
Failure to communicate with the Home Office will not be viewed favourably. All of the organization’s CoS will be cancelled if the Home Office takes further action by revoking the licence.
This will make it impossible for you to continue hiring and employing migrant workers. The duration of the sponsored workers’ visas will be limited to 60 days or the remaining time on their visa. Unless they can obtain approval under a different visa category, they must then depart the UK. In addition, the Home Office will typically reject any applications the organisation has pending.
This makes it even more crucial to respond and resolve the suspension immediately and not just ignore it.
How can we help?
Receiving a sponsor licence suspension notice from the Home Office is understandably a huge cause for concern.
Failure to address the Home Office’s allegations can result in revocation of your licence, meaning you can no longer lawfully employ sponsored workers and any existing sponsored employees will have to find alternative sponsored employment or leave the UK. The operational, financial and reputational implications can be devastating.
If you are dealing with a sponsor licence suspension, contact us to minimise the impact and disruption to your organisation of Home Office scrutiny. Please see some of the Home Office responses below to our suspension challenges.
We take pride in being exceedingly professional while also being personable and proactive in recognising and attending to the needs of our corporate clients, to reinstate their sponsor licence. A quote from the recent response from the Home Office to our representations is below.
We are a highly driven group of individuals committed to offering courteous, knowledgeable, and straightforward immigration advice to UK employers.
Contact us to find out how we can help you mitigate a sponsor licence suspension.