What To Do Next If Your Sponsor Licence Application Is Rejected Or Refused?

Adarsh Girijadevi

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What is the difference between Rejections & Refusals

Sponsor license applications that are regarded to be invalid typically receive rejections. This is usually caused by the application having relatively minor problems that the applicants can fix when they reapply. Examples include missing or insufficient paperwork or paying the wrong application cost. The cost of an application for a small business is £536, and the licence will cost £1476 for medium or big sponsors. The distinction between a large and a small company is based on factors including net assets, staff count and annual turnover. 

In most cases, the application cost for a rejected application would be refunded, enabling the applicant to submit a new application. Generally, there are no applicable cooling-off periods, and a new application can be submitted immediately after fixing the issues identified in the initial application.

Sponsor licences are refused when there are more serious or fundamental problems with the application. Rejections pose more of an issue for the applicant because, in most cases, the licence application cost is not refunded, and there may be a 6- to 12-month “cooling off” period before a fresh application may be made for the organisation.

The Home Office’s justifications for rejecting your sponsor licence application will decide your alternatives. Frequently claimed justifications for denying licences are listed below

Late filing of supporting documents

You will need to submit a variety of supporting documents with your application, including thorough proof that you are a legitimate business or organisation doing business legally in the UK. After your initial application, you have five working days to submit this. At times, Home Office will ask for additional information to support your application. The application will be rejected if additional documents requested by the Home Office are not submitted within the set deadline.

Incorrect supporting documents

Failure to provide the correct documentation is one of the most common pitfalls when applying for a sponsor licence. The application will need to be accompanied by several supporting documents, including detailed documentation to demonstrate that you are a genuine company or organisation operating lawfully in the UK. This must be submitted within five working days of your initial application.

In some cases, however, it may also be possible for UKVI to verify your documentation online. If this is the case, you will need to send a cover letter with the website address where the information can be found.

Please note, if you cannot provide the necessary documentation in support of your application or do not do so in time, you risk your sponsor licence application being significantly delayed or even denied. 

Falsified supporting documents

Where fraudulent or falsified documents have been submitted, the Home Office can refuse your application. As a punitive measure, your organisation may be subject to a cooling-off period before you can reapply.

Key personnel issues

The nominated key personnel responsible for carrying out your sponsorship duties must meet suitability criteria and be subject to background checks as part of the licence application process. If UKVI finds any of your key personnel or those with ownership or directorship to have a history of immigration violations or unspent criminal convictions for a relevant offence such as fraud or money laundering, this can give grounds for a licence refusal.

Failed compliance visit

Having conducted a site visit before the grant of any licence, if UKVI is not satisfied that your HR systems and recruitment practices are adequate such that you can comply with your duties or that key personnel are not sufficiently trustworthy or capable of carrying out your sponsorship duties, the application can be refused.

Previous immigration breaches

If the applicant previously held a sponsor licence, which was revoked, the Home Office may refuse the new application. In addition, applicants that have previously been fined under the prevention of illegal working regimes can expect to be subject to a more extended cooling-off period.

How can we help?

We understand that a sponsor licence refusal can be detrimental if your business depends on skilled migrant workers. This could offset your expansion plans or lead to significant financial losses.   

Our corporate immigration advisors are experts in handling sponsor licence refusals and rejections. We assist employers in preparing new applications for sponsor licences following a refusal. We can help iron out any issues highlighted by the home office as a basis for the refusal. 

We also assist employers in identifying and remedying caseworker errors in sponsor licence refusal decisions.

We take pride in being exceedingly professional while also being personable and proactive in recognising and attending to the needs of our corporate clients. We are a highly driven group of individuals committed to offering courteous, knowledgeable, and straightforward immigration advice to UK employers.


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