We regularly represent Tier 2 sponsor licence holders seeking to file a sponsor licence suspension appeal. We recently persuaded UKVI to reinstate the licence of a company that had approached us for assistance even though it accepted that it had breached some of its sponsor duties.
The organisation, which had held a sponsor licence for a number of years, received a compliance visit from UKVI during which a number of concerns were raised. UKVI’s compliance officers recommended to the sponsor licence suspension team based in Sheffield that the organisation’s sponsor licence should be suspended.
The allegations made by UKVI’s officers included that the organisation:
- had exaggerated one of the roles;
- had not offered genuine vacancies;
- had failed to correctly advertise the roles;
- had failed to monitor the immigration status of employees; and
- had failed to keep the sponsor management system up to date.
The organisation was accused of being a threat to immigration control.
Preparing the sponsor licence suspension appeal
The organisation’s Chief Executive Officer approached us for assistance in preparing a sponsor licence suspension appeal. We immediately sought copies of the compliance officer’s notes and took detailed instructions as to our client’s history as a sponsor.
We then sought evidence from our client relating to each allegation and provided advice on further evidence that we believed would assist in strengthening the case. Where our client accepted that it had failed as a sponsor, we provided advice on how they could strengthen their approach.
We then prepared extensive submissions seeking to appeal the sponsor licence suspension decision via UKVI’s sponsor licence team in Sheffield. This included providing detailed information to UKVI about the measures our client was taking to strengthen its approach to those areas where it had been too weak.
Although there is no formal right of appeal to the court in such cases, it is always possible to present a strong appeal to UKVI to request that they review the matter internally. If that fails, it is possible to mount a formal legal challenge by way of a judicial review.
Sponsor licence suspension appeal upheld
UKVI reviewed the extensive representations that we had filed on our client’s behalf and overturned the sponsor licence suspension decision with immediate effect. Our client was able to continue to sponsor its non-EEA employees and was also able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to one of the workers whose leave to remain was due to expire.
Our immigration team advises organisations on how to obtain and retain sponsor licences. Nichola Carter who heads the team also teaches other lawyers about how to assist their clients on complex sponsor licence issues and recently co-chaired ILPA’s conference on Sponsor Licence Law.
Where we are approached for assistance by an organisation that has received a sponsor licence suspension decision that it wishes to appeal, we place a team of experts onto the case who work with the client to ensure that the strongest possible representations are filed with UKVI. We offer a fixed fee service so clients can ensure that legal costs remain under their control.
If you would like legal advice and assistance on dealing with a sponsor licence suspension decision or on any other aspects of sponsor licence law, please do contact us for a complimentary preliminary discussion.