Sponsor Licence Refused
If a sponsor licence application is refused, the next steps available to a company will very much depend on whether the application was rejected or refused by the Home Office and the reasons behind the decision. This subtle difference in terminology could have a big impact on a company’s ability to sponsor a non-EEA national in the immediate future.
Sponsor Licence refused or rejected?
A sponsor licence application will either be rejected, refused or granted with an A-Rating. Whether the application is rejected or refused will depend on the severity of the issues raised by the Home Office, for example where a sponsor licence application has been submitted with items missing or incorrect, the application will be invalid and as such it will be rejected.
There are a number of reasons an application may be deemed invalid by the Home Office, examples of which
are outlined below:
- the level 1 user listed in the application is not an employee, partner or director of the company;
- when an original document has been certified and the Home Office cannot verify the certifiers details; or
- where a renewal application is made, and the small licence fee is paid when the large fee should have been paid.
When an application is deemed to be invalid and subsequently rejected by the Home Office the application fee will be refunded and no further action will be taken. Therefore, the applicant is free to correct their mistake and make a further application as soon as they are able to put a valid application together.
Sponsor Licence refusal reasons
The implications of a refusal are much more significant. An application for a sponsor licence is likely to refused in situations where:
- false documents have been submitted;
- the company has previously held a sponsor licence that was revoked; or
- the Home Office has requested further documents in support of the application and the applicant has failed to send the documents within the given time limit.
Where a sponsor licence application is refused the application fee will not be refunded and a ‘cooling off’ period will be imposed meaning the company will not be able to make another application until the cooling off period has passed.
The length of the cooling off period will differ depending on the reasons for the refusal. As a minimum the company will not be able to make another application for a sponsor licence until six months after the date of the Home Office decision letter. A longer cooling off period of 12 months may be imposed in certain circumstances, such as if the company has previously received a civil penalty under section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.
Unfortunately, if an application for a sponsor licence is refused there is no right of appeal against the decision. However, where an applicant believes the refusal is down to caseworker error a request to correct this error can be made, although this does not amount to a full reconsideration of a decision.
Sponsor Licence refused: How we can help
We understand that a sponsor licence application can be a long and difficult process and can cause significant disruptions to a company’s business plan if unsuccessful.
Our immigration experts are experienced in making sponsor licence applications. If you would like to make a further application for a sponsor licence or would just like to discuss your situation with a member of our team on a no-obligation basis, please contact us or make an enquiry below.