Sponsor Licence Suspended
The Home Office requires licenced sponsors to fulfil certain duties throughout the period of their licence. If the Home Office believes that a sponsor has breached these duties it may decide to suspend the sponsor licence. During this time, the Home Office will carry out further enquiries. It is important that sponsors act quickly if they aim to challenge the suspension of their sponsor licence.
Sponsor Licence Suspended: Overview
If the Home Office decides to suspend the sponsor’s licence, the sponsor will be unable to assign Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) under any tiers. The Home Office will also remove the sponsor from the register of sponsors during this time.
During the period of suspension, the sponsor will be unable to assign any CoS. Sponsored workers currently employed when the sponsor licence is suspended will be unaffected unless the Home Office decides to revoke the sponsor licence.
The sponsor must continue to comply with its sponsor duties throughout the period of the sponsor licence suspension. If the sponsor licence falls for renewal during this time an application should still be made as usual if the sponsor wishes to retain its licence.
Sponsor Licence Suspended: The most common reasons
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:
- improper process followed in relation to the Resident Labour Market Test and/or genuine vacancy concerns;
- failure to pay the worker in accordance with the sponsor guidance;
- poor HR policies and procedures;
- failure to comply with record-keeping duties or to report relevant changes of circumstance.
Upon completion of its enquiries the Home Office will either reinstate, downgrade or revoke the sponsor’s licence.
Sponsor Licence Suspended: Can the decision be challenged?
Following a UKVI audit, if a sponsor receives a suspension letter it will have 20 working days to file representations against that decision.
These must be in writing and will need to be accompanied by a wealth of robust supporting evidence that rebuts each of the concerns outlined in the suspension letter. The ability to successfully defend a sponsor licence suspension will rest heavily on the quantity and quality of evidence provided.
The Home Office will decide which course of action to take based on the representations and evidence it receives from a sponsor. Sponsors must take care to ensure that they cover every allegation made in the sponsor licence suspension letter in detail.
Sponsor Licence suspended: How we can help
We understand that the receiving notice that a sponsor licence has been suspended can be a very difficult time for a sponsor as it can cause disruption to the business and distress for all individuals concerned.
Our immigration experts work with sponsors to help them secure the reinstatement of their licence by presenting the best possible case to the Home Office addressing any issues raised in the suspension letter.
We can advise on the supporting documents required. We can also assist with improving the sponsor’s HR policies and procedures to prevent further problems arising.
If you require legal assistance or would just like to discuss your situation with one of our experts on a no-obligation basis, please contact us.