Using the Home Office’s sponsor change of circumstances priority service allows for certain requests to be processed quicker than the usual service standards. Here we look at how to use this helpful service.
The Sponsor Management System (SMS) is an online portal used to manage the sponsor licence, including making various reports on updates and change of circumstances. Sponsors are required to make relevant reports via the SMS in accordance with the Home Office guidance to ensure they are compliant with their sponsor duties. Some changes can take effect immediately whilst others can take some time to be actioned by the Home Office.
In some cases, a priority service is available to sponsors that hold a licence covering one of the worker routes.
Which options are eligible for the priority change of circumstance?
The service covers requests relating to:
- Additional Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocation
- Annual Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocation
- Add a new Level 1 User
- Change a Level 1 User
- Replace the Authorising Officer
- Amend the Authorising Officer
- Replace the Key Contact
- Amend the Key Contact
- Add a Legal Representative
- Amending organisation details relating to premises
Which sponsors can use the priority service?
The sponsor must be an A-rated Worker and Temporary Worker sponsor. Premium sponsors cannot use this service.
How much does it cost for the priority service?
The priority service costs £200 per request.
How long does it take to process a request?
It can take up to five working days to process the request. This starts from the following working day when the payment is made.
How do you use the priority service?
The change of circumstances application must first have been submitted via the SMS.
It is possible to make multiple requests using the same form, providing the request relates to the same licence.
Only 60 priority service requests are accepted per day. If accepted, the Home Office should then reply with payment details. You then have 72 hours to make payment. If payment is not made in-time, the request will expire and a fresh priority request will need to be submitted.
The outcome of the request will be sent via email to the sponsor. It is important that sponsors ensure their Key Personnel are up to date on the licence.
Using the service does not guarantee that the request will be approved.
When may you need to use the priority service?
An example of when an organisation may benefit from using the priority service is where they have identified an individual they wish to sponsor who is based in the UK. In order to sponsor the individual, the organisation will need to have a undefined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) on account. If they do not have one, they can make a request to the Home Office via the SMS. Generally, it is free to request a CoS on account, however, this can take many weeks for the Home Office to process. The organisation would therefore opt for the priority service to get a quicker decision on the request and have the CoS on account ready to use.
How our immigration solicitors can help
If your organisation requires legal assistance to apply for a sponsor license or would just like to discuss your situation with a member of our team on a no-obligation basis, please contact us or complete our enquiry form below.