What is the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Renewal Process?
Under Tier 2 of the points-based system UK employers must hold a Tier 2 Sponsorship licence to employ skilled workers from outside the EEA for positions that cannot be employed by a settled worker who are filling a genuine vacancy. Tier 2 also includes workers coming to the UK to fill shortage occupations. Sponsorship licences are granted for a 4-year period after which sponsors must ensure that they file an application for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Renewal. This must be done in good time to avoid losing the ability to sponsor migrant workers currently working for them and to be able to continue sponsoring new personnel.
The Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Renewal Process
The Sponsorship licence start date, end date and the date you can make an application to renew your licence can be found on the Licence Summary page of the Sponsor Management System (SMS) account. The renewal request and the fees should also be paid through the SMS account. The Sponsorship licence will be extended temporarily after sending the request to allow the Home Office to conduct relevant checks.
The Home Office advised that renewal applications be submitted three months prior to the expiry date of your current licence. The Home Office will send reminders; however, if the renewal is not done by the expiry date your licence will expire the following day.
The fee to extend is the same as applying for an initial Sponsorship Licence.
Steps to take prior to the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Renewal Process
It is important to be fully compliant before submitting the request for you Sponsorship Licence Renewal. Thus, you must ensure that all the details on the Licence Summary page are correct and updated. If there are incorrect or outdated details, a report of these factors should be sent before submitting the renewal request. The paperwork of your sponsored workers should be up to date and easily available as well before submitting the renewal request.
The Home Office Compliance Visit and the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Renewal process
You are advised to anticipate an announced or unannounced Home Office visit after the submission of your request. The Home Office may visit the sponsor’s business during the check for the renewal of the Sponsorship Licence to assess that the organisation is complying with the requirements as a sponsor.
During this check, the Home Office will check that the sponsor is able to offer employment, the business is genuine and operating or trading fully in the UK and that the sponsored workers are carrying out work they are sponsored to do. The Home Office will also look at recruitment procedures in order to ensure that all sponsored roles meet the genuine vacancy test as referred to in the Sponsor Guidance.
If you do not apply to renew your licence and it expires, you will no longer be a licensed sponsor from the date of expiry. Under the rules in the Home Office Guidance for Sponsors you will lose the access to your SMS account, the Home Office will shorten the sponsored migrants’ permissions to stay for a further 60 calendar days and forbid you from assigning more certificates of sponsorship (CoS).
How can NA Law Solicitors help with the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Renewal process?
Our team of specialist Business Immigration solicitors are highly experienced at assisting with the renewal of Tier 2 Sponsorship licences. We can give advice how to comply with the Home Office Guidance and ensure that your business is ready for the possible Compliance Checks in accordance with your duties as Tier 2 Sponsor, the genuine vacancy test and the Tier 2 Sponsorship licence process. We can also advise on how to employ migrants post-Brexit and all other related UK Corporate immigration matters.