Sponsorship License Refusal

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Refusal of a Sponsor Licence Application

In the case of a rejection or refusal of a sponsor licence, the future of a company that wishes to employ or continue employing migrant workers depends on whether the application is in fact rejected or refused by the Home Office. All employers must hold a sponsor licence to employ skilled workers from outside the UK for the positions that cannot be filled by a settled worker.

Call now to speak to an immigration expert on 0203 5245439

Rejection of a Sponsor Licence

Where a Sponsor licence application has been submitted with incorrect or missing documents, the application will be invalid and as such will be rejected. There could be a number of reasons why an application for a Sponsorship License is rejected, such as:

  • 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 certifier’s details;
  • Where a renewal application is made, and the small licence fee is paid when the greater fee should have been paid;
  • Failure to submit the relevant documentation as outlined in Appendix A. The Home Office has stipulated the documents to be provided with the application along with the format to be followed. Failure to adhere to this will lead to the application being rejected. In this case, the Home Office will usually refund the application and a new one can be submitted in due course.

Usually, the application fee is refundable. The applicant can correct the mistakes in the application and send a new one straight after.

Refusal of a Sponsor Licence

If a sponsor licence application is refused, the implications are greater and there is no right of appeal against the decision. There could be a number of reasons why an application for a sponsor license is refused:

  • False documents have been submitted;
  • The company has previously been subject to a sponsor licence revocation;
  • 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;
  • Not addressing the genuineness requirement; a potential sponsor will also need to provide reasons as to why they require a sponsor licence and why it is not possible to fill the vacancy with settled UK workers. The potential sponsor will need to submit genuine and compelling reasons. If a suitable candidate has been identified, sponsors will need to mention this in the application and confirm why this role cannot be given to a settled worker;
  • Not having suitable HR and record keeping systems in place. Prospective sponsors will need to demonstrate not only that they understand their duties but that they have the means to implement and adhere to them.

The application fee will not be refunded in these instances and a ‘cooling off’ period will be imposed. Essentially, this means the company is not allowed to make another application until the end of this period. The length of the cooling off period will differ depending on the issues raised by the Home Office. The minimum ‘cooling off’ period is 6 months after the Home Office refusal decision letter. A longer cooling off period of 12 months may be imposed in certain circumstances. This may happen if the company has received a civil penalty under section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 previously.

Corporate Immigration
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How Can NA Law Solicitors Help?

A sponsor licence application can be a long and difficult process and can cause disruptions to a company’s business plans if refused. We are here to help you make a further application and give you the guidance you need. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a case assessment.

For more information on the sponsor licence that was not mentioned on this page, please visit the related pages: sponsor licence, COS, sponsor licence renewal, genuineness requirement audit and compliance and sponsor licence revocation.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

You need a sponsorship licence if you plan on hiring employees from outside the EEA.

To meet the requirements, you must:

  • be a genuine business or sole-trader which is legally operating in the UK.
  • be able to demonstrate a genuine need for migrant workers.
  • have no unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences, money laundering, or fraud.
  • not pose any kind of threat to the UK via your company or any of its personnel.
  • not have a history of failing to carry out sponsorship duties.
  • have organised HR systems and records.

The Home Office fee depends on the type of business you have. For small businesses and charities the Tier 2 sponsorship fee is £536. For medium and large businesses the Tier 2 sponsorship fee is £1476. You are a small business if you have an annual turnover of £10.2 million and less than 50 employees.

Some of the most common reasons for Tier 2 sponsor visa rejection are:

  • Non-compliance with the Home Office security standards
  • Failing the genuineness test
  • Failing to retain documentation on sponsored migrant workers

The Home Office will award you with a license rating. Your business will be placed on the UK Sponsorship Licence register. You will be able to issue Certificates of Sponsorship. Your license will be valid for 4 years.

Applying for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence is a lengthy and complex process. NA Law Solicitors can assist with your business immigration needs by managing the entire Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application process. We can help you adhere to your duties as a Tier 2 sponsor and steer you towards a successful outcome. Subsequently, NA Law can assist with the following:

  • Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence applications
  • Audit existing HR and record keeping systems
  • Acting as a key contact and/or level 1 user for your Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence
  • Advising on Right to Work checks as set out by the Home Office guidance
  • Applying for a restricted or unrestricted CoS and assigning it to the relevant workers
  • Advising on how to deal with closure notices and civil penalty notices
  • Assisting multi-nationals to bring their overseas staff to the UK via the Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa route
  • Advising on Brexit-related issues faced by EEA national workers
  • Advising on all other corporate immigration matters

During the sponsor licence application, the Home Office may come to conduct a compliance visit at the company premises. Our specialist team at NA Law Solicitors can conduct a mock audit for you. This will decrease the chance of an unsuccessful sponsor licence. Contact us for further information, advice or guidance.

Most applications are dealt with within 4 weeks. UKVI will contact the applicant once a decision is made.

Prior to making a decision on a Student sponsorship licence application or as a means to ensure a sponsor is adhering to its Student sponsor duties, UKVI may make an unannounced visit to inspect the sponsor’s HR policies and confirm they have sufficient measures in place to fulfil their obligations.

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