Sponsor Licence Expiry

Sponsor Licence Expiry: What You Should Do

An expired licence can cause issues that directly affect the immigration status of your employees and disrupt your operations. You cannot legally employ migrant workers unless you are a valid sponsor licence holder.

How To Know If Your Sponsor Licence Has Expired

You may view the sponsor licence expiry date on the Licence Summary Page of the Sponsor Management System (SMS) of your business.

Employers receive sponsor licences valid for four years from the Home Office. Failure to renew the licence before the expiry date causes it to expire automatically.  This means they have failed with sponsorship duties to manage their licence.

This is why the Home Office sends email notifications 30 days before licence expiration. The emails are reminders to the organisation’s Authoring Officer (AO) and Level One Users specified in the SMS.

The Home Office assumes that this notification will be received and read by the key personnel at the organisation. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes the reminder email even goes to the junk folder of the organisation’s inbox.

Why Do Businesses Miss Their Sponsor Licence Expiry Date?

The Home Office requires sponsor organisations to update their contact details on the SMS. However, this does not always happen.

The SMS account may still contain contact information for a previous Authorising Officer (AO) or legal adviser. They may have left the business, and no new contact information has been entered into the system.

Because of this, the sponsor may not be able to receive notifications. This leaves the business unaware of the approaching deadline and licence expiry date. Thus, it helps to have different people named as the key contact or AO.

The organization can also require Level One Users to log in to the SMS at least once per month. The Home Office sends out general messages via SMS occasionally, which can be important. Level One Users can track these if they register in the portal regularly.

What Are The Implications Of An Expired Sponsor Licence?

There are consequences to an expired sponsor licence, one is not being able to assign new Certificates of Sponsorship (COS). The sponsoring employer provides the worker with this document to allow them to apply for a visa and onboard the business.

Sponsored workers will have their leave curtailed if the license from their employer expires. Entering or staying in the UK will either be shortened or cancelled. Employees will have 60 days or earlier until their visa expiry date to leave the organisation.

However, another option for employees sponsored by businesses with expired licence is to apply for a new visa. To do this, they must find a new sponsor to stay in the UK.

Your sponsored employee may face legal consequences if they don’t act promptly. For example, workers have been detained after attempting to reenter the UK unaware that their employer’s licence had expired.

The sponsor will also be removed from the Register of Sponsors because of an expired license. The Register of Licenced Sponsors is a public listing of all UK organisations with valid sponsorship licences. This is also formerly known as the Tier 2 sponsor list.

How To Renew Sponsor Licence

You will need to act fast upon the expiry of your sponsor licence. It may be necessary to make an urgent application to the Home Office to renew it. You may also be advised to apply for a new licence.

Renewing a sponsor licence will take some time because the Home Office must conduct thorough checks on all applications. This may include visiting sponsoring employers.

Explore hiring employment lawyers or immigration solicitors to handle the renewal application as quickly as possible. They can also assist with negotiations between employers and employees arising from the sponsor licence expiry to avoid disputes.

Seek expert legal advice from WMYV and talk to our immigration solicitors as soon as you recognize a problem with your licence. This will help you determine the best strategy for mitigating damage and costs for your business.

How to Avoid Sponsor Licence Expiry Issues

Manage the date of your licence expiry by keeping an internal log. Your AO, SMS Users, and the HR director should have access to this. Even if the Home Office sends notifications, do not rely on these reminders alone.

The Home Office has a standard 90 days before the licence expiry date. However, it’s better to prepare and give leeway if there are possible issues. Renewing your licence at least six months before expiry is ideal.

Moreover, keep your AO’s and users’ contact details up-to-date on the SMS. Employers should approach sponsor licensing similarly to other legal and compliance requirements.

Maintaining your sponsor status will require ongoing management. There has been a recent immigration law for sponsors failing to update contact details in the SMS. This results in issuing COS with incorrect information. Home Office considers this an act of neglecting sponsorship duties severe enough to revoke a licence.

If you have any questions about your sponsor licence expiry, our team is happy to assist.

How can We Manage Your Visas help?

Our corporate immigration lawyers can walk you through the renewal process if you have missed your sponsor license expiry date. We can assign an expert to work alongside your business and its representatives to ensure a smooth renewal process.

You can also receive advice if applying for a new sponsor licence is better than renewing the expired one. Aside from this, we can offer the following assistance:

  • Assist you in using the Sponsor Management System (SMS), ensuring your key roles are updated and legally correct.
  • Ensure that your employment records follow immigration regulations.
  • Organise your documentation to meet UKVI requirements, including certificate of sponsorship and job description.
  • Prepare your company for a UKVI compliance inspection.
  • Communicate with the Home Office as needed until you receive a decision from them.

We can also offer a customized Sponsor Licence Application Package at WMYV if you have more specific needs. To schedule your initial consultation with one of our lawyers, please call us or fill out our online contact form.

Advice Package

Application Package

Fast Track Package

Appeal Package

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

Reach out to us for more information or to see how we can help you?

Frequently Asked Questions