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Suspensions, refusals, and revocations – Sponsor Licences

You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa to work in the UK in an eligible job with an employer licenced as a sponsor by the UK government.

Can I apply for the UK Skilled Worker visa?

We can help you. It’s what we do.

Overview

You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa to work in the UK in an eligible job with an employer licenced as a sponsor by the UK government. This UK work visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. This category is for all foreign nationals who have been offered a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce which cannot be filled by an already settled worker in the UK. There are a number of complex scenarios which should be discussed and explored in detail before you can apply.

You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa to work in the UK in an eligible job with an employer licenced as a sponsor by the UK government. This UK work visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. This category is for all foreign nationals who have been offered a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce which cannot be filled by an already settled worker in the UK. There are a number of complex scenarios which should be discussed and explored in detail before you can apply.

International Sportspersons visa

This category is for highly skilled sportspersons who must be recognised by a governing body as an elite sports person or a sports coach. The applicant must demonstrate that their employment in the UK will encourage the sport to become more elite and prominent in the UK.

To apply for ILR you must have spent continuous period of 5 years in the UK and must have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months. You must also meet the English language requirement, pass the Life in the UK test and meet the salary threshold requirement of at least £35,800.

Indefinite leave to remain

The skilled worker visa lasts for up to five years. If you want to stay longer, you can apply to extend your, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. After five years, you may also be entitled to apply for indefinite leave to remain, which gives you the right to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you like. You must apply to extend or update your skilled work visa UK if you change jobs or employer.

To apply for ILR you must have spent continuous period of five years in the UK and must have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months. You must also meet the English language requirement, pass the Life in the UK test and meet the salary threshold requirement of at least £25,600 per year.

Suspensions

An Overview - What does a suspended Sponsor Licence mean for my organisation?

A suspended Sponsor Licence could mean that you are no longer able to sponsor new migrants and your business could be at risk of being removed completely from the public register of sponsors for the suspension period. On the contrary, any existing sponsored migrants will remain unaffected. 

Why would my Sponsor Licence be suspended?

There are a variety of reasons for why a sponsor licence may be suspended including 

  • Failing to keep appropriate records for sponsored migrants. 
  • Unlawful salary variations or that an authorising officer is inappropriately qualified to assume his or her position. 
  • May be evidence of genuine vacancy concerns  
  • Poor HR policies and procedures in place  
  • Failure to report relevant changes to the Home Office 

Ultimately, it is important to reinforce that the Home Office requires licensed sponsors to fulfil certain duties throughout the period of their licence, so neglecting such duties is treated as a breach of their responsibilities. In effect, it is important that the sponsor complies with its sponsor duties to avoid suspension of their licence.  

Help! My Sponsor Licence has been suspended – what can I do?

Following a UKVI audit, if a sponsor receives a suspension letter it will have 20 working days to then file representations against that decision – however this must be in writing. Additionally, it is important to note that the appeal should evidence strong, valid arguments for why challenging the suspension is necessary. It is crucial that the sponsor addresses every allegation made in the sponsor licence suspension letter, in detail to ensure that all points are covered.  

Once you have submitted evidence to challenge their decision, the Home Office will decide which course of action to take based on information it has received from the sponsor. They will decide whether to downgrade, reinstate or revoke the sponsor’s licence. 

How can Bridge Partners Immigration help?

At Bridge Partners Immigration, we understand that receiving notice that your sponsor licence has been suspended can be a very challenging and stressful time, causing disruption not only to the business but also for all individuals involved. Our immigration lawyers can work with sponsors who are looking to secure reinstatement of their sponsor licences following any suspension decisions, to ensure that a strong case is presented to UKVI addressing such issues raised.   

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our business client’s needs. As a highly driven team of legal experts, we are confident and knowledgeable in providing accurate yet straightforward advice. Contact us today to find out more about your options in this complex matter.  

Refusals

An Overview – What does a sponsor licence refusal mean for my organisation?

A sponsor licence refusal is when the application is refused on the basis that there are more substantial or fundamental flaws with the application.  

If your sponsor licence is refused, the application fee will not be refunded and a ‘cooling off’ period will be implemented whereby the Company will not be permitted to submit another application until this period has passed. Please note, that the length of time imposed for this ‘cooling off’ period will be determined by the circumstances for the Company. As a minimum, the Company would have to wait until six months after the date of the refusal decision letter before they can make another application. In more serious cases, there could be a ‘cooling off’ period of 12 months.  

Why would my sponsor licence be refused?

There are multiple reasons for why a sponsor licence may be refused by the Home Office – it is important to note that the implications of a refusal are much more significant. For instance, a sponsor licence is likely to be refused in situations where: 

  • False documentation has been submitted as part of the application. 
  • The Company has previously held a sponsor licence that was revoked; or 
  • The Home Office has requested further documentation in support of the application and the applicant has failed to submit the documents within the specified time frame. 
  • Incorrect supporting documents 
  • Failing the genuineness test 
  • Failed compliance visit 

My sponsor licence has been refused – can I challenge this decision?

Unfortunately, not. If your sponsor licence is refused, then there is no right of appeal or administrative review. Aside from accepting the decision and submitting a brand-new application, there are two potential avenues to follow, should wish to challenge.  

Firstly, you may challenge this refusal by way of ‘Error Correction’ request – this can only be made where the decision is a result of a caseworker error or where necessary supporting documents were not considered. Please note, that should you wish to challenge via this route you only have 14 days from the date of the decision to make an Error Correction request – you should receive a decision up to 28 days after.  

On the other hand, you may apply for a judicial review of the decision should the refusal be arguably unlawful, improper, or unreasonable.  

Nevertheless, this is a highly complex and intricate process so we highly recommend speaking to a member of our legal team to get expert advice and guidance on whether these options would be appropriate for you, depending on your situation. 

How can Bridge Partners Immigration help?

At Bridge Partners Immigration, we understand that receiving notice that your sponsor licence has been refused can be a very challenging and stressful time, causing disruption not only to the business but also for all individuals involved. Our immigration lawyers can work with sponsors who are looking to secure reinstatement of their sponsor licences following any suspension decisions, to ensure that a strong case is presented to UKVI addressing such issues raised.  

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our business client’s needs. As a highly driven team of legal experts, we are confident and knowledgeable in providing accurate yet straightforward advice. Contact us today to find out more about your options in this complex matter.  

Revocations

An Overview – What does a sponsor licence revocation mean for my organisation?

If your sponsor licence is revoked, the Home Office will also curtail the leave of any sponsored workers who are currently employed by the sponsor – the worker in question will usually have their leave curtailed to 60 calendar days unless they have fewer than this remaining in which case no action will be taken.  

As a result, this will have serious consequences for your Company as your sponsored workers will either have to make an additional application for leave in a category for which they qualify in or find alternative employment with a licensed sponsor or lastly, leave the UK.  

Why would my sponsor licence be revoked?

There are various reasons why your sponsor licence may be revoked by the Home Office – this could include but is not limited to: 

  • The sponsor knowingly providing false information on the sponsor licence application form. 
  • The sponsor is B-rated and has failed to meet any of the requirements of their action plan within the specified time frame; or  
  • The sponsor employs a migrant in a vacancy that fails to meet the required skill/salary level. 

My sponsor licence has been revoked – can I challenge this decision?

As it stands there is no right of appeal against a decision to revoke a sponsor licence and a sponsor will be prohibited from making a further application for a sponsor licence until the end of the appropriate cooling off period. This is typically 12 months from the date in which the sponsor licence was revoked. 

However, upon a new application for a sponsor licence the applicant will be required to address the reasons for the previous revocation. 

How can Bridge Partners Immigration help?

At Bridge Partners Immigration, we understand that receiving notice that your sponsor licence has been revoked can be a very challenging and stressful time, causing disruption not only to the business but also for all individuals involved. Our immigration lawyers can work with sponsors who are looking to secure reinstatement of their sponsor licences following any suspension decisions, to ensure that a strong case is presented to UKVI addressing such issues raised.  

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our business client’s needs. As a highly driven team of legal experts, we are confident and knowledgeable in providing accurate yet straightforward advice. Contact us today to find out more about your options in this complex matter. 

Frequently Asked Skilled Worker visa​ Application Questions

Someone can be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa if they have a job offer from a sponsoring company in the UK for a job that is on the list of skilled worker occupations. In addition, the skilled worker must have the required skills and experience to undergo the role in the company and have the required level of English language ability.   

The minimum salary for the Skilled Worker visa is either £25,600 per year, £10.10 per hour or the “going rate” for the particular occupation code, whichever is highest. For each job on the Home Office occupation list, there is a “going rate” which details the recommended annual and hourly salary that an individual must earn for the role. The rates are based on a 39-hour week of work. Those applying for the Skilled Worker visa need 50 points to do so. These are gained from sponsorship, skill level and English language requirements. However, 20 further tradable points can be given to those that meet the minimum salary requirement. 

You cannot move to the UK without a job offer from a company that has a UK sponsor licence, unless you apply for the Global Talent visa where this is not a requirement. When you are applying for a Skilled Worker visa you must provide a certificate of sponsorship reference number which proves that you have a job offer and therefore permission to work in the UK with a registered sponsor.  

The general Skilled Worker visa requirements are that you must have a job offer from a company that is a UK-registered sponsor and have a certificate of sponsorship that confirms that you have permission to work in the UK within a specific job role. You must be paid the required minimum salary for the occupation, have the required skill level and English language ability to do the job and have enough funds to support yourself in the UK.   

Once all the correct documentation has been submitted, it takes around 3 weeks for an application for a Skilled Worker visa to be processed by the Home Office when applying outside of the UK. For applications within the UK, the standard processing time is 8 weeks, although this can take around 9 weeks on average.  

For the Skilled Worker visa, you will need to provide a valid passport and proof that you have a job in the UK with details about your job role, salary, and employer information. You will also need the reference number for your certificate of sponsorship which proves that you have an approved job offer with a registered UK sponsor. In addition, you will need to provide bank statements that show you are able to support yourself in the UK and proof of the required qualifications needed for the role such as an English language test and degree certificate.

Yes, you can study whilst on a Skilled Worker visa. There is no restriction on the number of hours you can study as long as it does not interfere with your work. Another requirement is that workers who study must first get an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate for their studies and present it to the education provider.  

Skilled Workers are not allowed to run their own businesses.