Tougher rules for obtaining a sponsorship licence

In line with the changes to the Tier 2 General Scheme, on 6 November 2014 the Home Office toughened the rules for obtaining a sponsorship licence.

It is important to note, that a legal representative no longer can be appointed as a Level 1 User when applying for the licence. The new sponsors must ensure that they have at least one employee, who is a Level 1 User, to have access to the SMS system and make changes when needed. Otherwise, the application might be refused.

The Home Office is also conducting unexpected visits to ensure that the sponsors comply with their duties. The company can be visited at any time before or after the licence is granted. The purpose of these visits is to verify the information provided in the sponsorship licence application and to check compliance with their duties. For instance, the prospective sponsors/employers must be able to comply with their reporting duties and show that they have procedures in place to record annual leave and sick absences. The migrants must be paid in line with the rate stated in the COS. Failing to provide any requested information and the documents can lead to downgrading of the licence to a B-level or its revocation. The sponsors, whose licence is revoked, might not be able to re-apply until the end of the next full financial year.

If you are concerned about your existing Sponsorship licence or you are planning to submit a new application, please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 20 3384 3075 or via email