Six tips to avoid a Sponsor Licence refusal

05 Jul 2024, 32 mins ago

Sponsor licences enable UK-based companies to employ skilled workers from overseas, significantly contributing to both the individual business and the economy. However, sponsor licence applications can be complicated and many businesses inadvertently fall short of meeting the requirements. In this blog, we set out six tips to think about when submitting a sponsor licence application.

1. Providing the right paperwork:

Failure to provide the correct paperwork may lead to a sponsor licence application being refused, where the applying business otherwise meets the requirements. The Home Office may require documents such as proof of trading, evidence of necessary accreditations, and proof of employer liability insurance. For certain categories of licence, the guidance on the required documents is complicated and requires care and attention. If such documentation is incomplete or unavailable, the application is likely to be refused.

2. Avoiding delays in providing supporting documentation

It is paramount that you send your supporting documents within five working days of your initial online application. The Home Office may request further information or documentation prior to making a decision on the sponsor licence application. By promptly submitting the correct documents before the relevant deadlines, you minimise the risk of a refusal for failure to demonstrate your business meets the requirement.

3. Passing the Genuineness Test

On applying for a sponsor licence, applicant businesses will be asked to provide details of any specific job roles and prospective candidates which justify the need for a sponsor licence. The Home Office will scrutinise the genuineness of the job vacancy and the suitability of the prospective candidate. Where it appears that a job vacancy has been reverse engineered to fit the prospective candidate, for example by including requirements of a candidate not relevant to the role, the Home Office may suspect the role is not genuine and refuse the sponsor licence on this basis.

4. Choosing the appropriate key personnel

When applying for a licence, key personnel will need to be appointed to oversee compliance with the responsibilities as a sponsor. There are specific eligibility criteria for each of these roles, which include Authorising Officer, Key Contact and Level 1 users (who will have access to the online Home Office Sponsor Management System).

5. Paying the correct application fee

The fee applicable to the sponsor licence application varies depending on the type of licence applying for, and the type and size of the sponsor. The fee varies from £536 to £1,476. Which category is selected will also impact the fees associated with future visa applications.

There are two types of fees: the ‘worker’ fee and the ‘temporary worker’ fee. The ‘worker’ category includes the Skilled Worker visa route and the Senior Worker route under the Global Business Mobility scheme. For small and charitable businesses, the fee is £536, and for medium to large businesses, the fee is £1,476.

The second category, ‘temporary worker,’ applies to the sponsorship of workers for a short period and includes the remaining four Global Business Mobility scheme categories: Graduate Trainee, Expansion Workers, Service Suppliers, and Secondment Workers. The fee for this category is £536 for all businesses. Failure to pay the correct fee is likely to result in the Home Office refusing to grant the sponsor licence.

6. Stay Informed on Immigration Rules:

Stay updated on changes to UK immigration laws and sponsor licence requirements by participating in training sessions, workshops, and seminars on sponsorship compliance. By consulting with legal advisors with deep experience in UK immigration laws, you can ensure your organization remains compliant with all relevant regulations.

By adhering to these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of your Sponsor Licence application being refused and ensure your organization is well-prepared to manage sponsored employees effectively.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, or send us an e-mail. Don’t forget to follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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