A sponsor licence is required for a UK business to sponsor a foreign national to work for their organisation. Sponsor licences are categorised into two ratings: A-rated and B-rated. These ratings reflect the sponsor’s level of compliance with their sponsorship duties.
- A-rated: An A-rating indicates that the sponsor is fully compliant with their sponsorship duties and has demonstrated a high level of competence in meeting the requirements set by the Home Office. An A-rating allows the sponsor to continue sponsoring migrants and assigning new Certificates of Sponsorship.
- B-rated: If a sponsor has a B-rated licence, it indicates that they have compliance issues or concerns. With a B-rated licence the sponsor can continue sponsoring migrants while working towards resolving the identified issues, however, they will not be able to assign Certificates of Sponsorship to new workers. The sponsor will also not be able to add branches to the licence or apply for extra categories of licences whilst holding a B-rating.
If the licence is downgraded from A-rated to B-rated, the Home Office will issue the sponsor with a time-limited action plan (for a fee). The action plan will set out the actions or improvements needed to make the sponsor compliant. If the required changes are made within the time limit, the licence should be restored to an A-rating. Failure to comply will lead to the licence being revoked.
Understanding the ratings on a sponsor licence is crucial for sponsors. Employers must ensure that they understand their current rating and how they can continue to remain compliant at all times.
How Gherson can assist
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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.