Step by Step Guide to Sponsor Licence Renewal

Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Renewal – A Step-By-Step Guide

On May 24, 2018 | In Sponsor Licence | By A Y & J Solicitors Last Updated : January 10, 2024

Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Renewal should be done at least within 3 months before it is expired. After all the work and preparation needed to obtain a Tier 2 and 5 Sponsor Licence, it can be disconcerting for employers or HR directors to discover they must renew their Sponsor Licence after four years.

At A Y & J Solicitors, we have advised many businesses on renewing their licence, ensuring the process is quick and smooth, creating minimal disruption for the organisation and its staff.

Client says, A Y & J Solicitors are very professional, knowledgeable and dedicated towards the case to provide top-notch services and solutions.”

A Y & J Solicitors are very professional, knowledgeable and dedicated

Renewing a UK Sponsor Licence is a relatively straightforward undertaking, provided your organisation follows a clear plan and receives the support it needs from immigration professionals.

What follows is a step-by-step guide to renewing your Tier 2 and 5 Sponsor Licence, which will help you to continue in hiring talent from non-EU countries as the skills-shortage in Britain continues to tighten its grip.

Step 1 – Diarise and Prepare for your Sponsor Licence Renewal well in Advance

One of the key requirements when sponsoring Tier 2 or 5 employees is the employer must have valid Sponsor Licence at all times.

If an application for a Sponsor Licence renewal has not been submitted on or before the expiry date, the licence will lapse. Note that the application does not need to have been approved by the expiry date, but it must be under consideration. The Home Office will temporarily extend the expiry date where a renewal application is accepted.

If a licence lapses, your organisation will not be able to issue any more Certificates of Sponsorship and the leave of existing migrants may be curtailed to 60 days. Also, Tier 2 migrants will not be able to apply for an extension of their leave or to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain if you don’t have a valid licence at the date of application (or have submitted to have your licence renewed).

The Home office will send a reminder that you need to renew your licence 120 days before expiry and then every 30 days up until two weeks prior to the expiry of the licence.

Do you have a way to calculate the sponsor licence UK cost?

Yes! Use our calculator below to calculate your sponsor licence visa cost.

Please answer the questions and you will be able to calculate the approx cost for The sponsor licence –

Step 2 – Carry Out a Mock Compliance Audit of Your HR Systems Prior to Applying for your Sponsor Licence Renewal

It is highly recommended that you have a mock compliance audit performed by a member of our team in the months before you submit your application to renew your Sponsor Licence. The Home Office, as part of the consideration process, will carry out checks and may request certain documents which must be sent within five working days, or various actions may be taken including revoking the licence. Compliance officers may also visit your premises to check your organisation is able to meet its sponsor duties and responsibilities.

When renewing your Sponsor Licence, the Home Office can:

  • renew the licence with an A rating,
  • renew the licence with a B rating (which will be subject to a time-limited action plan) or
  • refuse the application altogether.

By investing in a mock compliance audit (which should ideally be done bi-annually over the lifetime of the licence), you can be confident you will not receive the nasty surprise of having a B rating assigned or worse, the renewal of your Sponsor Licence denied altogether. Our immigration lawyers will identify any weaknesses in your HR systems and Sponsor Licence compliance and present you with a clear strategy to address these well before you apply for your licence renewal.

Step 3 – Apply for renewal of your Sponsor Licence

To renew your Sponsor Licence, a request must be made through the Sponsor Licence Management System(SMS). You will need to pay an application fee – the amount will depend on the size of your organisation. Be aware, over the four years since you applied for your original licence, your company may have grown; therefore, you may be asked to pay a higher fee than you paid when your first applied.

One advantage in investing in Sponsor Licence compliance support is not only can the lawyers at A Y & J Solicitors apply for your renewal on your behalf, they can also advise on any relevant supporting documentation to be submitted. For example, Tier 2 (Sport) and Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting) sponsors must provide a sport’s governing body endorsement. Our team will also check that all the information contained on the summary page of the SMS are correct and have been fully updated. This includes checking that the address showing on the system is current and the details of the Authorising Officer and Level 1 and two users are correct. users are correct.

In conclusion

If there are no concerns with your Sponsor Licence renewal application, you should receive your renewal within three to eight weeks.

By instructing A Y & J Solicitors’ team to manage all aspects of your Sponsor Licence, from application, compliance and renewal, you can be confident you can apply for Certificates of Sponsorship unhindered whenever you need to recruit talent from outside the EEA. A well prepared Sponsor Licence Renewal application can help your company in saving precious cash-flow and resources on addressing Sponsor Licence compliance issues.

A Y & J Solicitors are specialists in immigration law based in central London. If you would like to have more information, please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 20 7404 7933.

Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.


A Y & J Solicitors is a multi-award winning, 14+ years experienced, recommended by Legal 500, boutique UK immigration law firm based in Central London. Having assisted 5000+ clients, we are well equipped to help you with our ‘In It To Win It’ approach. For your assurance and confidence, we are pleased to share our trust rating of 4.9/5 based on 1000+ reviews on Trustpilot & Google.

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A Y & J Solicitors’ Review

JON gave A Y & J Solicitors 4 stars via @Trustpilot

I found A Y & J Solicitors incredibly helpful in advising what evidence and information we had to gather for the Home Office and am delighted to say we have had our Grade-A sponsor licence reinstated


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