The current UK government is determined to bring immigration figures down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands. One of the ways this is being achieved is by making it more difficult for employers to recruit talent from outside the EEA. Policies such as the introduction of the Immigration Skills Charge and the harsh civil penalties for employers caught employing illegal workers (up to £20,000 per worker and/ or up to five years’ imprisonment) are being used to drive down the attractiveness of employing foreign-born workers.
However, the fact is, many industries such as construction, hospitality, agriculture, tech and manufacturing rely on the skills that high-educated and highly-experienced migrants bring to the positions they hold. For example, earlier in 2017, it was reported the great British institution, the curry house, was facing a major crisis due to tough immigration rules preventing owners from hiring skilled chefs.
A Tier 2 Sponsor Licence allows organisations to recruit from countries outside of the UK. However, Sponsor Licences come with enormous duties and responsibilities which must be complied with in order to maintain an A-rating and issue Certificates of Sponsorship to prospective employees. In some circumstances, non-compliance with Sponsor Licence duties and responsibilities can result in the licence being revoked. This can have disastrous consequences, not only for the business and its reputation but for employers on a Tier 2 visa who may have to leave the country if they cannot find another employer to sponsor them.
Some of the most common reasons for having a licence revoked may include but not limited to:
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If your UK Sponsor Licence is revoked, you should carefully examine the reasons for the revocation provided by UKVI in the revocation letter. It is also imperative to review the relevant laws at the time your licence was revoked. An experienced immigration lawyer can work with you and quickly establish whether UKVI revoked your Sponsor Licence on legal grounds.
If an anomaly is found, it is crucial you act quickly. As there is no right of appeal for Sponsor Licence revocations, the only remedy available is Judicial Review. This remedy can be complex; therefore it needs to be undertaken with the help of an experienced immigration solicitor.
Judicial Review is a remedy of last resort. All other possible avenues to resolve the dispute between your organisation and the Home Office must be explored before an application for Judicial Review can be made. If appropriate, your immigration solicitor may try and negotiate with Home Office officials to reinstate your Sponsor Licence. Should this fail, your only option will be to challenge the decision via Judicial Review.
All evidence must be gathered in defence of the case, as only the strongest of cases will be considered by the judge for Judicial Review. Appropriate evidence includes proof of any damaging financial impact to the organisation in the event of revocation, documentation, witness statements, and any other concrete evidence in support of the organisation’s position against the UKVI’s decision.
At this point, an attempt must be made to negotiate an agreement with UKVI. This is done through a ‘letter before claim’ which is drafted by your immigration solicitor stating your position and an explanation of the invalidity of the revocation. If it proves impossible to reach an agreement and the application for Judicial Review is approved, it will proceed to the High Court. Should your application for Judicial Review be refused, it may be possible to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
A business services company received an unannounced Home Office visit; after which they received a suspension letter and then a letter stating that their license had been revoked because of no evidence of Right to Work for one employee, and errors in the contact details for some migrant workers.
Losing their Sponsor Licence would mean having to close the business, and this long-standing business with an excellent reputation would no longer be able to support the workers and their families, nor be able to service the community.
The company contacted A Y & J Solicitors immediately upon receiving the revocation letter. Our immigration services team got to work gathering strong evidence to show that the compliance officer had misunderstood the company’s methods and procedures that were in place to comply with UKVI regulations. The Employee’s Right to Work documents was obtained and produced as evidence.
The contact details were updated, and a new system was set in place to prevent future errors. All evidence was rapidly gathered and presented to UKVI along with a request to review the decision.
Upon review, UKVI reinstated this company’s Sponsor Licence, and they were able to continue their operations successfully.
Our expert team is ready to work with you. We will take the time to find out why your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence was revoked and establish the quickest, most cost-effective way to have it reinstated. If judicial review is the only remedy, you can be confident that we understand the process and can provide expert advice and representation. You can contact us by phone at +44 20 7404 7933 or by email at [email protected].
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.