Worker Sponsor Licence Renewal (Formerly known as Tier 2 Sponsor Licence)

A Worker Sponsor Licence Renewal is required every 4 years to continue to hold the licence. If an application for renewal has not been submitted on or before the expiry date, the licence will lapse. Note that the Renewal application does not need to have been approved by the licence expiry date, it can be under consideration.

Failure to renew a Sponsor Licence leads to an inability to employ your non-UK workers and may result in a loss of your NON-UK skilled workforce.

It is therefore crucial that Sponsor Licence holders diarise, prepare for, and apply to renew their licence well in advance of the expiry date. Your organisation must renew its licence if it has any employees with current leave as a Tier 2 or a Skilled Worker migrant, whether or not you intend to sponsor any more migrant workers.

At A Y & J Solicitors, we have extensive experience with Sponsor Licence renewals and are available to assist you with this process.

What is the General Procedure for a Worker Sponsorship Licence Renewal?

The renewal application must be submitted on the Sponsor Management System (SMS) by a Level 1 user. This can be done three months before the expiry date of the licence. The Sponsor Guidance states that the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will write to sponsors 120 calendar days prior to the expiry date to remind them of the need to renew, and again at 30 calendar-day intervals up to the last month, and finally two weeks before the expiry date.

Often UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) can carry out a compliance visit when considering a renewal application. This visit can be announced, or unannounced.  A Home Office compliance officer can request a variety of information to verify that the company has been maintaining all compliance, record keeping, and reporting duties.  It is critical that your company is adequately prepared for this type of inspection visit when preparing for an application to renew your Sponsor Licence.

As experienced immigration lawyers, our team will work with you prior to renewing your Sponsor Licence to ensure all your HR policies and procedures are up-to-date and compliant, and you are fully prepared for a compliance visit.

What Are the Common Grounds for a Sponsor Licence Renewal Refusal?

The most common reasons for UK Visas and Immigration UKVI to refuse a Sponsor Licence renewal application are that the employer has:

  • Not complied with their Sponsor Licence duties and responsibilities
  • Failed to keep adequate records
  • Not promptly reported changes regarding the company and workforce
  • Did not promptly respond to UKVI enquiries
  • Neglected to confirm genuine vacancies before offering employment to a migrant worker
  • Conducted incorrect Resident Labour Market Tests and/or failed to keep adequate records of the tests where required.

It’s important to note that these reasons frequently result in the downgrading, suspension, or revocation of a Sponsor Licence in addition to the renewal refusal.  This can lead to fines, civil penalties, and even criminal charges at worst.  Sponsor Licence holders must ensure that they are always compliant with Home Office rules and regulations. Our lawyers will help you to achieve compliance, so you can concentrate on meeting the commercial needs of your business.

How A Y & J Solicitors Can Help You Prepare for Your Sponsor Licence Renewal?

A Y & J Solicitors provide expert legal advice so that you achieve best possible outcome on your Sponsor Licence renewal application without disruption to your business activities.  Our expert team will handle all aspects of the application including providing:

  • Full checks and validation of all documentation required for your renewal
  • Completing an intensive audit of your Human Resources department and identifying in advance any weaknesses in your systems which may be picked up by an immigration official
  • Expert legal assistance and advice in all areas of Sponsor Licence management.

Our lawyers have been working with UK businesses for years, ensuring their Sponsor Licence renewals are processed swiftly. By taking the time to get to know your business and working with your Key Personnel over the four years of your initial licence, you can be confident that there will be no delays in you receiving your renewal.

You will usually receive notification of a Sponsor Licence renewal within a few weeks of submitting your application through the SMS.

You might have to pay an additional charge for each foreign worker you employ.  This is called the ‘immigration skills charge’. You must pay this if they’re applying for a visa to work in the UK for six months or more under either a:

  • Skilled Worker Visa
  • Intra-company Transfer visa

The cost for medium and large businesses is £1,000 per year, per sponsored employee.  Smaller organisations and charities must pay £364 per year, per sponsored employee.

In most cases, you will get a partial refund on the Immigration Skills Charge if the sponsored employee has their visa application refused or withdrawn, or they go to work for another employer.

Yes, many organisations rely on us to act as their Key Contact and Level 1 user.  This allows them to relax, knowing that once they have informed us of the relevant changes to the organisation’s or migrant’s circumstances, their SMS will be always kept up-to-date and any changes to Sponsor Licence rules and regulations are complied with.

You will need to have at least one member of staff appointed as a Level 1 user, and you must ensure they are fully trained and kept up-to-date with any immigration law changes.  Our team can assist you with this.

A Y & J Solicitors’ Review

We used A Y & J Solicitors to assist us with a complicated issue with our Tier 2 licence. We are extremely grateful to Yash, Sok Wei, Wayne and the team for their dedicated service. We could not have got through this issue without them. A Y & J Solicitors demonstrated exceptional knowledge of the immigration law and excellent understanding of the Tier 2 complexities. We received amazing service and their assistance in this matter was greatly appreciated.


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


I can not thank enough A Y & J Solicitors and great team to help me to achieve positive result for my most awaited and complex immigration application. My sponsorÕs Tier 2 licence was downgraded and my Tier 2 was curtailed but Highly knowledgable immigration specialist, intelligent -innovative ideas , positive attitude of A Y & J Solicitors has got me my Tier 2 back. I will have my settlement early next year. I would highly recommend A Y & J Solicitors to anyone in need of UK immigration advice/services. I specially like ÔCAN DOÕ approach, strong representation, correct and precise advise of A Y & J Solicitors.

Success Story on Sponsor Licence Renewal

On February 28, 2018 | In Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit | By
A Y & J Solicitors

Non-Compliance Issues Corrected Before a Sponsor Licence Renewal Application

A Y & J Solicitors were instructed by a large reputed IT digital solution company ‘DiT’, who provides services to major NHS trusts in the UK to assist with the renewal of their Sponsor Licence. Company Uses A Y & J Solicitors to Prepare for Sponsor Licence Renewal DiT had their initial Tier 2 Sponsor…

Video on Sponsor Licence Renewal

Tier 2 Sponsor License Guidance
Intro to Sponsor Licence

Compliance duties, reporting, record keeping, and renewals.

Sponsorship Licence Compliance Duties for Sponsor Licence Holders

We are a specialised UK immigration law firm.

I will talk about Sponsor Licence compliance Duties in this video.

As a Sponsor Licence holder you are responsible for complying with your sponsorship duties as set out by the Home Office.

If any rules/regulations change (which is likely) it is your responsibility to keep yourself informed, and act on any changes as needed.

Your sponsorship Licence duties include but not limited to reporting and record keeping.

You should report within a specific deadline significant changes within the company that includes but not limited to ‘change of address’, ‘merger/acquisition’, ‘TUPE transfer’.

You should also report information on sponsored worker such as but not limited to, changes in job title/job duties or salary, change of the work location and certain absences.

You must have a system you use to check your workers can legally work. Each licence holder is responsible for monitoring immigration status and prevent illegal working.

When the time approaches, you must also apply for a renewal of your Sponsor Licence so it remains up-to-date.

We strongly advice businesses to remain complaint with their sponsor licence compliance duties.

If you require legal advice in relation to sponsor licence matter, please contact us today. Our contact details are at the bottom of the video. We are happy to help. Thank you.

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