Sponsor Licences – Suspension and Revocation
The suspension or revocation of your Worker Sponsor Licence (formerly Tier 2) will have devastating consequences for your business. Your ability to issue further Certificates of Sponsorship will immediately end, leaving you unable to recruit the talent you need to meet customer demands and grow your business. In addition, your organisation could face reputational damage, meaning the best and brightest in your sector may be reluctant to apply for available positions.
Action taken by the Home Office on a sponsor’s licence may also affect the migrants who are sponsored (or who are in the process of being sponsored) by the organisation. The effect on the migrants ranges from no impact to immediate cancellation or curtailment of leave, depending on whether the licence is downgraded, suspended or revoked, and the circumstances of the migrant at the time of the action. If the migrant was complicit in the breach that led to the suspension, the consequences for them are likely to be more severe.
All Sponsor Licence holders face the risk of suspension or revocation if their HR systems are found to be non-compliant. This is a serious issue, and it cannot be stated strongly enough how important it is to avoid such adverse action being taken.
As the Home Office becomes more active in conducting unannounced compliance visits, more and more companies are seeking help. A Y & J Solicitors are serving these companies, helping them work towards a successful resolution of their Licence challenges.
What are the Most Common Reasons a Worker Sponsor Licence (formerly Tier 2) May be Suspended or Revoked?
Following a compliance visit from the Home Office, concerns may be expressed by UKVI. These concerns may result in a down-graded licence, suspension, or revocation of a licence. The most common concerns result from improper or non-existent Resident Labour Market Tests (RLMT) when they were required, poor record keeping and reporting, insufficient recruitment practices, or poor HR policies and procedures that are required in order to comply with the sponsor duties.
What is the Difference Between the Suspension and Revocation of a Sponsor Licence?
An organisation’s Sponsor Licence can be suspended if UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has concerns that a sponsor may be breaching their sponsor duties or otherwise poses a threat to immigration control, and a mandatory revocation ground does not apply.
The reasons for the Sponsor Licence suspension will be issued in writing and you will have a chance to respond. UKVI may decide to investigate the matter further. If a suspension letter is issued, you will still be provided with an opportunity to respond to the reasons for the suspension.
If you receive a suspension notice, contact us immediately. Our lawyers will review the contents of the notice and provide expert advice as to how you should respond.
A Sponsor Licence can be revoked in response to a breach which is listed as a mandatory ground for revocation and/or a severe compliance breach.
Where a discretionary reason for revocation applies, the Home Office may first suspend the licence and provide the opportunity for your organisation to respond to the UKVI’s concerns before deciding whether to revoke it. If a sponsor’s licence is revoked, the organisation will not be able to apply for a new licence until 12-months have passed since the date of the revocation letter.
What does a suspended sponsor licence mean for your organisation?
The Home Office requires licensed sponsors to meet and maintain certain obligations throughout the period of their sponsor licence. In the event the Home Office believes and finds that you have failed your duties as a sponsor a decision may be made to suspend the sponsor licence.
Being in the position of having your organisation’s Sponsor Licence suspended, you will not be able to assign Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) under any categories. As part of the Home Office procedure your company will also be removed from the register of sponsors during the suspension period.
Despite the Sponsor Licence being suspended the company must continue to meet the sponsorship duties. In the event your company’s Sponsor Licence is due for a renewal during the suspension time, the Authorising Officer should make the renewal application online using the Sponsor Licence Management System.
The status of the company’s sponsored workers currently working for the organisation will not be affected when the Sponsor Licence is suspended unless the Home Office decides to revoke the Sponsor Licence.
In the event your organisation fails to address the issues listed in the suspension letter, and your licence is revoked your organisation is no longer able to offer sponsorship to overseas workers. Furthermore, following the revocation of your company’s Sponsor Licence the Home Office will curtail the leave given to the migrant workers who are currently working for your organisation. The sponsored migrants’ workers will normally have their leave curtailed to 60 calendar days. If they have fewer days than this remaining on their visas, such action will not take place.
You will lose your sponsored migrant workers, and they will either have to find another sponsor to sponsor them, make another visa application in the UK or leave the UK.
A Case Study of a Sponsor Licence Revoked
Recently, an IT company was audited by a UKVI compliance officer. This company relies on a large workforce of sponsored migrant workers. As a result of the Home Office Visit, the company received notice that their Sponsor Licence had been suspended. The explanation given was that the company had not provided convincing evidence that they were conducting adequate Right To Work checks on their migrant workers. This led the Home Office to believe that the company was failing to take sufficient action to prevent illegal working, which is a failure of a key sponsor duty.
In a separate ground for suspension, UKVI took the position that the jobs filled by sponsored workers did not represent genuine vacancies, another failure. In addition, the company had not updated their licence to reflect all the current UK branches of the company, and some of these branches were hiring sponsored workers. This indicated a failure to comply with their reporting duties. Finally, the UKVI also deemed the company’s human resources systems was inadequate to maintain current and historical contact details for all sponsored workers. Failure to maintain up-to-date contact details, or have robust procedures to keep contact details up to date indicates a failure of yet another key sponsor duty.
UKVI’s concerns were valid as the sponsor was non-compliant at the date of the Compliance Officer’s audit. The situation and outcome could have been avoided. Each of the issues could have been corrected in advance with the right information and support. A Y & J Solicitors can help your company prepare for a Home Office audit, helping you to achieve a strong long-term record as a Sponsor Licence holder.
Why Choose A Y & J Solicitors to Advise You in The Case of a Worker Sponsor Licence Suspension or Revocation?
We are well experienced in helping clients who are facing strict action from the Home Office. We have represented many companies. We understand the stress and economic impact managing a suspension and/or revocation of a Sponsor Licence. We provide fast, robust solutions and advice, to ensure your commercial interests are protected and if needed, help you to get your licence restored.
Organisations that have had their licence suspended have 20 working days to respond to a notice from the Home Office.
A Sponsor Licence can be mandatorily revoked if the sponsor (this list is not exhaustive):
- is discovered to have provided false information in the Sponsor Licence application form;
- ceases to trade;
- whose licence has been downgraded to a B-rating has not met all the requirements of its action plan within the specified timeframe;
- has been issued with 2 or more civil penalties for employment of illegal workers, and remain liable for the penalties having exhausted objection and appeal rights and the penalty received for at least one of those workers remains at the maximum amount, after objection and appeal rights have been exhausted.
If you fail to respond to the suspension letter within 20 working days, the company’s Sponsor Licence will be revoked.
There is no right to appeal against a decision to revoke a sponsor licence, and as a sponsor you will not be able to make a new sponsor licence application until the end of the cooling off period. The colling off period is 12 months from the date the licence was revoked.
A Y & J Solicitors’ Review
REINSTATEMENT SPONSORSHIP LICENSE
IT ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE, UNLESS ITS DONE
– NELSON MANDELA
A Y & J Solicitors Proved above Saying both in words and in-Action.
A Y & J Solicitors Portrayed true dedication with Smartness.
A Y & J Solicitors depicts “EMBLEM” of ‘SUCCESS’………..
I wholeheartedly thanks to the team of A Y & J Solicitors and the Magician behind this success is ‘SOK WEI LOW – The real smart and hardworking person with Commitment ‘ & Captain of ship – Yash Dubal- Monitors and drives the engagement with discipline and dedication.
With there help, we successfully won and got satisfied in adhering to the Home Office Sponsorship License Compliance and thus our sponsorship License got Reinstated.
Thanks Once Again…
Sreekar & Team of Gs***** Limited…..
We are extremely pleased with the level of support and advice given to us for a successful outcome whereby our sponsor licence was reinstated.
A sigh of relief after Tier 2 sponsor licence restored. The day our Tier 2 sponsor licence was revoked, we had a nightmare as to how we would keep up with our Non EU skilled staff within our business. We were very fortunate to have engaged A Y & J Solicitors as our lawyers to help us with the Tier 2 sponsor licence revocation. Initially, it appeared that the job would be impossible as the Home office had prepared very strong revocation letter but with A Y & J Solicitors expert help we have our Tier 2 sponsor licence back. Our NON-EU skilled work force have been saved. They know their job well and we would recommend them to all employers and businesses who require legal assistance in relation to their NON-EU skilled staff and Tier 2 matters.
Success Story on Sponsor Licence Suspension / Revocation
A Y & J Solicitors assists in the overturning of sponsor licence suspension
Company A with over 500 employees serving across the United Kingdom has received formal notification from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). It has informed that the company’s sponsorship licence is at risk of revocation. The company was established over 15 years ago and had hired five employees from Non-EEA nations under Tier 2 (General) Work…
Video on Sponsor Licence Suspension / Revocation
How to Deal with Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Suspension Revocation?
I want to share my experience these days with Tier 2 Sponsor Licence suspension and revocation.
We have lately helped more than 20 corporate companies to re-instate their Tier 2 Licence from suspension/revocation state.
What does this mean?
It means they retained their Tie 2 Sponsor Licence, and they kept their skilled, non-European workforce, allowing their business to continue to run smoothly.
Here’s what is happening:
The Home Office is now visiting many more companies and organisations to inspect whether these Sponsor Licence holders are complying with their Sponsor Licence duties.
They will visit your company, announced/unannounced, to conduct a compliance check.
The Home Office will check your record keeping policy, reporting policy and genuine vacancy, you have in place. If they find you are not compliant with your sponsorship duties, they have the right to either suspend your licence or revoke it if they feel it is justified.
In the case of suspension, The Home Office will give you 20 working days to respond. If you fail to address the issues raised in the suspension letter then, they can revoke your Sponsor Licence without any right of appeal. This means you lose the right to sponsor NON-EU skilled staff.
If your Tier 2 licence was to be revoked then the only course of action was to challenge the decision, via a Judicial Review proceeding, if any merit.
Let me share two case studies with you.
1st case study is about a leading IT consultancy firm who had their Tier 2 Licence suspended with allegations of poor record keeping, not having genuine vacancy and supplying labour.
In order to resolve this suspension, we provided unlimited legal support/advice and submitted the representation to the Home Office within the 20 working days deadline.
We had an outstanding result of all the hard work by getting our client’s Tier 2 licence re-instated.
Here is the copy of the positive decision. (watch the video).
A second case study was of a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence revocation.
A leading multinational IT company had their Tier 2 Licence revoked alleging noncompliance with their record keeping of recruitment process.
When Tier 2 licence gets revoked then Step 1 is to submit a letter before claim also known as pre-action protocol (PAP) letter. If letter before claim (i.e. PAP) was to fail, then the next step is to lodge an application for a permission for Judicial Review.
In our case, after we lodged an application for Judicial review for this client, The Home Office re-instated our client’s Tier 2 sponsor licence unconditionally and sent a consent order for our client to withdraw JR. The Home Office also paid our client reasonable cost.
Here is the copy of the positive decision. (watch the video).
We have great deal of experience resolving Tier 2 Sponsor Licence suspension and revocation matter.
If you are facing similar issue, please get in touch with us today. Our details are at the bottom of this video. We’re always happy to help.