Sponsor Licence Renewal
The new Points Based System rules which came in to force on 1st December 2020 have brought about a new Skilled worker system. If you held a Licence before this date the relevant amendments have been made automatically to allow you to continue to operate and renew your licence as you have done in the past.
Your Points Based System Licence is valid for a period of 4 years after which time you will be required to apply to renew your Licence for a further term if you continue to employ a migrant workforce or if you intend to employ overseas nationals in the future, an early renewal application will ensure continuity of Sponsorship for your current migrant workers. You will usually receive a reminder to renew your PBS Licence from UKVI 3 months prior to the licence expiry date.
Sponsor Licence Renewal Process
You will be emailed by the Home Office 3 months prior to the expiry of the licence reminding them to renew the licence.
You will need to reassure yourself that you have remained compliant with your duties as a Sponsor as well as continuing to have the resources in place to sponsor your skilled worker workforce. Even if you do not intend to sponsor any further Migrants under you must keep your licence live for those who are currently sponsored.
Once your application has been submitted via the sponsor management system, depending on the size of the company you will be required to pay the appropriate processing fee. If your company has grown considerably over the last four years, you may want to check which fee you should now be paying.
While the application for renewal is being considered your licence a Compliance Officer may visit your premises in order to satisfy themselves that you continue to meet their compliance duties. It is not always necessary for them to visit, however if they find through their initial checks that you are not compliant they may want to visit you to find out why.
Your licence start and end date, and the date you can make an application to renew your licence, can be viewed using the ‘Licence summary’ function in sponsor management system (SMS) account. Your licence end date is the last date you can make an application to renew your licence. If you do not make your renewal application by this date, your licence will expire the following day. If we grant your application to renew your licence, your end date and future renewal date will be updated. If you have been granted a licence and later applied for an extra category or subcategory, the expiry date of the original licence will apply to all extra tiers, categories or subcategories which you added.
If you have any sponsored migrants working for you, you must renew your licence before it expires if you want them to continue working for you, even if you do not plan to sponsor any new migrants.
You must review the current version of the sponsor guidance to ensure that you are aware of any changes that affect you, for example, you must have an employee who is a level 1 user, in order to ensure that you will be able to fulfil your sponsor duties. You must ensure that you are compliant with any requirements that have been introduced since your first licence approval.
This guidance explains that there are different fees for small and large companies. Understanding the difference is important because if you pay the wrong fee, your application to renew your licence may be rejected. If your application is accepted, the Home Office could temporarily extend the expiry date of your licence to allow time to conduct any checks the Home Office decide necessary before deciding your application.
Request for Documents
During the renewal process, the Home Office may request any documents listed in Appendix A of the guidance for sponsors as mandatory documents for anyone applying for a new sponsor licence. The Home Office may also ask for other information or documents not listed in Appendix A. Any requested information or documents must be submitted within 5 working days.
What happens if I don't renew my Licence in time?
If you do not apply to renew your licence and it expires, you will no longer be a licensed sponsor from the date that it expired. This means that:
- You will not be able to access your SMS account
- You cannot assign any more certificates of sponsorship (CoS)
- The Home Office will shorten the Tiers 2 or 5 leave, or worker authorisation of any migrants you are sponsoring to 60 calendar days
- Your details will be removed from the ‘Register of licensed sponsors: workers’ on GOV.UK
How we can help
Modern businesses have various operational changes during their lifespan, including turn over of key staff members. When renewing a licence it is vital that it is up to date and compliant with the Home office reposting duties. We can help and support this process by unpicking a whole host of anomalies while simultaneously ‘future proofing’ your business trends and Human Resource processes.
Exploring your options
- We provide a ‘Future Proof’ virtual meeting to establish the overall intent of the company. In most cases the company size may have changed during the life of the licence, which means it may have to meet other requirements to renew the licence.
- Other requirements may have to be met if the business structure changes or if there are any changes to ownership, shareholdings and trading names.
Educating you on the steps
- Advise on Immigration rule changes and new compliance requirements pertinent to the operations of the business.
- Advise on any rules that the company may be in breach due to changes of ownership, shareholding and trading names.
- Advise on changes to be made to the licence as a result of business growth
- Make recommendations to the company for their on-going personnel and compliance records
Preparing your case
- We provide you with a tailored list of specific documentation and advise on how it should be presented to the UKVI.
- Draft your online sponsor licence application renewal
- Update the Licence with any changes of circumstance to the business
Supporting you on the way
- Brief the Key Personnel on their on-going compliance duties and responsibilities
- Provide on-going support until the licence renewal has been formally undertaken
- On hand to advise during an ‘on the spot’ UKVI licence audit.
Find out how we can help you.
If you have recently inherited responsibility of the company skilled worker licence or have been appointed Authorising Officer you may need assistance getting up to speed.
Frequently asked questions
The Sponsor Licence fee for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence application renewal is; SME’s the Licence fee is £536 (not subject to VAT) and for a Medium or Large organisation is £1,476. If you have a micro company or charitable status, please expect the fee to be £536 (not subject to VAT).
If the sponsor licence has expired and you failed to renew it in time the migrants who are sponsored will be working for you illegally. If this is the case you must seek advice immediately in order to start the process of regularising the situation.
When the person in your firm, who is responsible for the Sponsor Licence, is leaving it is important that they appoint a successor who is eligible to take on the additional role, and provide a full and thorough handover. If you are in any doubt of your responsibilities or you are having difficulty unpicking things, please call us, we will be able to put things in context for you.