Employer Sponsor Licence Renewal Process

Employer Sponsor Licence Renewal Process

Employer Sponsor Licence Renewal Process

The renewal process is relatively straight forward.  However you will need to reassure yourself that you have remained compliant with your duties as a Sponsor. Additionally, you must continue to have the resources in place to sponsor your Tier 2 workforce.

At least three months prior to the expiry date of your Licence the Home Office will send your Key Contact an email reminder to renew your licence. The Tier 2 Employer Sponsor Licence renewal processing timeline is not automatic. Your Licence must be up to date and accurate before you submit the renewal request.

During the consideration of your renewal application the Home Office may ask for other information or documents not listed on the website.  Any requested information or documents must be submitted within 5 working days.

While the application for renewal is being considered your Licence will be temporarily extended in order to allow time for the Compliance Officer to visit your premises. In order to approve your licence they must satisfy themselves that you continue to meet their compliance and reporting 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.

During the consideration of your renewal application the Home Office may ask for other information or documents not listed on the website.  Any requested information or documents must be submitted within 5 working days.

Even if you do not intend to sponsor any more Migrants under Tier 2. You must keep your licence live for those who are currently under Tier 2 Sponsorship. Once you application has been submitted you will be required to pay the 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.


If the Home Office is satisfied you are compliant, it is likely they will renew your licence and give you an A-rated Sponsorship status. However if they find that you need to improve they may downgrade you to a B-rating. The B-Rating will remain until such times as you put the practices in place for them to reward you with an A-Rating.


22.1 If you have been granted a licence and later applied for an extra tier, category or subcategory, the expiry date of the original licence will apply to all extra tiers, categories or subcategories which you added.


What happens if my Tier 2 Employer Sponsor Licence has expired?

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 and your Tier 2 Migrant workforce may be in breach of the rules.

Which 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 your Tier 2 Migrants leave, or worker authorisation of any migrants you are sponsoring to 60 calendar days, this is  known as curtailment of leave.
  • Your details will be removed from the ‘Register of licensed sponsors: workers’ on GOV.UK.

To protect your existing Tier 2 sponsored migrants  you must renew your licence at least 30 days before it expires, even if you do not plan to sponsor any new migrants. This will allow time for you to collate all the relevant documentation and update the sponsor management system with any changes to migrant circumstances and company changes.

If your licence has expired you will not be able to make another application to renew your licence. You may have to start the process of applying for an initial licence again which can set you back months.

If you find yourself unknowingly in this situation, you may want to speak to our Business Immigration experts.

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