Sponsor licence renewal is a familiar process for businesses that employ overseas workers. However, the process is set to change. From April 6th 2024, businesses won’t need to reapply to the Home Office to renew their sponsorship licence.
Naturally, this is a highly beneficial change for UK businesses. It removes some of the financial red tape that can prevent companies from sponsoring foreign talent. In this post, we’ll explain the changes – and whether they apply to your sponsor licence renewal.
What are the sponsor licence renewal changes?
The change to sponsor licence renewal is very simple. Businesses will no longer be required to renew their licence every four years. This essentially amounts to scrapping the renewal process, along with its fee.
Instead, sponsor licences that are due to expire on or after April 6th 2024 will be automatically renewed for a period of ten years.
With this automatic renewal in place, businesses won’t have to worry about the associated costs, delays and admin tasks. Those costs are not insignificant, either. Sponsor licence renewal fees were £536 for small businesses and charitable organisations, whilst medium to large companies were required to pay up to £1,476. That money will now stay with businesses, allowing them to invest in other areas.
What should I do if my licence expires before April 6th 2024?
Unfortunately, if your licence is due to expire before April 6th 2024, you will need to go through the sponsor licence renewal process. That includes paying the full renewal fee. However, you won’t need to renew again after this.
It’s essential for businesses to renew, as the consequences of a lapsed licence could be catastrophic. Your company would need to apply for a new licence and, similar to the sponsor licence cooling-off period, you would not be able to continue sponsoring your current employees. This could lead to the removal of their visas, and place you in breach of right-to-work regulations.
Unsure if your renewal will be covered by the changes? As we’ve explored, allowing your licence to lapse could be disastrous. That’s especially true if your business relies on overseas talent. Seeking legal advice from professional immigration solicitors can put your mind at rest and ensure your sponsorships are protected for years to come.
What should I do if my licence expires on or after April 6th 2024?
Meanwhile, if your licence is due to expire on or after April 6th 2024, you won’t have to do anything. So, there’s no need to renew or pay the sponsor licence renewal fee.
The process is entirely automatic, so you won’t need to contact the Home Office for the changes to apply to your business. All sponsor licences that will expire on or after April 6th have now been extended for another 10 years. You can ignore any previously received notifications requesting your sponsor licence renewal.
Already applied for a renewal? Don’t worry – you will be contacted by the Home Office to arrange a refund of your renewal fee.
How can I find my sponsor licence expiry date?
If you’re worried about whether your renewal is due before or after the changes come into effect, there are some simple steps you can take to find out.
First, you’ll need to look at your sponsor licence expiry date. You’ll find this in the Home Office’s online sponsorship portal, the Sponsorship Management System (SMS). Once you’re logged into the system, view the Licence Summary screen. Here you can access your licence expiry date.
Even if your expiry date falls after the changes are implemented, you may still have unanswered questions. In that case, it’s always best to ask the experts. Experienced immigration solicitors will be able to explain the ins and outs of the process, as well as providing legal guidance should you need to reapply for the last time. Obtaining legal advice keeps you in the know – and ensures your valued overseas workers can continue to flourish in your team.
Sponsor licence renewal guidance with experienced solicitors
Navigating your company’s sponsor licence can be frustrating. If your licence expires before April 6th and you’re in need of guidance, then Osbourne Pinner Solicitors is here to help. Our experienced immigration solicitors can advise and support you through the process, from assisting with applications to managing sponsor licence compliance visits.
It’s important to note that this blog post is for informational purposes only. In addition, policies and fees can change. Getting expert support and guidance is highly advised.
If you’re ready to start, get in touch with our professional, experienced team today. You can contact us through our quick online form below. Alternatively, you can call us on 0203 983 5080 and email via [email protected].