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Reasons why Sponsor Licence applications are rejected

A Sponsor licence may be necessary if an employer is looking to recruit a non-EEA migrant who would normally require a visa live and work in the UK.

In order to be able to apply for a sponsor licence, certain key prerequisites apply: -

  1. A genuine company
  2. Registered and actively trading in the UK.
  3. No threat to immigration control
  4. Persons to fulfil immigration related roles.
  5. Immigration compliant HR systems

Click this link to find out more about the requirements for a sponsor licence application.

It is important to note that the applying company need not be making profits in order to apply for a sponsor licence. However the applicant will still need to submit evidence that the company is actively trading in the UK. One of the acceptable documents here are company bank statements.

To that extent, it may reasonable to expect that if a company is looking to recruit someone and pay a certain amount of money, the company's financial structure must show that the business is able to do so.

In addition the evidence of a genuine business and actively trading in the UK, the Home Office must be satisfied that the key Personnel named on the sponsor licence application honest dependable reliable. Key Personnel here refers to the following persons:

  • An authorised officer
  • Key contact
  • Level 1 user

An authorised officer will normally be a staff member of the organisation. The authorised officer's key responsibility is to act on behalf of the organisation with regards to the sponsor licence as well authorising other compliance officers to act on behalf of the company. An authorising officer may act as both a key contact and a Level 1 user.

Key Contact - The key contact is assigned by the authorised user to act on behalf of the company as the main point of contact between the Home Office and the organisation.

Level 1 user - This individual is the person who undertakes the day to day administration of the entire sponsorship management system.

Furthermore, the Home Office must also be satisfied that the company requesting the sponsor licence is not only aware but is also capable of carrying out their sponsorship duties.

The Home Office must also be satisfied that the position on offer is a 'genuine vacancy'. This means that the position on offer must not be simply made up just to sponsor the migrant.

Reasons for Sponsor Licence Application Refusals

Failed UKVI compliance audit:- Here the UKVI will check the HR systems in place; they will be looking at recruitment and placement processes, human resource management systems to ensure that they comply with the UKVI standards. The systems in place should be able to answer the following questions: -

  • If a migrant does not come to work does the system show that how will you know?
  • A migrant changes his address is there any prompt for you to know?

Please note that the human resource systems need not be sophisticated, simple enough to tell the business the status of the migrants as well as when the migrants' circumstance changes.

Failure to retain the required documentation: - Businesses are required to keep up to date proof of ID as well as rights to work documentation. The company must ensure that there are systems in place to remind the HR to request for a new copy of the document before the expiration of the current documents.

Failure to information the Home Office of significant changes:- The business is obligated to inform the Home Office of significant changes to both the applicant's circumstance and the business'. For instance, if a Tier 2 migrant is made redundant, the company must inform the Home Office. Also if the migrant leaves the company or stops coming to work, the company must also inform the Home Office.

Failing the Genuine vacancy test - As mentioned earlier, the Home Office must be satisfied that the role the migrant is to be sponsored for is a genuine one and not one created just to sponsor the migrant.

Failing to respond in a timely manner to the Home Office's enquiries: - Businesses may loose their ratings or even have their licence(s) revoked for failing to respond to the Home Office in a timely manner.

How we can help

If your Tier 2 sponsorship licence has been revoked or downgraded, we can assist you with a reapplication whilst addressing the reasons for your revocation or downgrade. If instructed, we can also effectively act as your Level 1 user to ensure that we bridge the gap between your company and the Home Office.

Reiss Edwards is an immigration law firm based in London and we deal with all matters relating to business and personal immigration. If you need help with making a sponsor licence application, please contact us today on 02037442797 or send us an email on

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