What Happens When Your Tier 2 Sponsor License Is Suspended?
The revocation of a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is the worst potential outcome of any investigation held by the Home Office. It effectively concludes your business has not been living up to its responsibilities as a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder and has committed an offence. In this situation, you may be wondering what your next move should be. Well, in this article we are going to look at some of the reasons Tier 2 Sponsor Licenses are revoked, the implications of a loss of licence and what you can do in this position.
Why Is My Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Being Revoked?
There are various reasons for Sponsor Licences to be revoked. Below we have listed a few of the more common reasons:
- The Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder knowingly provided false information on their application
- The Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder is currently B-rated (already under special procedures due to a previous issue) and has not sufficiently met the requirements of their action plan in the time given
- The Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder employs a migrant in a job inappropriate for a Tier 2 General Visa (inappropriate level or pay grade)
While these are three of the most common reasons, they are not the only ones which could result in your license being revoked. In the vast majority of circumstances, the Home Office will choose to suspend a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence so they can investigate any potential infractions. At the end of this investigation process, you will receive either a reinstatement, a downgrade to a B-rating (you will not be allowed to hire more Tier 2 General Visa staff until you regain an A-rated) or your licence may be revoked altogether. This process can take a significant period of time and there may be temporary effects on your staff.
I Want To Appeal, How Long Will It Take To Receive A Response?
One of the worst aspects of the process of revocation of a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is there being no automatic right to appeal the Home office's decision. What this means in practical terms is the only way to try and get any meaningful route to reconsideration is by applying for a judicial review.
Another option available is to wait and reapply for a new license. There is a mandatory 12-month cooling-off period that comes with revocation, which means you will not be able to operate as a Tier 2 Sponsor during this period. Once 12 months is up, you are free to apply for a new one. Though you will be able to reapply, you will need to let the Home Office know your previous licence was revoked. This, as you can understand, could cause you significant issues getting a new one.
What Will Happen To My Staff If I Lose My Tier 2 Sponsor Licence?
If your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is revoked, your employees' Tier 2 General Visas will be curtailed. This curtailment means they will either have to leave the country within 60 days or find a job with a new Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. For many businesses, this is one of the worst aspects of the revocation of their license. If, however, you license is only suspended, your current employees will be able to remain with you, but you will not be able to employ any further staff until your A-rated has been restored.
During your contact with the Home Office, they will inform you of the steps you need to take to restore your A-rating (if your licence has been suspended). Should you follow this guidance within the specified time limit, you should have your status reinstated. If, however, your licence has been revoked, you will not have this option.
What Are My Next Steps?
Your next steps entirely depend upon your specific situation. If your license has been revoked, you will need to seek a way to continue to operate your business without your Tier 2 General Visa employees (if you opt not to apply for a judicial review). Often, unless there are extenuating circumstances, overturning a revoked Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is very, very difficult. You may be better off opting to find new domestic-based staff and trying to continue to operate.
If your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence has been suspended, you will be given guidance on how to get your licence back (if the Home Office give you this option). During this period, you will not be able to hire more sponsored staff.
Where Can I Get Further Advice?
If you are concerned about the future of your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence then please get in touch. Our expert lawyers can help you to take a positive next step no matter what the circumstances. So, make sure you get in touch today and our expert team will be more than happy to help you with your queries.