08 June 2018
A sponsor licence is valid for 4 years and Tier 2 sponsors must ensure that they submit a renewal application in good time to avoid losing the ability to sponsor workers. Whilst the application process is straightforward, there are some key steps an Authorising Officer must take before authorising a renewal.
Licence expiry date
The Licence Summary page on the Sponsorship Management System shows key information including:
Tier 2 sponsors can renew their licence up to 3 months in advance of the expiry date but UKVI will send a reminder 4 months in advance of the expiry. They will then continue to send reminders but ultimately it is the sponsors responsibility to renew before the licence expires.
Authorising Officers must ensure they have reviewed the current Tier 2 sponsor guidance and the sponsor continues to have adequate HR systems and procedures in place to ensure sponsor duties can be fulfilled. Sponsors may wish to carry out an internal audit of sponsored workers files to ensure they contain the requisite documentation and any reporting requirements have been met.
Before applying for the renewal, Authorising Officers should check the licence summary page on the SMS to ensure all details are up to date, check the sponsors address is current and details of key personnel (Authorising Officer, Key Contact and Level 1/2 users) are up to date.
The Authorising Officer will then need to authorise a Level 1 user to submit a request on the SMS to renew the licence and pay the appropriate fee. The fee depends on the size of the sponsor, whether they are small or hold charitable status or whether they are medium/large. Renewal fees can be found on the government’s website.
Once the application has been submitted, the level 1 user should print and save the submission sheet for the sponsors records.
Compliance visits during renewal process
When an application is received by UKVI, they will temporarily extend the expiry date of the licence and make any checks before they make a decision.
On some occasions, compliance officers may visit a sponsor and interview sponsored workers to ensure that the sponsor is complying with their duties. Sponsors should therefore always prepare for a visit before they submit a renewal application.