Renewal of your Tier 2 Registered Sponsors Licence
The Home Office is reaching out to the Tier 2 Registered Sponsors, who have a licence coming up for renewal. It is urging them to apply for their renewal before the end of 2020 in order to avoid delays. The reason behind the early reminder is that the Home Office expects to receive a high volume of new Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Applications due to the change of Immigration Rules from 1 January 2021.
When should I renew my licence?
The Home Office requires sponsors to renew their licences every 4 years. Sponsors can view their licences’ expiry date in the sponsorship management system (SMS) accounts and must make sure licence renewal applications are submitted before the expiry date. Failure to renew a licence on time will cause sponsors to lose their right to act as licenced sponsor and all sponsored migrants’ visas to be curtailed.
Under normal circumstances, sponsors can renew their licences starting from 3 months before its expiry date and the earliest renewal date is available to view in the SMS accounts. However, now that the Home Office expects a surge in new applications from 1 January 2021, all licence holders whose licence is due for renewal before December 2020 are asked to apply as soon as possible. If you are not sure, check on your SMS account if your licence is up for renewal this year and submit a request for renewal as soon as possible.
Finally, such announcement should be a warning sign not only to those who already have a sponsor licence, but also to the companies who may not yet have a sponsor licence and require one soon. As explained in our previous article, don’t get caught out at the end of the processing queue in January 2021 and apply now!
How to renew a licence
Renewal of the licence requires the sponsor to submit a renewal application using their SMS account and pay an application fee online.
The Home Office may request additional documents from the sponsors when considering renewal applications. Sponsors will be contacted by the Home Office in such cases and must provide relevant documents within the time limit as set out by the Home Office. Please do check the Authorising Office Key Contacts inbox regularly after submission so that all correspondence is dealt with immediately. If any of the key people in your team have left, make sure to update the details for any of the existing key personnel.
Sometimes the Home Office may pay a visit to sponsor with or without notice. Sponsors need to ensure the contact details of the company such as business addresses and landlines are up to date in their SMS accounts. It is also important to check that the office details are correct if you moved your office location in the last few years.
Another critical step sponsors must take prior to submission is to be compliant and ready for a potential Home Office visit. Sponsors should check whether they have been complying with the Home Office’s requirements on record-keeping duties, reporting duties, complying with the law and ensuring job vacancies are genuine. All relevant documents must be in place before submission.
How do I know I am up to date and compliant?
Compliance is one of the most important requirements for licenced sponsors to meet in order to keep sponsoring migrant workers and keep their licences with A ratings. If you need help with checking whether your HR documents are up-to date and you have complied with all of the sponsor duties, it may be prudent to organise a mock compliance visit with one of our solicitors. We would be able to visit your office and review all the records as if we were the Home Office officials. We would then prepare a report with a detailed checklist of what needs to be done or corrected before a real compliance visit from the Home office. That way you are not caught out on the day and feel confident about your licence renewal.
How can we help
Our experts have assisted numerous organisations in applying for new licences as well as renewing their licences. If you need legal assistance with your application or wish to organise a mock compliance visit, please contact Taylor Hampton’s immigration solicitors today on 020 7427 5972 or submit an enquiry here.