Do you need to renew your
Tier 2 sponsor licence?
7 May 2020
Any UK based organisation wishing to employ non-EEA workers under a Tier 2 skilled worker visa must obtain a valid Tier 2 sponsor licence from the Home Office.
It is important to bear in mind however, that after being successfully granted a sponsor licence, your obligations do not end there. Under the current system Tier 2 sponsor licences are valid for a four-year period, after which companies must apply for a licence renewal.
Failure to renew your sponsor licence before its expiry date will result in termination of your licence and you will no longer be able to sponsor migrant workers. Even if you have no plans to sponsor any new migrants, you must renew your licence for any sponsored migrants currently working for you.
When should you apply to renew your licence?
As an employer, it is your responsibility to renew your licence and submit your application in good time. The Home Office will notify sponsors 120 calendar days before their licence expires, and you will be able to make your renewal application from 90 days before the expiry date.
Smith Stone Walters recommends renewing your licence early, or at least one month before it expires. Submitting your application in good time will give you the opportunity to apply again if your application is rejected.
How does the renewal process work?
You can apply to renew your licence using your sponsorship management system (SMS) account. The process involves:
- Submitting your request – A renewal request must be submitted in your SMS by a Level 1 user – a person in your organisation appointed to oversee all day-to-day management of your licence using the SMS.
- Paying a fee – The Level 1 user will be asked to make an online payment to cover the renewal fee. Renewal fees will vary depending on the size of your organisation, but will be the same as they would be if you were applying for a licence for the first time. More information on licence fees can be found here.
- Sending supporting documentation – Further checks may be made after you have submitted your renewal application. At this stage, you may be required to send some documents to support your application. Any requested documents must be sent within five working days.
- A Home Office visit – Representatives from the Home Office may visit you when you apply to renew your licence, to carry out an audit and ensure you are complying with your sponsor duties.
Although there is no limit on the amount of times a company can apply to renew a licence after its four-year validity period, employers should aim to secure their renewal first time to avoid complications in lawfully retaining their migrant workers.
When it comes to renewing your Tier 2 sponsor licence, taking the time to familiarise yourself with the renewal process is key to fulfilling your legal obligations and avoiding costly disruptions to your business.
If you require assistance with renewing your Tier 2 sponsor licence, Smith Stone Walters is here to help. Our team of advisers are experienced in guiding organisations through the renewal process and our comprehensive service will provide you with peace of mind in knowing your business is fully compliant with the law. To discuss your requirements, please contact a member of our team today.