Home Office issues important
update for sponsor licence

The Home Office has begun contacting sponsors this week to inform them about a change to the process for updating some sponsor licence details. The email outlines new functions that will enable sponsors to keep their sponsor licence details as up to date as possible without having to wait for the Home Office to approve requests.

In addition to immediate fulfilment of requests to update the details of your Authorising Officer (AO), Key Contact (KC), Level 1 Users and organisation details, from 23 March 2023, requests that you submit from the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) to replace your AO, replace your KC and add new Level 1 Users will be fulfilled immediately, subject to certain criteria being met.

In addition, if you hold a licence for an eligible route, your annual allocation for Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) will automatically renew, again subject to certain criteria being met.

Requests to replace AO and KC and add L1 User

These requests will be fulfilled immediately, providing you meet the following criteria:

  • Your sponsor licence is fully active
  • You are an A-rated sponsor
  • The postcode of the address stated for the new AO, KC or Level 1 User matches either the postcode of your main organisation address or that of your head office address – or, for KCs and Level 1 Users, the postcode of a legal representative organisation that you have told the Home Office is acting on your behalf.

If the above criteria are met, you’ll be able to see the details of the new AO or KC on the ‘Licence Summary’ screen in the SMS. The request statuses on the ‘Recent and Outstanding Change Requests’ screen will also show as ‘Accepted’. New Level 1 Users will receive their temporary password immediately and their account status on the ‘Manage Level 1 and 2 Users’ screen will show as ‘Active’.

If the above criteria are not met, your request will be submitted to the Home Office to be considered as usual.

Important Note: Sponsors should be aware that the Home Office will still conduct the necessary checks on your key personnel, even when a request has been immediately fulfilled.  You will be contacted if the Home Office has any concerns as a result of these checks so that you can nominate a different person.

You will still need to send the Home Office the submission sheet and any required supporting evidence when submitting a request to replace your AO. These can be sent digitally, rather than in hard copy form.

Automatic renewal of CoS allocations

If you are an A-rated sponsor licensed in one of the eligible routes listed below, you may have your annual allocation of CoS automatically renewed if:

  • Your current annual allocation status is ‘active’, and
  • It is due to expire more than 3 months after the date the Home Office contacts you.

If your annual allocation expires within 3 months of the date the Home Office contacts you or if your allocation status is ‘expired’, you will still need to apply to renew it and your following annual allocation will be automated.

Once your allocation is automated you will be granted the number of CoS you assigned from your previous annual allocation. For example, if you assigned 10 of 15 available CoS from your 2022/23 annual allocation, your new allocation will be automatically set at 10 for the 2023/24 allocation year. You can increase this allocation by submitting a ‘Request CoS allocation increase’ request.

The routes eligible for automatic renewal are:

  • Skilled Worker (undefined only)
  • GBM- Senior or Specialist Worker
  • GBM- Graduate Trainee
  • GBM- Service Supplier
  • GBM- Secondment Worker
  • Minister of Religion
  • International Sportsperson
  • Charity Worker
  • Creative Worker
  • Government Authorised Exchange
  • International Agreement
  • Religious Worker
  • Scale Up

The following routes are not eligible for automatic renewal:

  • GBM- UK Expansion
  • GBM- Service Supplier
  • GBM- Secondment Worker
  • Seasonal Worker
  • Student
  • Child Student

Where to get help

If you have any questions about the changes, the Home Office sponsor licencing team can be contacted on the following email addresses:

If you require support with the ongoing management of your sponsor licence, Smith Stone Walters can help. Our team of immigration experts can take on the day-to-day administration duties in relation to the sponsorship of migrant workers on your behalf, and ensure you remain compliant. To speak to a member of the team about your requirements, please contact us today.

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