Important change to the
sponsor licence renewal
26 January 2024
The Home Office has announced that from 6 April 2024, they will remove the requirement for sponsors to renew their sponsor licence.
This means that if your sponsor licence is due to expire on or after this date, you will no longer need to apply to renew your licence or pay a renewal fee.
To prepare for the change, the Home Office has extended the expiry date on all licences due to expire on or after 6 April 2024 by 10 years. You do not need to take any action.
If you have already received a notification to renew your licence, you can ignore it.
If you have already made an application to renew your sponsor licence, the Home Office will contact you and arrange to refund your renewal fee.
To view your sponsor licence expiry date, select the ‘Licence Summary’ function in the online Sponsorship Management System (SMS).
Impact on employers
This will be welcomed news for existing sponsors as it removes the cost and administrative burden associated with applying to renew a sponsor licence every four years, as was previously required.
Previously, sponsors were required to submit an application to renew their licence from 90 days before the expiry date. The Home Office charged a renewal fee at the same rate as the initial sponsor licence application fee. For medium and large sponsors the renewal fee was £1,476, whilst small or charitable sponsors were charged £536 for each renewal application.
Sponsors would usually need to wait up to 8 weeks to receive a decision from the Home Office on their renewal application.
With the number of licensed sponsors in the UK continuing to grow year on year, it is likely that the cost and time required from the Home Office to process renewal applications was increasing, and so removal of this requirement should free up more of the department’s resources to focus on other priorities, such as sponsor compliance and digitalisation of the UK’s immigration system.
Despite the renewal requirement being removed, sponsor compliance remains high on the Home Office’s list of priorities and employers should be prepared.
To find out how Smith Stone Walters can help your business maintain compliance with the sponsorship and immigration rules, please contact us today.