On 24 January 2024, the Home Office notified all UK sponsor licence holders via their sponsor management system (SMS) that they will no longer need to renew their licence where it is expiring on or after 6 April 2024.
To facilitate this change, the Home Office has extended the expiry dates of all licences due to expire on or after 6th April 2024 by 10 years. Sponsors are not required to take any action in this regard. If sponsors have received a notification to renew their licence, but the expiry date is on or after 6th April 2024, they can disregard the renewal request.
For licences set to expire before 6th April 2024, the usual renewal process must be followed if sponsors wish to maintain their licensed status beyond this date. However, subsequent renewals will not be necessary.
Sponsors can check their licence expiry date by using the Licence Summary function in the SMS.
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This development is positive news for sponsors, alleviating the financial and administrative burdens associated with licence renewals. However, sponsors should not interpret this as a relaxation of their obligations. The Home Office has increased compliance visits, leading to a surge in sponsor licence suspensions and revocations. Therefore, it is crucial for organisations to ensure compliance with their obligations. Key considerations include (but are not limited to):
- Keeping all sponsor licence details up to date, including key personnel, office locations, and linked entities;
- Ensuring HR systems align with Home Office standards and establishing processes for effective sponsorship reporting within the designated timeframes;
- Adhering to record-keeping duties, an awareness of preventing illegal working, and conducting compliant right-to-work checks.
If you would like to discuss this change or talk to us about sponsor licence compliance more generally, please get in touch with our Immigration Team here.
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