UNITED KINGDOM – Removal of Sponsor License Renewal Requirements

February 16, 2024

By: Soo Gurtcheff-Smit

The UK Home Office has announced that, effective April 6, 2024, they will no longer require UK employers to renew their sponsor license. As such, sponsors with licenses due to expire on or after April 6 of this year will not need to submit a renewal application or pay a renewal fee. Furthermore, in anticipation of these changes, the authorities have also automatically extended the validity of all licenses expiring after April 6, 2024, for 10 years (previously the validity period was limited to four years).

Employers with sponsor licenses that expire before April 6, 2024 will still be required to undergo the current license renewal process.

Why the change?

Two factors went into this decision from the UK authorities:

  • Significant increase in employers applying for new sponsor licenses; and
  • Administrative and budgetary burdens for employers to undertake the renewal process.

As such, in order to reduce the burdens on both sponsor license holders and the Home Office, qualifying sponsor licenses will automatically be renewed for 10 years, and renewal fees will be waived.

What do companies need to do?

Employers can be broken down into the following three categories, each with its own set of related actions:

Current Sponsor with License Expiring before 6 April 2024

These companies will need to renew their Sponsor License using current protocols and pay the renewal fee.

Current Sponsor with License Expiring on or after 6 April 2024

These companies will automatically receive a 10-year extension on their sponsor license and will not be required to pay a renewal fee.

  • Companies in this category who have already received a notification to renew their license can now disregard this request.
  • Companies in this category who have already submitted their sponsor license renewal application and paid the renewal fee will still receive the automatic 10-year extension and their renewal fee will be refunded.

Company without Sponsor License, regardless of date of filing

These companies will need to complete the initial sponsor license application process and pay the related application fees.

Newland Chase Insights

Newland Chase welcomes this announcement from the Home Office as it provides eligible sponsors with time-, administrative-, and cost-savings.

Employers are encouraged to check the status and expiration date of their current sponsor license via the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) under the ‘License Summary’ page to determine if they qualify for the automatic extension.

It is important to note that current sponsor license holders must continue to fulfil the qualifying criteria, requirements, and sponsor duties to maintain their license status. As part of their current efforts to enforce sponsor compliance, it is anticipated that the Home Office will continue to perform regular audits and checks to ensure sponsors uphold their duties.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Newland Chase dedicated contact or submit an inquiry here should you have any specific questions regarding this announcement.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Case for any case- or company-specific assessments.