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If UK Visas and Immigration considers that you are breaching your sponsorship duties and pose a threat to immigration control, you may be subject to a sponsor licence suspension while they make further enquiries.

Sponsor Licence Suspension

If your sponsor licence is suspended, you will not be able to sponsor new migrants and your business will be removed from the public register of sponsors for the suspension period. However, your current sponsored migrants will be unaffected.

Reasons for suspending a sponsor licence include, failing to keep appropriate records for sponsored migrants, unlawful salary variations or that an authorising officer is inappropriately qualified to assume his or her position.

You must continue to comply with all sponsor duties throughout the period of suspension. If your licence is due to expire during the period of suspension, you will still need to apply for a Sponsor Licence Renewal if you want to keep it.

Once UKVI has completed its enquiries, they may reinstate your licence, downgrade it or revoke it.

What else do I need to know about a Sponsor Licence Suspension?

If you have received notice that your sponsor licence has been suspended by UKVI, you will have 20 working days to seek a review of the decision. Your response must be made in writing and set out, with supporting evidence, which grounds you believe to be incorrect and why.

The Home Office will make a final decision based on your written response, so it is important that all mitigating arguments are clearly set out.

Once UKVI has completed its enquiries, they may reinstate your licence, downgrade it or revoke it.

How our immigration barristers can help

We understand that receiving a sponsor licence suspension decision can be disruptive, costly and distressing for both employers and sponsored workers.

Our immigration barristers work with sponsors to secure reinstatement of their sponsor licences following sponsor licence suspension decisions, ensuring that a robust case is presented to UKVI addressing any issues raised in suspension letters.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our business clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice directly to UK employers as part of a professional and friendly service.

We can also assist with

  • Sponsor Licence Applications

    If you are an employer seeking to employ an overseas national who is not a settled worker and who does not otherwise have immigration permission to work for you in the UK, you will need to submit a Sponsor Licence Application to UK Visas and Immigration.

    Whether you require advice on the correct company-related documentation to provide in support of a sponsor licence application or assistance with drafting a compelling business case that will satisfy UKVI that you need a sponsor licence in order to fill a genuine role, our immigration barristers can manage the sponsor licence application process on your behalf.

  • Sponsor Licence Renewals

    Your sponsor licence will expire 4 years after it was granted. If you wish to continue to sponsor migrants, you will need to apply for a Sponsor Licence Renewal before it expires. It is good practice to apply at least one month before your licence expires.

    You may be asked to send additional documents to UKVI. If you fail to send UKVI these documents, they may downgrade, suspend or revoke your licence. UKVI may also visit your business premises. If they have any concerns about your actions as a sponsor they may downgrade or revoke your licence. Our immigration barristers can work with you to ensure that you are able to successfully renew your sponsor licence.

  • Sponsor Licence Refusals

    There is no right of appeal against the refusal of an application for a sponsor licence.

    If the Sponsor Licence Refusal decision was the result of either a caseworker error or the result of supporting evidence sent as part of your application not being considered by UKVI then our immigration barristers can assist you to request that the error be corrected and, if appropriate, submit a new online sponsor licence application.

    If the decision to refuse your sponsor licence application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.

    We also assist employers to prepare fresh applications for sponsor licences following previous refusal decisions.

  • Sponsor Licence Revocations

    If UK Visas and Immigration believes that you are failing to meet your sponsor duties in a serious way or stop operating in the UK, you will be subject to a Sponsor Licence Revocation.

    If a decision has been taken to revoke a sponsor licence, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of applying for Judicial Review of the revocation decision and, where appropriate, provide representation in Judicial Review proceedings. We can also prepare fresh Sponsor Licence Applications following revocation.


To discuss your Sponsor Licence Suspension with one of our immigration barristers, contact our business immigration team on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form.

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