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Sponsor Licence Renewals Abolished from April 2024

At present, Sponsor Licences are valid for four years. If licence holders wish to keep their licence beyond the four years, they must make a paid renewal application. Renewal applications can be made within 90 days of the date of the licence’s expiry and applications will cost the same as an initial application (£536 for small / charitable sponsors and £1,476 for large sponsors). 

As there is an expiry date, it is essential that licence holders ensure that they take note of the licence expiry date. A failure to renew the licence in time will result in the licence lapsing and any sponsored workers’ permission being cancelled, which could be catastrophic to business operations and to the migrants on a personal level. 

Licence expiry dates can be seen on the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), on the licence summary page. 

Sponsor Licence Renewal: What Is Changing?

The Home Office has recently announced that from 06 April 2024, the requirement to renew Sponsor Licences will be removed. Helpfully, this is being applied to all sponsor licences that are due to expire on or after 06 April 2024, and not only to new licences obtained after this date.  If your licence is due to expire on or after 06 April 2024, then you will no longer have to make a renewal application or pay the renewal fee, as the licence expiry date will automatically be extended to expire in 10 years’ time. No action is required by the Sponsor to do this.

Considerations for Employers

This is a welcome change as it will avoid licence holders inadvertently letting their licence lapse, if they failed to make their renewal application in time. It is also a welcome change as sponsor licence holders will no longer have to pay to keep their licence. 

Sponsors should, however, be aware that the Home Office is continuing to conduct compliance audits on an announced and unannounced basis. Sponsors should therefore continue to ensure that their record keeping and HR systems are up to date to ensure that they are complying with the licence duties, in case of an audit. 

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For expert advice and assistance in relation to managing a sponsor licence, including mock compliance audits, please contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via the enquiry form below.


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