From 6 April 2024, the Home Office will remove the requirement for businesses to renew their sponsor licences. If your business holds a sponsor licence which was due to expire on or after this date, you will no longer need to apply to renew your licence or pay a renewal fee. Your licence end date should automatically have been extended on your Sponsor Management System.
If your sponsor licence is due to expire before 6 April 2024, you will need to apply to renew it and pay a renewal fee before the expiry date as normal. However, you will not need to apply to renew the licence again in the future.
This is good news for sponsors as it removes the cost and administration of applying to renew the sponsor licence every four years. However, the renewal process was a good opportunity for sponsors to ensure that any previously missed items required under the reporting and recording duties were resolved. This may have included notifying the Home Office about any changes to the circumstances of a sponsored worker, as well as changes to the organisation (e.g. a change of office location). Businesses who previously used the renewal period as an opportunity for an immigration compliance audit should therefore ensure that their processes are robust and routinely checked.
As the Home Office will no longer be attending to sponsor licence renewals, it is expected that additional emphasis may be placed on sponsor licence compliance, particularly in respect of reporting and recording duties. The Home Office is committed to ensuring immigration compliance, and may still suspend or revoke licences where compliance failures have occurred. It is possible that compliance checks will become a more frequent occurrence to ensure inattentive sponsors, who otherwise would simply have seen their licences lapse, do not continue to hold sponsor licences.
Sponsors should continue to ensure that up-to-date records are maintained, reporting processes are well-established and the sponsor duties are complied with.
If you want to discuss your obligations as a sponsor or wish to discuss any workplace training on the requirements, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org