Sponsor Licence Refusals: Available Options
After the Home Office has made a determination on your sponsor licence application, you will receive written communication notifying you of the approval or refusal of your application. It is important to note that there is no right of appeal specifically for the refusal of a sponsor licence application. However, there are alternative avenues to explore in order to challenge sponsor licence refusals.
Challenging Sponsor Licence Refusals:
In the event of a sponsor licence refusal, there are several options available for challenging the decision
1. Caseworker Error or Overlooked Evidence: If the refusal resulted from a caseworker error or if supporting evidence included in your application was not considered by UKVI, you can request that the error be rectified. In such cases, it may be appropriate to submit a new online sponsor licence application.
2. Judicial Review: If you believe that the refusal decision was unlawful, unreasonable, or procedurally improper, you have the option to apply for a judicial review. This process involves seeking a legal review of the decision by a higher court.
3. Fresh Sponsor Licence Application: Another possibility is to re-apply for a new sponsor licence by submitting a fresh application. This approach allows you to address any shortcomings or issues that may have led to the initial refusal.
Immediate Re-application: If the Home Office refused your sponsor licence application due to failure to provide requested documents or information by a deadline, for reasons beyond your control, or because a representative submitted the online application, you have the option to re-apply immediately.
It is important to seek legal advice from an immigration professional to determine the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case.
Waiting Period for Re-applying for a Sponsor Licence:
If your sponsor licence application has been refused for any of the following reasons, you will need to wait for a period of 6 months before re-applying:
1. Submission of false documents or acting in bad faith.
2. Insufficient processes to comply with sponsor duties.
3. Unspent criminal conviction.
4. Legal prohibition from becoming a company director.
5. Lack of trading presence in the UK.
6. Failure to meet the criteria to be a sponsor under the applied category.
If you have received a Civil Penalty, you should not re-apply for a period of 12 months from the date on which the penalty became payable. In certain cases, a waiting period of five years may be necessary before re-application is permitted.
Important Considerations Regarding Sponsor Licence Refusals:
There are several key points to keep in mind regarding sponsor licence refusals:
1. Correction of Caseworker Errors: If you believe there was a caseworker error in the refusal decision, you must send a request for correction to the Home Office within 14 calendar days from the date of the refusal.
2. Additional Evidence: The Home Office will not consider any additional evidence that was not available at the time of the original sponsor licence application.
3. Judicial Review Application: If you choose to apply for a judicial review, it must be done promptly within 3 months of the refusal decision. Prior to this, you will need to send a Pre-Action Protocol letter to the Home Office, informing them of your intention to pursue a judicial review and giving them an opportunity to reconsider their decision.
4. Fresh Sponsor Licence Application: If you decide to submit a fresh sponsor licence application, it is crucial to address the reasons for the earlier refusal within the new application.
5. Compliance Officer Visit: When re-applying for a sponsor licence, it is likely that you will receive a visit from a UKVI compliance officer. During this visit, relevant checks will be conducted to ensure that you have implemented the necessary systems and procedures to fulfill your sponsorship obligations.
These considerations should guide your actions and decision-making when faced with a sponsor licence refusal, and it is advisable to seek professional advice from an immigration expert to navigate the process effectively.
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We recognise the significant impact that a sponsor licence refusal can have on your business, especially if your reliance on skilled migrant workers is crucial.
Our team of immigration lawyers specialises in successfully challenging sponsor licence refusals. We have extensive experience in helping employers identify and rectify caseworker errors in refusal decisions. Furthermore, we are well-versed in initiating judicial review proceedings to challenge sponsor licence refusal decisions when necessary. Additionally, we provide guidance and support to employers in preparing fresh applications for sponsor licences following previous refusal decisions.
We take pride in our approachability and proactivity when it comes to understanding and fulfilling the needs of our business clients. Our dedicated team is highly motivated and committed to delivering clear and reliable immigration advice directly to UK employers. We offer a professional and friendly service that you can rely on to navigate the complexities of sponsor licence challenges.