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Removal of Sponsor Licence Renewals

The Home Office has announced that there will be no requirement to renew any sponsor licences that are set to expire from 6 April 2024 onwards. Instead, these licences will automatically renew without any further input from the sponsors. After enduring the four-year renewal cycle of recent history, we can hear sponsors around the nation collectively exhaling in relief!

As part of the announcement, the Home Office confirmed that it has already extended the expiry date on all licences due to expire on or after 6 April 2024 by 10 years. For those proactive sponsors whose licences are set to expire on or after 6 April 2024 and have already applied to renew their sponsor licence, panic not as the Home Office will be in touch to arrange a refund for the renewal fee in due course.

Unfortunately for some, sponsors with a licence expiry date between now and 6 April 2024 will still be required to apply to renew their sponsor licence and pay a renewal fee as usual. Now would be a great time for sponsors to double check the validity dates on the sponsor licence.

Overall, this is good news for existing sponsors as it takes away the financial and administrative burden of renewing a sponsor licence every four years. It is expected that the removal of this requirement will free up resources within the Home Office, so we will hopefully see a more efficient sponsor licence system.

However, as painful as the renewal process proved to be for many sponsors, it was an ideal opportunity for the sponsor to review their practices, review their compliance with their sponsor duties and, of course, double check that the details in the certificate of sponsorship still married up with the details of the role undertaken by the relevant sponsored worker. Failure to comply with sponsor duties can be a cripplingly expensive and embarrassing mistake to make, so we would strongly recommend that sponsors ensure that a regular audit of their processes, sponsored workers and compliance with sponsor duties is scheduled, irrespective of the changes to the renewal process.

For further information and advice about issues relating to the above, please refer to our specialist immigration team. We can provide comprehensive advice and support with sponsor compliance duties, preparation for compliance visits and even work with you to resolve issues of non-compliance, licence suspension and revocation.