What is a Sponsor Licence?
Companies wishing to employ migrant workers in the UK must have a Sponsor Licence. Essentialy, licence means a permit issued by the Home Office.
Once the licence application is granted a company receives an approval letter and details on how to access Sponsorship Management System by email.
Sponsor licence is granted for 4 years and can be renewed prior to it’s’ expiration. The Home Office will sent several reminders about renewal to your employer by email: 120 days, 60 days, 30 days and 14 days prior to licence expiration.
How can you become aware that the Licence has expired?
Sometimes Home Office reminders do not reach an employer due to the change of an email address by the latter and therefore, sponsor licence becomes expired.
You can check whether the name of company sponsoring you is listed in the register of licensed sponsors. If it’s there it means that your employer’s licence is still valid.
Sometimes the fact the licence has expired becomes apparent when migrant workers are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. When they enter Sponsor Licence number in the application form, the system doesn’t recognise the sponsor and states that the number is invalid.
It would be wise to ask your company about the expiry date of their licence, make a note of it and remind them directly when the end date is approaching as consequences of licence expiration are quite heavy for employees and not just for employers.
Consequences for migrant employees
Once the licence is expired, the Home Office might shorten the permission of any migrant workers to 60 calendar days if their visa doesn’t expire before then. The notice cancelling permission will be sent to you either by post or email. Therefore, you need to make sure that the Home Office always has your correct address, you can update it here: https://visa-address-update.service.gov.uk/
If you haven’t received a cancellation notice from the Home Office, the best way to find out your status would be to check your right to work online: https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-work. The system will show the date until you are allowed to work in the UK.
If you successfully passed through UK border control recently it also means that your visa was still valid on the date of crossing the border.
Staying in the UK
While your visa is still valid you might consider searching for a new employer who can sponsor your visa application or you can switch to a different visa.
You will need to make a new visa application prior to the expiry date of your visa or 60-day cancellation period in order to avoid overstaying.
Please feel free to contact our Immigration lawyer in London for professional advice. Alrose Legal Immigration Services is on hand to translate technical issues into plain English and to provide you with superior solutions, whatever your immigration needs.
Date of publishing: 21 January 2023