Protecting your sponsor licence from suspensions and penalties

  • Your sponsor licence could be downgraded or suspended altogether if you fail to fulfil your sponsor duties.
  • If you’re found to be employing someone with no right to work in the UK, you could also face substantial fines and a possible prison sentence.
  • Our expert advice will help you protect your licence and help you avoid penalties.
  • If you have broken immigration laws, we will support you with a robust, informed defence.

As the Home Office has got tougher on transgressions of immigration laws in recent years, the number of sponsor licence suspensions has increased.

When your sponsor licence is first issued it will have an A-rating. However, it can be downgraded to a B-rating (or suspended completely) if you fail to meet your sponsor duties. With a B-rating, you won’t be able to issue new certificates of sponsorship until you’ve successfully made the improvements required by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) action plan. If you follow all the steps, your A-rating will be reinstated. If you have two B-ratings and still fail to complete your second action plan, your Licence will be suspended, and you may have to wait before you can reapply.

As well as licence suspension, you may also face serious penalties if you’re found guilty of employing someone who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK , up to five years in prison and an unlimited fine. If you didn’t carry out the proper right to work checks, you might have to pay a civil penalty. This can be up to £20,000 for each illegal worker.

We appreciate that having problems with your sponsor licence or being faced with a civil penalty is disruptive and distressing. The violation may be a genuine mistake or oversight, rather than a deliberate abuse of the law. We will thoroughly investigate what has happened, help make your situation clear and provide a robust, informed defence.

You can rely on our skills and knowledge to:

  • Provide practical, informed advice and assistance.
  • Handle negotiations with the authorities discreetly.
  • Start a legal challenge if necessary.
  • Provide bespoke in-house training, to ensure your key personnel are fully aware of current immigration laws and procedures, including when an employee can legally work; the different categories of immigration permission; document checks; reporting and recordkeeping obligations.

Obviously you will want to avoid a licence suspension or penalties, so we recommend you take advantage of our in-house training at an early stage, to help prevent potentially costly and damaging mistakes.

We have offices in London, Southampton, Richmond, Woking, Guildford and Lymington. Contact us for specialist advice and support.

Contact our solicitors

Get in touch with our legal experts for advice.