Suspension From The Register Of Tier 2 Licensed Sponsors:
“We visited you to assess your suitability as a registered sponsor. During this visit our officers identified a number of issues which have led us to suspend your sponsor licence…”
In the aftermath of a compliance visit from the Home Office, these are the words every Tier 2 and 5 sponsor licence holder fears. The suspension, and subsequent revocation of a sponsor licence can take a serious blow on a business that is heavily dependent on foreign skilled workers. Not only does it affect the business, but it also affects the sponsored migrant workers, for whom leave is suddenly curtailed once the licence is revoked.
If you are a sponsor, many events can trigger an announced or unannounced compliance visit from the Home Office. In one of our client’s case, it was an application for settlement made by one of the sponsored Tier 2 General migrant workers. The visa application in question was withheld, and our client was visited unannounced by a Compliance Officer from the Sponsor Compliance Unit (SCU). During the visit, the sponsor and migrant worker were both interviewed thoroughly. Once the audit was completed, our client reached out to us and we advised the company of what to do in the interim until a decision was taken.
A few months passed and our client eventually received the dreaded decision that the company’s sponsor licence had been suspended. Various reasons were listed for the suspension, as the Home Office claimed that our client had failed to comply with its duties as a sponsor. Our client disputed this claim heavily, as it had always been an A-rated sponsor and had been found to be compliant following a compliance visit a few years earlier. Nevertheless, our client was given 20 working days to submit representations and evidence to challenge the suspension.
We managed to obtain a further extension of time for our client to provide the representations, and then drafted detailed reasons as to why the Home Office’s decision had been incorrect. Together with an abundance of documentary evidence, we submitted the voluminous representation to the SCU and awaited a decision.
Less than eight weeks later, we received the exceptional decision that after having reviewed the representations and evidence we had submitted, that the suspension had been overturned and that our client’s sponsor licence had been reinstated on the register as an A-rated sponsor. Our client was ‘over the moon’, as was the sponsored migrant worker, the latter for whom the decision also meant that her application for settlement could proceed and hopefully approved.
At Marsans we have vast experience in dealing with commercial businesses which have had their sponsor licences suspended or revoked. If you or anyone you know requires advice on challenging a Home Office decision, please contact us and we are happy to offer our assistance.