Sponsor Licence Suspension

The UKVI requires licenced sponsors to fulfil certain duties throughout the period of their licence. If they believe that a sponsor has breached these duties it may decide to suspend the sponsor licence. During this time, the UKVI will carry out further enquiries. It is important that sponsors act quickly if they aim to challenge the suspension of their sponsor licence.

Sponsor Licence Suspended:


If the UKVI decide to suspend the sponsor’s licence, the sponsor will be unable to assign Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) under any tiers. The Home Office will also remove the sponsor from the register of sponsors during this time.

During the period of suspension, the sponsor will be unable to assign any CoS. Sponsored workers currently employed when the sponsor licence is suspended will be unaffected unless the Home Office decides to revoke the sponsor licence.

The sponsor must continue to comply with its sponsor duties throughout the period of the sponsor licence suspension.  If the sponsor licence falls for renewal during this time an application should still be made as usual if the sponsor wishes to retain its licence.

Sponsor Licence Suspended: The most common reasons:

The Sponsor Licence may be suspended following a UKVI audit. Some of the most common reasons for a decision by the Home Office to suspend the licence are:

improper process followed in relation to the Resident Labour Market Test and/or genuine vacancy concerns ( for pre December 2020 recruits);

failure to pay the worker in accordance with the sponsor guidance;

poor HR policies and procedures;

failure to comply with record-keeping duties or to report relevant changes of circumstance.

* failure to follow correct procedures for preventing illegal working or monitoring migrant activity and record keeping.

Upon completion of its enquiries the UKVI will either reinstate, downgrade or revoke the sponsor’s licence.

Sponsor Licence Suspended: Can the decision be challenged? 

Following a UKVI audit, if a sponsor receives a suspension letter it will have 20 working days to file representations against that decision.

These must be supported by substantial and compelling evidence that challenges the concerns raised by UKVI

The UKVI will decide which course of action to take based on the representations and evidence it receives from a sponsor. Sponsors must take care to ensure that they cover every allegation made in the sponsor licence suspension letter in detail.

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