What is sponsor licence revocation

Certain circumstances can lead to your sponsor licence being revoked. Revocation means that your sponsorship licence is cancelled by the Home Office. You will be removed from the public register of sponsors, and the Certificates of Sponsorship (COS) electronic work permits that you issued become invalid.

What’s more, if your licence is revoked you will not be able to reapply for a new licence for at least 12 months.

Importance of compliance with sponsorship duties

When sponsor licence is granted, Home Office puts trust in the sponsor employers that they will comply with the sponsorship duties and obligations. Home Office issues publicly available guidance documents explaining the requirements.

When sponsor is applying for a sponsor licence they confirm that they understand and will comply with the sponsorship duties and obligations set out in the Home Office guidance documents.

Compliance is crucial for any sponsor licence holder. On our website you can also find information on the sponsorship compliance

Sponsorship duties breach - licence revocation

Examples of circumstances (reasons) for licence revocation

The circumstances that can cause you to lose your sponsor licence include, but are not limited to, the ones listed below:

• you cease to have (or never had) a trading presence in the UK

• you cease to meet the requirements of the route, or routes, in which you are licensed

• there is a serious or systematic breach of your sponsor duties

• you pose a threat to immigration control

• you have been convicted of a relevant criminal offence (see Annex L4 of Part 1: Apply for a licence) or issued with a specified civil penalty

• you are engaging or having engaged in behaviour or actions that are not conducive to the public good.

What are the consequences of sponsor licence revocation

If Home Office revokes your licence, it will be revoked in all the routes (categories) in which you are licensed. You will not be able to sponsor any more workers and they will cancel the permission of any workers you are sponsoring. Your organisation’s details will be removed from the public register of Worker and Temporary Worker sponsors.

When Home Office believes worker was actively and knowingly involved (complicit) in the reasons for the revocation of your licence – for example, if the worker agreed that you would arrange a non-existent job for them to enable them to come to the UK. They will immediately cancel all of their remaining permission, so that they have none remaining. This means that they will have to leave the UK immediately or face enforced removal.

When the worker was not actively or knowingly involved (complicit) in the reasons for revocation Home Office will normally shorten their remaining permission to 60 calendar days. They will not normally shorten the worker’s permission if they have no more than 60 calendar days’ permission remaining. In either case, the worker will have to leave the UK or face enforced removal if, at the end of the 60 calendar days (or by the time their permission expires if it was not shortened), they have not made an application for permission to stay on a route for which they qualify.

If your licence is revoked, any Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) you have assigned automatically become invalid. This means any application for entry clearance made on the basis of that CoS will automatically be refused.

Where a worker has already been granted entry clearance to the UK when Home Office revoke your licence, and they have not yet travelled to the UK, their entry clearance will be cancelled under paragraph 9.28.1 in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules.

If your licence is suspended while Home Office is considering an application for settlement (also known as indefinite leave to remain) from a worker you are sponsoring, Home Office will not decide their application until the outcome of the suspension is decided (unless the application falls for refusal on other grounds).

The Home Office states in their guidance that they will notify all your sponsored workers of the revocation promptly, as it will affect their circumstances and they may wish to take action to address any resulting changes that will happen to their immigration status. Home Office will not disclose to the workers any reasons why your licence has been revoked.

If workers who have a live application do not vary the basis of their application (for example, to work for a different sponsor) before Home Office make a decision, Home Office will refuse the application.

Is there a right of Appeal from revocation of sponsor licence

Home Office will tell you in writing if your licence has been revoked. There is no right of appeal against the decision and you will not be eligible to apply again for a sponsor licence until at least 12 months (longer in some circumstances) have passed since the date of revocation.

Re-applying for your licence after it has been revoked

Once your licence has been revoked, you cannot make a further application for a sponsor licence until at least 12 months have passed since the date we notified you of the revocation. This is known as a ‘cooling-off’ period and may be longer than 12 months in some circumstances (for example, where the revocation was due to certain civil penalties or criminal convictions). If you do make an application before the cooling-off period has passed, it will be refused. The only exception to this is if your licence was revoked in error. If this happens, Home Office will contact you to arrange for it to be reinstated.

If you apply again after the cooling-off period, Home Office will treat it the same as any other application. You will have to pay the correct fee and send in all relevant documents appropriate to the route in which you are applying. You must demonstrate you have addressed any reasons why your previous licence was revoked before you re-apply. You may also find our article about sponsor licence application here.