The requirement for UK sponsors to renew their sponsor licence every four years is being abolished, under new Home Office rules confirmed today.

In light of the changes, UK sponsor licences due to expire on or after 6 April 2024 are now being automatically extended by 10 years.

Licences that are automatically extended will not end unless the licence is revoked by the Home Office or the organisation surrenders its licence.

The new rules aim to streamline the sponsor licence management process and save time and resources for employers. However, sponsor licence holders continue to be subject to licence compliance and management duties, which, if breached, can lead to Home Office enforcement action.

 

Sponsor licence renewals abolished from April 2024

In light of the new rules, the UK Home Office confirmed on 24 January 2024 through the SMS that those sponsor licences expiring on or after 6 April 2024 have been automatically extended for 10 years from the original licence end date.

To illustrate, as an example, a sponsor licence due to expire on 1 June 2026 will now expire on 1 June 2036.

Sponsor licence holders should check their licence summary page to confirm that the extension, if applicable, has been applied to their SMS.

 

What do the new rules mean for your sponsor licence?

The development will come as welcome news for sponsor licence holders, who will no longer be subject to the four-year renewal cycle of applications, documents and fees, allowing resources and time to be redirected to other business activities.

 

Sponsor licences due to expire on or after 6 April 2024

Sponsor licence holders do not need to take action for the extension to apply if your licence expires on or after 6 April 2024. The new expiry date will be viewable on the licence summary page on the SMS.

If you have already received a renewal notice for your licence, you can ignore it.

If you have already made a renewal application for your sponsor licence, the licence will be updated automatically with the extension and the Home Office will contact you to arrange to refund the renewal fee.

 

Sponsor licences expiring between 25 January 2024 and 6 April 2024

Licences that will expire prior to 6 April 2024 continue to be subject to the existing requirements. Sponsor licence holders will still need to apply for an extension and pay for their licence renewal.

 

If you intend to allow your sponsor licence to expire

If you no longer require a sponsor licence and planned to allow your sponsor licence to expire on its expiry date, you will now need to actively surrender the licence by notifying the Home Office.

 

Legal disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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As editor of Xpats.io, Gill is passionate about helping individuals and organisations overseas explore and pursue opportunities in the UK. She is a content specialist in the fields of immigration, law and business.