Priority Service for Sponsor Licence Applications
Since 1st January 2021, any UK business seeking to employ overseas nationals, including EEA and Swiss Citizens, is required to hold a Sponsor Licence. This is a formal licence, granted to businesses that have been authorised by the Home Office, to employ migrant workers who do not have permission to work in the UK under any other immigration category.
The process of obtaining a licence involves making an online application, appointing key personnel to help manage the licence, paying the correct fee and submitting specified evidence to demonstrate that the business is established and reliable. In some cases, the Home Office will also pay a visit to the Sponsor’s business premises.
Once submitted, most applications are decided within 8 weeks. For an additional £500, the pre-licence priority service will reduce that window to 10 working days.
The Pre-licence priority service does however have limitations:
- The Home Office will only accept 10 priority service requests each day.
- Any requests submitted outside the 9:00am – 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, operating hours will not be considered.
- A decision may not be reached within 10 working days if the application if complex of if further checks are required.
How does the Pre-licence priority service work?
After the submission of an online Sponsor Licence application, Sponsor’s will be able to submit a further request for the application to be considered within 10 working days.
The priority service request form must be submitted by email to the Pre-Licence Priority Service Team. If accepted, the Sponsor will be sent an email setting out the next steps and a second email with a link to make payment. This must be done within 72 hours of receiving the email.
Providing the relevant documentation has already been submitted, the consideration period will begin from the working day following the day payment is made.
Pre-licence Priority Serice – decisions not considered within 10 working days
Not all Sponsor Licence applications will be suitable for the priority service. An application will only be expedited if a request for priority service is accepted.
If your request does not receive a response, you can assume it has not been accepted. Further requests can be made if the first attempt is unsuccessful.
Where a request has been accepted and the Home Office seeks further information, a decision may not be reached within the prescribed timeframe if this is not promptly supplied. It is unlikely that a refund will be issued in these circumstances. However, the £500 fee may be refunded where a decision is delayed by a technical error or other reasons outside of the normal case working process.
Kidd Rapinet’s immigration team are experienced in successfully securing and managing Sponsor Licences, as well as obtaining Skilled Worker visas for employees. If your business or employees need help, please get in touch with our immigration team on 020 7205 2115. Alternatively, please complete the online form to request a call back.
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