Cooling off period following decision to refuse a licence

If you have been refused a licence you should not make another application
until 6 months after the date of the letter telling you of the decision to refuse
your application. If you reapply before 6 months have passed, your application
will be refused if the previous refusal was because you:

  • did not meet the requirements to be a sponsor in the category under which
    you applied
  • you sent false documents
  • did not have the processes necessary to comply with your sponsor duties
  • have an unspent criminal conviction for a relevant offence – Annex 1 has
    more information on when we will refuse a sponsor licence
  • are legally prohibited from becoming a company director, unless this is due
    to being an un-discharged bankrupt – you should note that the authorising
    officer must not be an un-discharged bankrupt
  • have no trading presence in the UK
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If you have been refused because you have previously been issued with a civil penalty under Section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, Accession of Croatia (Immigration and Worker Authorisation) Regulations 2013 or Section 21 of the Immigration Act 2014 you should only reapply 12 months after the date the penalty became payable. Annex 1 of this guidance has more information on this.

If you have been refused because you have previously been issued with a civil penalty for one of the ‘charges or penalties’ in Appendix C of the guidance for sponsors, apart from employing an illegal worker or authorising occupation of premises under a residential tenancy agreement by an adult who is disqualified because of their immigration status, you should only reapply when 5 years have passed since the date the penalty was issued.

If you have been refused because you previously held a sponsor licence, in any tier, and either:

  •  we revoked your licence, in any tier, on or after 6 November 2014
  •  after we had notified you that we are taking compliance action against you, on or after 6 November 2014 you surrendered your licence in any tier, you must not reapply until 12 months have passed since the date we notified you of the revocation or approval of your licence surrender

Before 6 November 2014, the cooling off period was 6 months

You may reapply at any time if we only refused your application because either:

  •  it was sent by a representative Page 54 of 205 Tiers 2 and 5: guidance for sponsors – version 05/17
  •  you did not provide documents or information we requested by a specific deadline for reasons outside your control

When you re-apply, you must ensure that the reasons we refused you no longer apply. As part of the application process, you may receive a visit from a UK Visas & Immigration compliance officer, who will undertake relevant checks to establish that you have the necessary systems and procedures in place to meet your sponsorship obligations. If we are not satisfied that you can fully meet your sponsorship obligations, we are likely to refuse your application.

Sponsor licence number

If your application for a sponsor licence is successful, you will receive a sponsor licence number (SLN). You must quote this number in all communications with us.

Premium customer service

The premium customer service offers an enhanced level of support for A– rated sponsors. A premium customer has their own dedicated account manager who will provide tailored advice and support with all their immigration needs.

If you successfully apply for premium customer service, this will be indicated on our public ‘Register of sponsors’ where your sponsor rating will show as A (Premium) for large employers or A (SME+) for small and medium enterprises.