Immigration Corner | What happens when a sponsor loses his licence?
Dear Mr Bassie,
I am being sponsored by a United Kingdom employer, and I am a little nervous. Please explain to me what would happen were they to lose their sponsorship licence.
I look forward to reading your response.
Employees who are sponsored to the United Kingdom should be aware that if their visa sponsor loses their licence, they will have to leave their jobs and leave the United Kingdom unless they make a new visa application to stay in the United Kingdom.
Those persons could also be affected if the sponsor’s licence is suspended, the sponsor is taken over, or if the sponsor does not renew their licence. What will then happen to the sponsor will depend on whether he/she is already in the United Kingdom when their employer’s sponsor licence changes.
PERSONS ALREADY IN THE UK
When a sponsor loses his/her licence, the sponsored person’s certificate of sponsorship is cancelled, and the visa is limited to 60 days or however long he/she has left on the visa if it is less than 60 days.
Those persons will have to leave their job and leave the United Kingdom unless they make a new visa application within that time. It may be helpful for those persons to check their eligibility for visas before making an application.
It should be noted that if the person being sponsored is involved in the reasons why the sponsor lost their licence, his/her visa will be withdrawn and he/she will have to leave the United Kingdom immediately.
CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE A SPONSOR’S LICENCE IS SUSPENDED
Travelled to the UK but has not started work Sponsored can start work
Already working Sponsored can keep working
Applied to extend visa Sponsored application will not be processed until the suspension ends PERSONS OUTSIDE THE UK
Persons who are outside of the United Kingdom should check the status of their sponsor’s licence on the register of sponsors before he/she travels. Please note that his/her sponsor will not be listed if they have lost their licence or if it has been suspended.
CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE A SPONSOR LOSES THEIR LICENCE
Circumstances What will happen
Applied for a visa: It will be refused
Have a visa but have not travelled to the UK: The visa will be cancelled – Sponsored person will not be allowed to enter if he/she travels to the United Kingdom
Circumstances where a sponsor’s licence is suspended
Circumstances What will happen
Applied for a visa: The sponsored person’s application will be put on hold until the end of the suspension
Sponsored person has a visa but has not travelled to the United Kingdom: The sponsored person will be contacted by UK Visas and Immigration
If sponsor’s business is taken over or they do not renew their licence:
In the circumstances where a sponsor’s business is taken over or where they do not renew their license, the sponsor’s visa will be limited to 60 days if:
• The employer does not renew their sponsor licence.
• Following a takeover of the sponsored old employer’s business, the new employer does not apply for a sponsor licence within 28 days.
Persons will have to leave their job and leave the United Kingdom unless they make a new visa application within that time. Those persons should check their eligibility for visas prior to applying.
Please note that persons’ visas will be cancelled if they have permission to go to the United Kingdom but have not travelled as yet, and they will not be allowed to enter if they travel there.
John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, global vice president of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org