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Reinstating Sponsorship Licence after Unexpected Home Office Visit

Our company has been employing foreign workers for a long time and we have never had problems. But during the last inspection by the Home Office, they found several violations and suspended our sponsorship licence. We had to get it back as soon as possible. Luckily, we were advised to seek the help of Imperial & Legal.

Company A
Clients’ names and photos have been changed

It has been nearly four years since Company A applied for and received a sponsorship licence for hiring foreign specialists in the UK. Since then, the relevant authorities have already visited the company to check whether the business met its sponsor’s responsibilities. At that time things were in order, and the business kept the sponsorship licence.

The company has employed over 90 employees, including five sponsored foreign specialists, since getting a sponsorship licence. About six months ago, the Home Office inspected without notice to find out whether Company A complied with the requirements for businesses that hire foreign workers. The inspectors interviewed the company’s top management and two foreign employees.

As a result, several serious misconducts were discovered. This led to the immediate suspension of the company’s sponsorship licence. The inspectors found out that the two foreign specialists worked in low-skilled jobs, which contradicted the application for a sponsorship licence. Besides, Company A failed to report changes in its business structure and did not store employees’ data properly.

By the standard procedure, the company had 20 working days to respond to the claims and prove that it had not violated the Immigration Rules.

Our Client

Company A decided to hire both British nationals and foreign specialists because the latter had the necessary knowledge and skills for the business. Four years ago the company obtained a sponsorship licence. Foreign workers have been contributing a lot to the financial well-being of the company. The managers deny any immigration offences.

The Challenge 

To reinstate the sponsorship licence because losing foreign staff will decrease profits and slow down the development, as well as jeopardise the existence of other offices.

Company A got in touch with Imperial & Legal when there were 10 days left to put forward a case. The managers realised that they needed professional legal assistance to save the sponsorship licence and the entire business. It started with a phone consultation where Imperial & Legal’s immigration advisors and the company’s managers discussed the issue at hand, its possible outcomes and impact, as well as possible solutions.  

Next, an experienced Imperial & Legal’s advisor specialising in obtaining sponsorship licences became involved. As we were getting ready to respond to the Home Office claims, we found out that the company had hired a foreign specialist with an incorrect visa. The company had to take measures to keep the right to sponsor other foreign workers and fired this employee. 

This was mentioned in the suspension response. Our advisors explained to the managers of Company A that to avoid any violations, it is crucial to understand the type of UK visa that a foreign worker needs. 

While working closely with the company’s HR, we found out that the foreign workers’ documents were not stored correctly. Our immigration advisors gave a few recommendations to the managers of the company as to how to correct this to avoid problems with the sponsorship licence in the future. 

Besides, Imperial & Legal’s immigration advisors told Company A about a special online tool on the UK government’s official website to monitor employees’ immigration status and check their right to work. It will ensure the company keeps track of employees’ visas to prevent them from overstaying.

4 February
Contacted Imperial & Legal
+1 week
The necessary documents and evidence are collected
+1 day
Application submission
+2 weeks
The application is being processed
27 February
The sponsorship licence is reinstated.

The Outcome

After reviewing the submitted evidence, the Home Office withdrew all the allegations against Company A. Thus, the professional assistance of Imperial & Legal’s immigration advisors helped the company maintain its sponsorship licence and keep its foreign staff. 

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