Sponsor Licence Suspension and Revocation

Obtaining a Sponsor Licence is only a small part of the process of being able to recruit skilled workers from inside or outside the EU/EEA.  Failure to comply with Sponsor Licence duties and responsibilities can result in the Home Office suspending or revoking your licence.  This can be disastrous – suspension means that until a Home Office investigation is completed or you comply with a series of actions, you will be unable to issue any further Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS).  Revocation also results in all Tier 2 or Tier 5 migrants employed in your organisation being given 60 days to find another sponsor or switch visas or else leave the country.

As a dedicated immigration law firm with specialist immigration solicitors, we will work quickly and effectively to manage your Sponsor Licence suspension or revocation.


If you have failed to comply with Sponsor Licence duties and responsibilities, the Home Office can choose to suspend your licence whilst you are making the changes necessary to ensure your business meets the required standards.

If your Sponsor Licence is to be suspended, the Home Office will write to you, informing you of the alleged breaches in Sponsor Guidance compliance that have resulted in the suspension.

Breaches could include:

  • not keeping adequate and up-to-date staff records
  • not appointing Key Personnel and/or failing to ensure they are adequately trained and supported

You must respond to the letter from the Home Office within 20 days.  If you are facing suspension, it is advisable to seek legal advice immediately and get help drafting a response to the Home Office.  An experienced immigration solicitor can also examine the reasons for the suspension and see if any are open to challenge.


If your Sponsor Licence is revoked, there is no right of appeal, and you will not be able to reapply for a licence until a suitable ‘cooling-off’ period has passed.  Therefore, the only way to challenge a revocation is by way of Judicial Review. 

There are many mandatory grounds for revocation, including:

  • the Home Office discovering you provided false information on your application for a Sponsor Licence and this information was key to the licence being granted
  • you having been issued a civil penalty for employing one or more illegal workers and fined the maximum amount for at least one of those workers
  • if, after a downgrade to a B-rating, you have failed to meet any of the Action Plan requirements
  • if you lose your licence to trade in the UK
  • if you did not employ a settled worker who met the requirements for the position

There are also several discretionary reasons the Home Office may revoke your licence, including:

  • failure to cooperate with a Home Office visit
  • paying Tier 2 or 5 migrants in cash
  • there is no Authorising Officer in place who meets the requirements set out in the Sponsor Guidance

How we can help

Our founding partner, Garth Coates, spent many years working at the Home Office as an Immigration Caseworker.  This experience has given him a unique understanding as to the motivations and thinking behind Sponsor Licence revocations and suspensions.  Garth’s experience and expertise provide our team with far deeper insight into Home Office policies and procedures than other law firms can deliver.  We will take care of the matter for you, leaving you free to concentrate on your business.

Established in 2008, Garth Coates Solicitors is a leading Immigration Law Firm that can provide professional legal advice to ensure that your Application satisfies the strict requirements of the Immigration Rules

Our team of legal professionals offers comprehensive and considered advice to enable our clients to make informed choices. We strongly believe that our clients deserve the best; we take our responsibilities very seriously to ensure that client satisfaction is achieved by providing a professional yet friendly legal service. We aim to resolve all immigration matters brought to us by working diligently and together with our clients, keeping them informed of the progress of their case at all stages. Our outstanding success rate is maintained thanks to the high standard of our work.

If you would like us to assist you with your Immigration Matter, kindly click here to leave us an Enquiry. Alternatively, we can be reached via telephone at (00 44) (0)20 7799 1600 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (UTC+00.00 London) every Monday to Friday.