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UK Home Office to extend work visa sponsor licenses renewal from 4 to 10 years 



UK student Visa

The UK Home Office has recently declared its intention to extend the renewal period for UK work visa sponsor licenses from 4 years to 10 years.  

This change promises considerable relief for expatriates and their employers in the UK. 

This adjustment aims to greatly simplify the process for employers, who have previously faced extensive paperwork and incurred significant fees to maintain their workforce. 

According to information from UK Visas and Immigration on gov. uk seen by Nairametrics, acquiring a sponsor licence was essential for employers wishing to hire individuals from outside the UK, including citizens of EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland who entered the UK post-December 31, 2020. 

Similarly, educational institutions require a sponsor licence to admit international students and faculty members. Here are the details you need to know: 

New regulations 

  • The obligation for sponsor licenses to be renewed every four years will be abolished starting April 6. 
  • Following this change, expiring sponsor licenses will automatically be extended for 10 years, thus removing the need for future renewals. 
  • Sponsors with currently valid licenses need not take any further action as their licenses will be automatically included in this extension. 

Previous regulations 

Previously, entities sponsoring licenses had to apply for renewal 90 days before the expiration date. 

  • They were obligated to pay a renewal fee ranging from £536 to £1,476, based on the size of the business and its charitable status. 
  • The renewal process could extend up to eight weeks. 

The Home Office has announced it will refund fees for sponsors currently in the renewal process and advises checking the license expiration date via the online Sponsorship Management System (SMS). Those who have commenced the renewal process will be contacted directly. 

This comes as immigration remains a hotly debated issue in the UK, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s administration proposing increases in the costs associated with hiring foreign staff, including a significant rise in the salary threshold announced last December. 

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