23 November 2020

Sponsorship and Covid-19 related changes

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The pandemic has affected many businesses in different ways, including those who hold a sponsor licence.

Sponsor priority service resumed

Prior to the pandemic, sponsors were able to take advantage of the priority service which would expedite sponsor change of circumstance requests. Such requests include changing details of key personnel and asking for an increase in allocation of Certificate of Sponsorship. This service as with many other during the pandemic was suspended.

As of 05 October 2020, the priority service has resumed. Any change of circumstance requests can now be dealt within 5 days, whereas a standard request can take up to 18 weeks. However, the Home Office is only accepting 10 requests per day. This is a significant difference compared to the 60 requests being considered prior to the pandemic.

Any sponsor wishing to utilise the service must submit the request in the sponsor management system (SMS) and email Tier2and5PriorityRequests@homeoffice.gov.uk, with a completed Tier 2 and 5 priority request form attached.

A decision on the request is usually be given within 5 working days and any sponsors will be notified to make a payment of £200 per successful request.

Licence renewals

An influx of sponsor licence applications is expected particularly from employers wishing to hire EEA nationals under the new immigration system relating to sponsoring skilled workers.

A sponsor whose licence is expiring between 27 November 2020 and 21 March 2021, will be able to apply early to renew it if a sponsor wishes to do so. This can be done when the renewal window opens on the SMS Licence summary.

We have a team of experts ready to help any sponsor seeking to renew his licence.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

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