Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence: Main Reasons for Licence Application Refusal

Tier 2 sponsor licence
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tier 2 sponsorship licence

Any UK based company wanting to employ a skilled non-EU or Non-EEU worker in the UK on a Tier 2 visa must apply for a relevant Tier 2 Sponsorship licence.

Tier 2 Sponsorship licence applicants must comply with all the requirements when applying; many applications are rejected or refused every year. It is important to note the difference between rejection and refusal.

If an application is rejected due to incorrect or missing documents, the application will be rejected as invalid, and the applicant will be able to correct the mistake and re-apply immediately.

If the application is refused, however, the implications are more serious. There is no right of appeal against an application refusal. Applicants must file a new application at full cost and can only do so after a minimum of a 6-month cooling-off period. The length of the cooling-off period will depend on the reason for the refusal and may even be 12 months under certain circumstances.

Main reasons for rejection

Common reasons for rejection include:

  • Failure to submit the relevant documents as set out in Appendix A of the Sponsor Guidance.
  • The Home Office cannot verify the certifier’s details where an original document has been certified.
  • Incorrect fees were paid.

Main reasons for refusal

 There could be different reasons why a Tier 2 sponsor licence is refused. Some of the main reasons include:

  • The submitted documents were false.
  • The applicant did not meet the requirements to be a sponsor in the category under which they applied.
  • The company previously had a sponsorship licence revoked.
  • The application failed the genuine test – the applicant did not provide genuine and compelling evidence that the employer is genuine, the vacancy is genuine, and that there is a genuine reason why the vacancy cannot be filled by a UK worker.
  • The applicant did not provide sufficient evidence that the company is registered and actively trading in the UK.
  • The applicant did not provide enough evidence to show that it has suitable HR systems and processes in place to implement and comply with their sponsorship duties.
  • The evidence is not sufficient to satisfy Home Office that the key personnel named in the application is honest, reliable, and dependable.
  • The Home Office requested further documents and the applicant failed to provide the documents within the given time limit.
  • The applicant has, or had, an unspent criminal conviction for a relevant offence, including any offences under the Immigration Act, offences of espionage or terrorism, dishonesty, tax avoidance, money laundering, abuse or neglect of children, or trafficking for sexual exploitation, or homicide.
  • The applicant is legally prohibited from becoming a company director.

Although there is no right of appeal against a sponsor licence refusal, applicants may submit an error correction application within 14 days of the refusal. Error correction applications may be submitted where the applicant believes there was a simple “caseworker error” or the provided information was not properly considered.


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Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at enquiries@manns-solutions.com or call +44 207 993 63 46.