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Sponsor licence holders – are you aware of the recent changes?

Any business which holds a sponsor licence to sponsor non-UK and non-Irish nationals in the UK needs to be aware of some recent changes:

  • From 8 October 2023, when replacing your Authorising Officer or Key Contact (or updating the details for your current Authorising Officer or Key Contact) on the sponsor licence, you must now include their National Insurance number as part of this request. If they do not have or fail to provide a National Insurance number the request may be refused. 

The Home Office has recommended that the National Insurance numbers of all existing Authorising Officer, Key Contact and Level 1 Users should now also be added to the sponsor licence. Where there are several Level 1 Users on the licence, it appears that each one will need to log on individually to add their own National Insurance number.

  • The sponsor licence system has also been updated to enable sponsors to add their Companies House reference number. UK Visas & Immigration advises sponsors to add their Companies House reference number on the sponsor licence at their earliest convenience.

Where the sponsor is part of a large corporate group there may in some cases be one sponsor licence holder but several UK companies within the group may be covered by that same sponsor licence. Before adding your Companies House reference number on the sponsor licence, it’s important to check that it’s the correct Companies House reference number for the company which actually holds the sponsor licence. In some cases there may also have been company name changes within the group since submission of the sponsor licence application which can make this even more confusing.

UK Visas & Immigration has also confirmed that, when considering sponsor requests, it checks Companies House records. Before submitting any requests, sponsors should therefore ensure that their Companies House records are up to date and do not contradict anything in the sponsor request being made.

As well as the action points flagged above, Level 1 Users should ensure they log onto the sponsor licence at least once a month and check any incoming notifications from UK Visas & Immigration – this has been stipulated in the sponsor guidance for a while now.  We recommend that all Level 1 Users diarise to do this monthly as a fail-safe and to keep on top of the updates and changes from UK Visas & Immigration.