Sponsor Licences –

Licence Ratings

Licence ratings are used by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) to grade the compliance of sponsor organisations. Sponsors who mismanage their licences may have their Sponsor Licence downgraded or even revoked.

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Quick Look

Ratings provide UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) with a system to get failing sponsors back on track.

Sponsor Licences are A-rated when issued by UKVI. If a sponsoring company fails to complete the regular duties relating to their licence, they will be downgraded to a B-rating.

If a sponsor fails to meet their responsibilities, they may be downgraded to a B-rating. Once notified by the UKVI, companies have 10 days to pay £1,476 for an Action Plan. If a company decides not to pay for an Action Plan, their Sponsor Licence will be revoked.

Sponsors who successfully complete all steps of the Action Plan are upgraded to an A-rating. In the event that a sponsor company needs to make further improvements, they will be issued with another B-rating and will have to pay for and complete another Action Plan. If a B-rating is issued after the second Action Plan, the company will lose their licence.

B-rated sponsors lose their ability to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to new employees. They can continue to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to existing employees – in order to allow employees further permission to work.

If a Sponsor Licence is revoked, sponsor businesses are not able to appeal. After 12 months, though, they are able to reapply.

Sponsor Licence - Licence Ratings

Licence ratings are used by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) to grade the compliance of sponsor organisations. The ratings system aims to help failing sponsors get back on track.

When issued, Sponsor Licences have an A-rating. They can be downgraded to a B-rating or revoked by UKVI.

Downgrading

Sponsor companies run the risk of being downgraded to a B-rating for a number of reasons. These include:

  • not holding copies of workers’ various documentation
  • not keeping attendance records of sponsored workers
  • failing to report workers do not comply with the conditions of their visa
  • failing to report business changes to UKVI within 20 days.


Organisations with a B-rated licence lose the ability to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to new employees. Until they upgrade back to an A-rating, they can only issue Certificates of Sponsorship to existing employees – for extensions.

Action Plan

Once the UKVI has notified a company that they are to be downgraded, they have 10 days to arrange and pay for an Action Plan – £1,476. Should a company decide not to arrange an Action Plan, their licence will be revoked.

Action Plans provide B-rated companies with a roadmap to get back to an A-rating. Sponsors must complete all the steps of the Action Plan.

If the business fails to complete all the steps of the Action Plan, their licence will be revoked. If there’s still room for improvement, UKVI will issue another B-rating, requiring another Action Plan – and another £1,476.

In the event that a sponsor still needs to make improvements after a second action plan, their Sponsor Licence will be revoked.

Sponsor Licences are valid for 4 years and sponsors are allowed 2 B-ratings. Should UKVI issue a third, the company’s licence will be revoked.

Revoked Licences

There’s no appeals process for revoked licences. It is possible to reapply after at least 12 months.

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The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on www.gov.uk.

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