Challenging Tier 2 or 5 sponsor licence decisions by way of judicial review
Produced in partnership with Shahjahan Ali of DAC Beachcroft LLP
Challenging Tier 2 or 5 sponsor licence decisions by way of judicial review

The following Immigration guidance note Produced in partnership with Shahjahan Ali of DAC Beachcroft LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Challenging Tier 2 or 5 sponsor licence decisions by way of judicial review
  • Refusal to grant a Tier 2 licence
  • Decision to suspend, downgrade or revoke a sponsor licence
  • Assessing the merits
  • Investigation phase
  • Negotiation and discussion
  • Letter before action

A decision by the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) acting by the Home Office to refuse to grant a sponsor licence under Tiers 2 & 5 is not subject to any right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), although since 6 April 2016 there has been a 'pre-licence error correction' procedure. Decisions to suspend, downgrade or revoke sponsor licences have no right of appeal or review.

Operating a sponsor licensing system without a right of appeal to an independent tribunal has been held to be compliant with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 (right to a fair trial). The Court of Appeal in R (New London College Ltd) v SSHD confirmed that judicial review was an appropriate and sufficient remedy in these circumstances.

The criteria for the grant, suspension or withdrawal of a sponsor licence are currently contained solely within Home Office guidance. See the Applying for a licence, Sponsor duties and responsibilities and Downgrading or revocation of a licence topics in Lexis®PSL Immigration for more details.

The lawfulness of the licensing regime for Points-Based System (PBS) sponsors was confirmed in July 2013 by the Supreme Court in the conjoined cases of R (New London College Limited) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD); R (West London Vocational College Limited) v