Tier 2 and 5 licence suspensions, surrender and CoS reductions
Produced in partnership with Shahjahan Ali of Pathfynder
Tier 2 and 5 licence suspensions, surrender and CoS reductions

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

  • Tier 2 and 5 licence suspensions, surrender and CoS reductions
  • When will the Home Office suspend a licence?
  • What are the consequences of a licence suspension?
  • What will happen after the Home Office concludes its enquiries?
  • What procedure will the Home Office follow if it is considering a licence suspension?
  • When will the Home Office use the first suspension procedure and how does it operate?
  • When will the Home Office use the second suspension procedure and how does it operate?
  • What is the procedure to respond to the suspension decision reached by the Home Office?
  • What information should a sponsor provide in response to the Home Office’s decision to suspend?
  • What decisions can the Home Office take following a suspension procedure?
  • more

There are a number of ways in which a sponsor can lose its licence or have it limited. These are:

  1. downgrading

  2. revocation

  3. suspension

  4. surrender by sponsor, or

  5. reduction of Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocation.

This Practice Note deals with suspension, licence surrender and CoS reductions.

The relevant Home Office guidance for sponsors is the Tiers 2 and 5 Sponsor Guidance (SG). The Modernised Guidance (MG) on PBS sponsor licensing—Maintenance and Points-based system compliance visits provide further details for Home Office caseworkers.

When will the Home Office suspend a licence?

If the Home Office has reason to believe that a sponsor is breaching its duties and poses a threat to immigration control, eg in such a way as to engage either a discretionary or mandatory revocation circumstance, the sponsor’s licence may be suspended while further enquiries are made. See the MG on PBS sponsor licensing—Maintenance and on compliance visits for relevant guidance to Home Office caseworkers as to when and how to suspend a licence.

It is important to note that suspension of a licence is only an interim measure to enable the Home Office to make a proper decision in relation to whether a licence should be revoked. For information on the revocation process and consequences, see Practice Note: Downgrading and revocation of sponsorship licences under Tiers 2 and 5.

From 6 April 2015