Considering letting your sponsor licence lapse – think carefully

Jul 10, 2020

There has been a steady decline in the number of sponsor licences on the Tier 2 and Tier 5 register.


Statistics show that since the beginning of May 2020 to date, 76 licences have been surrendered.

Is this due to lack of funds for licence renewals, lack of funds for sponsoring migrant workers or have these licences been revoked by the Home Office? The register does not yield this information. But if you are considering letting your sponsor licence lapse – think carefully.

The government has been encouraging organisations to apply for a sponsor licence if they will want to sponsor skilled migrants, including workers from the EU.  Currently, only 2% of businesses hold a sponsor licence to hire workers from next year.

sponsor licence lapse

Complied by Judit Adorjan

Those considering surrendering their licence or letting it lapse – look at the future and the vast number of jobs and nationalities that will need sponsoring from next year. It could be wise to keep your sponsor licence.


The legislation will put an end to EU freedom of movement. EU and EEA citizens will be considered in same manner as other migrants from outside the bloc.


The new rules effective from January 2021 will create a substantial challenge for sectors such as social care, construction and the food processing industry. All of which had lobbied for continued greater access to low-skilled migrants from EU countries.

From the initial approval in May 2020 of the post-Brexit Immigration Bill and the government’s plans to attract the “brightest and best talent from around the globe”, the Bill has been under scrutiny for not granting access to migrants in frontline services.

Proposals for the new Points-Based immigration system include:

  • Implementing recommendations to bring the skills threshold down from the Regulated Qualifications Framework of level 6 for highly skilled occupations to level 3, medium-skilled (A-level style) jobs
  • Awarding points for speaking English to a certain standard
  • Having a job offer at the required skill level from an approved sponsor who holds a licence in the Tier 2 or Tier 5 category
  • Meeting a salary threshold of £25,600.

Further points could be awarded for certain qualifications and if there is a shortage in a particular occupation.

The Migration Advisory Committee has been commissioned to create a shortage occupation list covering all jobs encompassed by the skilled worker route and to keep the list under regular review.  Their recommendations are expected quite soon.


If you are an employer who has been previously on the register for Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors please get in touch with us on +44 01235 841 568 or to share your experience with the Sponsorship Management System and the reason why you have surrendered the licence.

If you are considering letting your sponsor licence lapse, please contact us first on 01235841568 or email

sponsor licence lapse

Karen Kaur and Jonathan Beech