UK Border Agency | B-rated sponsors with sponsorship action plans
This page explains how we will deal with you as a B-rated sponsor under the points-based system. It also describes the sponsorship action plan that we will draw up to help you comply with your sponsorship duties and obtain an A-rating.
If you are a B-rated sponsor we expect you to improve your performance enough to be upgraded to an A rating within a time we specify, which will be no more than 3 months. If you do not, we will revoke your licence.
If you have been awarded a B rating, you must adhere to an action plan which will include all the steps you must take to enable you to achieve, or return to, an A rating. For example, this might include making specific improvements to your recordkeeping, improving your control over staff you employ to assign certificates of sponsorship (CoS), or improving communication between your different branches so you know when a migrant has not turned up for work.
There is a fee for an action plan. See the fees pagefor the current fee. This fee is to cover the cost of preparing the action plan. If we decide a B rating is appropriate we will write to tell you that you have been B-rated and that payment is due for the action plan. You will then have 4 options:
- Pay the fee and accept the action plan. If you do this, you must pay within 14 calendar days using the 'Action plan payments' function in your sponsorship management system (SMS) account. If you pay within 14 days you will continue to be a licensed sponsor and we will proceed as below.
- If you are not currently sponsoring a migrant and you want to surrender your licence, you should select the 'decline' option in the 'Action plan payments' function in your SMS account. You must also sign the declaration attached to the letter we sent to tell you about your B rating, and return it to us within 14 calendar days. This will confirm that you want to surrender your licence. If you select 'decline' but do not return the declaration within 14 calendar days, we will immediately revoke your licence.
- Do nothing. If you do not pay the fee within 14 calendar days, we will immediately revoke your licence.
- If you are currently sponsoring a migrant and decline to pay the fee, we will immediately revoke your licence.
Once you have paid the fee, we will send you your action plan and will contact you to discuss it. We have the final say on its contents. You will not be allowed to assign any certificates of sponsorship (CoSs) to new migrants but you will be allowed to assign any CoS you need for existing migrants who:
- have permission to stay under Tier 2 or Tier 5 and meet the requirements to extend thier stay; or
- have a valid work permit, already work for you and are applying under Tier 2 to continue in the same job with you.
We will agree with you how many CoSs you can have for extension applications during the period of your action plan.
Your action plan will be for 3 months. After this, we will visit you to check if you have met all the requirements in it and:
- if you have not met the requirements of your action plan we will revoke your licence; or
- if you have met all of the requirements of your plan and we have no other concerns about you, we will award you an A rating.
We will also review your allocation of CoSs, if necessary, so that you can sponsor new migrants if you need to.
If we find you are not complying in other ways that are not part of the current action plan, but for which we will, or may, award a B rating, you will need a new action plan. You must pay for the new action plan.
We will closely monitor how you use CoSs you assign while you are B rated. If we find, during your action planor later, that you have used any of them to sponsor a new migrant, we will revoke your licence.
You can only be B-rated and subject to an action plan:
- for a maximum of 3 months at any one time for any single action plan; and
- no more than twice during while your licence is valid.
If you have been B-rated and subject to an action plan twice while your licence is valid and we have any more concerns about circumstances in which we will, or may, award a B rating, we will revoke your licence.
If you have an action plan in place when you renew your sponsor licence, and the action plan will not end before your renewed licence becomes valid, we will treat you as having been B-rated while your renewed licence is valid. This will count towards the total number of times you are allowed to be B-rated while your renewed licence is valid.
- Fee for a sponsorship action plan
The fee for a sponsorship action plan is £1,500.
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- UK Border Agency