Judicial Review Sponsor Licence

The decision to refuse or revoke a Sponsor License does not carry any appeal rights. Judicial Review (JR) may be the only option for a business if their licence application is refused or existing Tier 2 Sponsor Licence revoked. The Judicial Review is conducted through the High Court and is designed to determine if the Home Office has made a lawful and reasonable decision.

Pre Action Protocol or PAP is a notice of potential Judicial Review proceedings to the Home Office, in normal circumstances Home Office is given 14 days to respond to this pre-action protocol letter. The objective of the pre-action protocol is to avoid unnecessary litigation. The time limit to bring judicial review proceedings is as soon as possible and within 90 days from the date of original refusal decision and a pre action protocol letter has to be given to the Home Office within those 90 days.

Grounds for Judicial Review

The organisation may bring in a Judicial Review relying on the following grounds.

  • Illegality (error of law in the making of the decision)
  • Irrationality or unreasonableness
  • Procedural impropriety and unfairness
  • Breach of the Human Rights Act 1998
  • Breach of UK’s obligations under the EU law

Judicial review is a difficult legal process that should only be used as a last resort. A pre-action protocol letter allows the applicant for judicial review to lay out their case against the Secretary of State for the Home Department (the Home Office) and examine the merits of the case before any litigation begins.

At the High Court, a judicial review of a sponsor licence application or revocation is handled. After compiling all facts in favour of the case, City Legal can assist organisations in drafting a letter before taking action. At this point, many strong cases are usually resolved. If effective negotiations are not possible at this time, the organisation may be able to pursue a Judicial Review, and we may refer you to a qualified barrister or Solicitor Advocate who can help you with this. With a strong and justifiable PAP letter, UKVI may reconsider the revocation, reinstate the sponsor licence, or negotiate terms such as agreeing to a downgrading to B rating rather than a revocation. Because time is of the essence, quick action is required, as any challenge must be filed as soon as possible, but no later than three months after the revocation decision.