A word of warning - education providers

Birkett Long LLP would like to issue a word of warning to all education providers who currently hold a Sponsor Licence in order to offer courses to foreign national students.  If, as a licenced sponsor, your licence is downgraded, revoked or withdrawn,  this would have very serious consequences for your business. 

Where the UK Border Agency is of the opinion that an education provider is not complying with its duties it can downgrade, revoke or withdraw a Sponsor Licence.  If the licence is downgraded the “A” rated education provider would be downgraded to a “B” rating and, at an additional cost to them, they would then be given a time specific action plan to work to.  This action plan would be designed to remedy any possible shortcomings the UK Border Agency might have identified in the way the education provider monitors its students or runs its Sponsor Licence.  If a licence is withdrawn or revoked the education provider will be unable to continue to offer courses to foreign national students and those students will be forced to either leave the UK or find an alternative education provider if their visa or leave to remain in the UK is not curtailed. 

At Birkett Long LLP we have encountered education providers that have had their licences suspended or downgraded unfairly following an unannounced visit by the UK Border Agency.  A small inconsistency between your electronic and paper systems is enough for the UKBA to suspend your licence.  This would obviously cost you financially.   We have had success, however, in challenging the suspension of sponsor licences. 

If you have any queries please contact Miranda Leate on 01206 217356 or miranda.leate@birkettlong.co.uk 

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.