November 25, 2020

ALERT: U.K. Home Office IT Updates May Cause Disruption, Status Impacts

The U.K. Home Office has announced that essential updates to the IT systems will be made between 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 27 and 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. During this time, individuals will not have access to their Sponsorship Management System (SMS) account or the online Sponsor Application form.

It is important to note that during the update period, all saved but incomplete applications to add routes to an existing license will be deleted and will have to be restarted when access is restored. Furthermore, any Tier 2 General or Intra Company Transfer (ICT) Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) with a status of ‘ready to go’ will be reverted to a status of ‘work in progress’ and it will not be possible to assign them. Tier 2 General or ICT CoS with status of ‘assigned’ or ‘used’ will not be affected.

Employers are strongly advised to complete any transactions prior to this upgrade period. Those with licences due to expire between November 27 and December 2 should apply to renew before the expiry date. If the application is not submitted before this date, the license will be extended for a temporary period of 7 calendar days. The application to renew the license must be submitted within this temporary extension period or it will lapse.

For further information on the implications of the updates to the U.K. online application system, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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