UK Visa Licensed Sponsor
What is a Sponsor License Compliance?
Under the terms of the new immigration legislation implemented as of November 2008, UK employers are obliged to obtain sponsor licences from the Home Office, in order to legally employ workers from outside the EEA. Please note that sponsorship licenses are only granted upon the respective organisation meeting several fundamental requirements, along with the provision of sufficient supportive evidence.
We strongly suggest securing expert legal consultancy, prior to completing or submitting your sponsor licence application.
note that the terms and conditions governing the provision of the sponsor
license continue to apply after a licence has been granted. While the
respective organisation continues to employ and utilise non-EEA workers, they
are obliged to fulfil all applicable terms and conditions accordingly.
Any evidence of noncompliance may result in the downgrading or retraction of the sponsor’s license, along with heavy penalties and possible imprisonment in extreme cases.
What is a Immigration Compliance?
The term ‘immigration compliance’ refers to the various terms and conditions that govern the provision of any visa or permit to enter, live, and work in the United Kingdom. It is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee to ensure the terms of their visa are abided by at all times.
each case is unique, the terms and conditions governing every visa may be
different. The Home Office is committed to ensuring each and every overseas
employee in the United Kingdom is hired legally, ethically and in accordance with
all applicable legislation. As an employer, it is your responsibility to
maintain your organisation’s immigration compliance at all times, in accordance
with your hiring practices and applicable immigration law.
the size and nature of your organisation, we can help ensure your on-going
compliance with key immigration policy. This way, you’ll be prepared for every
possible eventuality – including a planned or unexpected Home Office audit. Call
today to discuss your requirements in more detail with a member of our business
What are the eligibility requirements for a Sponsor License?
Every organisation operating in the United Kingdom
is entitled to apply for a sponsor license, after which they may be able to
recruit non-EEA workers. However, the
business must be a legitimate, registered and recognised entity in the UK,
operating on a for-profit or non-profit basis.
Please be advised that if an organisation has been
registered as no longer operational for any reason, it cannot be granted a
sponsor license. In addition, the organisation must ensure it is willing and
able to comply with all applicable immigration legislation, prior to submitting
an application for a sponsor license.
contact a member of our business immigration team to discuss the eligibility of
your organisation in more detail.
is a requirement for the organisation applying for the sponsor license to
assign a series of roles to individuals known as Account/Compliance Officers.
Key examples of which include:
- Authorized officer
- Key contact
- Level 1 user
it’s important to note that one or more of these roles can be combined and overseen
by the same individual. For example, the authorised officer could be both the
key contact and the Level 1 user, or assign key contact duties to a different
person is preferred.
be advised that such responsibilities should be assigned to those who fully
understand the importance of total and continuous immigration compliance. Even
the slightest discrepancy at any level could adversely impact the eligibility
of your organisation for a sponsor license.
addition, the Home Office may to some extent scrutinise the personnel appointed
by the organisation, in order to ensure that they do not pose any specific threat
to UK immigration control. For example, if the appointed individual has a
history of immigration offences or a criminal record, they may be deemed
unsuitable to handle such responsibilities. To avoid unnecessary complications,
we strongly advise seeking expert legal support prior to establishing your
non-EEA hiring framework.
Does the Home office keep Records and save data?
note that the Home Office has the authorisation to visit any UK business at any
time to verify its compliance or otherwise with applicable immigration policy. In
the case of an immigration audit, you will be expected to provide clear and
complete records of all hiring and general employment activities involving
overseas migrants. As an inspection can occur at any time and without notice,
meticulous record-keeping and reporting systems are mandatory.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that your immigration compliance framework should be overly complex or time-consuming to maintain. It’s simply a case of keeping accurate records and holding onto any documentation the Home Office may wish to inspect.
accordance with UK immigration legislation, the organisation’s record-keeping
system must record and store the following:
- Relevant pages of the sponsored migrant’s passport – personal identity details, leave stamps, immigration status and the period of leave to remain;
- The migrant’s BRP;
- The National Insurance number of the worker;
- Contact details – current and historic;
- Disclosure barring service check (if relevant);
- Record of the migrant’s absences;
- Contract of employment;
instances where the rules of the Resident Labour Market Test apply, the organisation
must keep additional records and documents including:
- Evidence of the current recruitment programme in place (if relevant);
- Advertisements placed for the vacancy;
- Supplementary evidence of the recruitment process including:
- Applications and names of shortlisted applicants;
- Notes from all interviews conducted;
- Reasons for rejection in the case of EEA nationals;
- Endorsements from governing bodies (if relevant);
- Detailed job descriptions.
a rule of thumb, no documentation or evidence collected under the terms of the
Resident Labour Market Test should be discarded, just in case a Home Office
inspector requests them at a later date. Even if the non-EEA employee quits or
is terminated, such documentation should be retained for a minimum of one year
following their departure.
How can we report Discrepancies to the Home Office?
is the obligation of the employer to report any discrepancies whatsoever to the
Home Office, for which complete supporting evidence and documentation may be
required. Examples of such scenarios include the following:
- The non-EEA migrant
worker fails to turn up on their first day and cannot be contacted:
- The worker’s contract of
employment is terminated early;
- The worker doesn’t turn
up for work for 10 or more days without having obtained permission;
- There are any changes of
significance in the worker’s employment contract.
The Home Office expects the hiring organisation to carefully monitor the professional activities and general compliance of their non-EEA workers at all times. This includes reporting any possible discrepancies to the Home Office as promptly as possible.
We also provide Immigration Compliance Training Services
We’re proud to offer a complete suite of immigration compliance training services for UK businesses. If you’d like to improve your knowledge of key immigration issues, we’d be happy to provide a bespoke training package to suit your requirements and your budget:
of the training services we provide include the following:
basics of immigration law for Tier 2 and Tier 5
and accurate immigration record-keeping
employee sponsorship best practices
non-EEA migrant workers
categories of permission
a new CoS and assigning compliance officers
For more information or to discuss your requirements in more detail, contact a member our UK Visa Licensed Sponsor team at Aristone Solicitors today.