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Sponsor licence duties and compliance

When an organisation is granted a sponsor licence, significant trust is placed in them by the Home Office. Sponsorship is considered a privilege, not a right, meaning those benefiting from employing migrant workers must play their part in ensuring the immigration system is not abused. In this video, our Business Immigration experts Shabana and Ruth explore the duties that organisations have when holding a sponsor licence and the importance of compliance with these duties.

Reporting on your sponsor licence duties.

Reporting is a key element of a sponsor’s compliance obligations.

Certain changes to a sponsored worker’s circumstances or employment, or to the sponsoring organisation itself, must be reported through the sponsor management system (SMS). Required reports must be made within specified timeframes.

Changes relating to sponsored workers which need to be reported, include:

  • They have been absent without authorisation for more than 10 consecutive working days.
  • There have been changes to their job title, core duties or main work location.
  • Their contract of employment has ended earlier than expected.

Record keeping to remain compliant.

To remain compliant with their duties, sponsors must keep comprehensive records in relation to their sponsor licence and sponsored workers. This includes retaining the supporting evidence submitted in support of the sponsor licence application as well as a range of documents relating to each sponsored worker. Comprehensive guidance on exactly which documents need to be kept on record can be found  in Appendix D of the Sponsorship Guidance for Employers and Educators.

Home Office compliance inspections.

The Home Office can carry out a compliance inspection of an organisation during the sponsor licence application process, or at any stage during the lifetime of the sponsor licence. Compliance inspections can be carried out unannounced, announced or now most commonly, remotely.

Some key areas the Home Office will be looking at during a compliance inspection are:

  • How right to work checks are carried out and evidence retained.
  • How visa expiry dates are monitored.
  • How paid and unpaid absences are captured.
  • Whether sponsored workers are carrying out duties in-line with what is stated on their certificate of sponsorship.

How we can help with your sponsor licence duties and compliance.

Our Business Immigration experts Shabana and Ruth can offer assistance in fulfilling your sponsor licence duties, maintaining compliance, building trust with the Home Office, and enjoying the benefits of sponsorship while avoiding the risk of having your licence revoked. Keeping accurate records, promptly reporting changes, and proactively assessing compliance will contribute to successful sponsor licence management.



Employment & Immigration

Shabana's contact details

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Senior Associate

Employment & Immigration

Ruth's contact details

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