Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit

If you are a sponsor licence holder, you will be inspected by the Home Office at some point during the validity period of your licence. This is to make sure that the information you gave as part of your sponsor licence application is accurate and that you are able and continuing to comply with the duties and responsibilities of a licensed sponsor.

What is the Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit? 

The Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit is the process the Home Office undertakes to check whether the Sponsor Licence Holder is complying with its Sponsorship Licence Duties in order to maintain the privilege of sponsoring skilled workers to work in the UK. The UKVI may also visit your business premises to carry out checks before a decision on your sponsor licence application is made known as a ‘Pre-Compliance Site Audit’. Our immigration solicitors and barristers can draw on their experience of Home Office compliance requirements to conduct an immigration audit of your business ahead of any Home Office inspection.

What are the Sponsorship Licence Duties?

The Sponsorship Licence Duties that all Sponsor Licence Holders must comply with are:

  • You must check that your foreign workers have the necessary skills, qualifications or professional accreditations to do their jobs, and keep copies of documents showing this – Record Keeping Duties;
  • You must only assign certificates of sponsorship to workers when the job is suitable for sponsorship; and
  • You must tell UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) if your sponsored workers are not complying with the conditions of their visa – Reporting Duties.

Your Sponsor Licence may be downgraded, suspended or withdrawn if you do not meet them.

Monitoring employees

You must have HR systems in place that let you:

  • monitor your employees’ immigration status
  • keep copies of relevant documents for each employee, including passport and right to work information
  • track and record employees’ attendance
  • keep employee contact details up to date
  • report to UKVI if there is a problem, for example if your employee stops coming to work

Changes to your business

You must report any significant changes in your own circumstances within 20 working days, for example if you:

  • stop trading or become insolvent
  • substantially change the nature of your business
  • are involved in a merger or take-over

You must also tell UKVI if you’re changing your details, like your address or allocated roles.

To register a change of circumstances use the sponsorship management system (SMS).

Requests can take up to 18 weeks. You can register a change within 5 working days instead if you use the priority service. It costs £200.

Sponsoring under-18s

You must make sure that foreign workers under 18 have suitable care arrangements for their:

  • travel to the UK
  • arrival in the UK
  • living arrangements in the UK

You must also get a letter from their parents giving consent to the care arrangements.

You must get a Disclosure and Barring Service check on any of your workers who need it.

You’ll lose your licence if you do not do this.

Children under 16

You must get a licence from the local education authority in the area where the child will work.

If you have any doubts about complying with the Sponsorship Licence Duties, please contact our immigration lawyers for expert advice.

What do you need to know about the Home Office Compliance Audit and Site Visit? 

When UKVI compliance officers visit your business premises they will check that:

  • Information that has been given to UKVI is accurate and complete
  • You are able to offer employment at the Tier 2 skill level
  • You are genuine and trading or operating lawfully in the UK
  • There are no reasons to believe you represent a threat to immigration control
  • You are committed to, and actually are, complying with all the duties of sponsorship

You can expect your record keeping, reporting and immigration status monitoring processes and documentation to be reviewed in order to ensure that you remain compliant.

The compliance officer may not give an indication of their assessment or your ability to comply with sponsor duties during the visit.

What else do you need to know about the Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit? 

The Home Office may check sponsors at random. These visits can be announced or unannounced.

If your migrant workers perform their employment duties at a third party’s office, it is your responsibility to ensure that the third party is aware of the possibility of unplanned and unannounced visits and checks being conducted at their premises and ensure their full cooperation.

If the compliance officers discover a problem before making a decision on your sponsor licence application then the application may be refused.

If the compliance officers find discrepancies in your application after a decision has already been made to grant or renew your sponsor licence, they will take action against you. This could result in your licence being revoked, suspended, or downgraded, with repercussions for sponsored employees.

The ratings of all licensed sponsors are on the Home Office website. A downgrade could result in negative publicity and reputational damage.

If the Home Office considers that you have attempted deception in your sponsor licence application then this could result in prosecution.

Making a Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit with OneLaw Chambers

At OneLaw Chambers, our immigration solicitors and barristers regularly assist with Sponsor Licence Compliance Audits in order for applicants to maintain compliance with their Sponsor Licence Duties in the UK. We have assisted many businesses and corporations to prepare and submit successful Sponsor Licence Compliance Audits and we have represented clients from all over the world.

Whether you require expert immigration advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent immigration assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit or professional immigration representation with preparing for your Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit, our immigration solicitors and barristers can help you.

We are committed to ensuring that our immigration solicitors and barristers prepare every immigration visa application with utmost quality and skill so that successful outcome is achieved every time. Our immigration solicitors and barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire immigration application process. 

To discuss your Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit with one our immigration solicitors and barristers, please contact our Immigration lawyers on 0207 489 2044 / 0208 616 1819 or complete our enquiry form with your details.


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