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Sponsor Compliance Duty Advice

Sponsor compliance - Introduction

Sponsor licences permit businesses within the UK to access the overseas global talent market and recruit skilled migrant workers. The grant of a sponsor licence comes with onerous responsibilities to ensure that the business does its part to assist with the prevention of illegal working within the UK. The duties of a sponsor start as soon as the licence is granted by the Home Office. It is vital that a business ensures that they are compliant with their sponsor duties from the outset. Failure to adhere to duties can be detrimental to the organisation. The business could face reputational damage, the licence rating could be downgraded, and/or the licence could be suspended resulting in the loss of migrant workers.

As a sponsor, it is important that you are aware of your duties which are as follows:

Record keeping

One of the primary duties of a sponsor licence holder is to maintain accurate and up-to-date records for all sponsored employees. This includes maintaining information such as contact details, employment start and end dates, changes in job roles or responsibilities, and any significant changes to employees' circumstances. It is essential for sponsor licence holders to establish robust record-keeping and compliance systems. These systems should ensure that all required documents and records are retained securely for the specified timeframes and are easily accessible for reporting or audit purposes. These records must be readily accessible and available for inspection by the Home Office upon request.

Monitoring and reporting duties

Sponsor licence holders are responsible for monitoring their sponsored employees to ensure ongoing compliance. Implementing robust systems for tracking key dates, such as visa expiry dates, will help you proactively address any compliance issues.

Sponsor licence holders must report certain events to the Home Office within specific timeframes. These events include, but are not limited to, reporting on sponsored employees' absences, changes in employment status, changes to the organisation and any changes to the organisation's key personnel. Failure to report these events on time may result in penalties or even revocation of your sponsor licence. Staying vigilant and promptly notifying the UKVI about any relevant changes is key to maintaining compliance.

Appointing key personnel

One of the key responsibilities of sponsors is to appoint key personnel who will oversee and manage the immigration processes within their organisation. These key personnel are responsible for ensuring compliance with immigration laws and regulations, maintaining accurate records, and liaising with the relevant authorities on behalf of the sponsor. By appointing competent and knowledgeable individuals to these positions, sponsors can effectively navigate the complexities of the immigration system, minimize the risk of non-compliance, and safeguard the integrity of their sponsorship licence.

Compliance with Immigration Rules & UK law

Compliance with the Immigration Rules is paramount when you hold a sponsor licence. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the latest immigration regulations and ensure that you are employing sponsored workers in line with the guidelines. This includes verifying their right to work in the UK, ensuring that they meet the requisite skill and salary thresholds, and complying with any specific employment conditions imposed on their visas.

How can Freeths help?

At Freeths LLP, we have a dedicated team of business immigration experts with extensive experience in advising and supporting businesses in sponsor compliance matters. Our tailored solutions and practical advice can help you navigate the complex immigration system, ensuring your sponsorship licence remains secure and your business can continue to attract and retain top international talent.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our business immigration team and learn more about our sponsor compliance services. We are committed to providing you with the guidance and support you need to achieve and maintain compliance with the UK immigration rules.

Contact our business immigration team:


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