Businesses that hold a sponsor licence must comply with a number of duties and responsibilities set out by the Home Office, which are set out in the Sponsor Guidance. If a sponsor fails to comply with the duties set out within the Sponsor Guidance, this can lead to a suspension or revocation of the sponsor licence, and that in turn means that the employment of sponsored workers must cease. But what do you have to do to maintain a sponsor licence?
The Sponsor Guidance is frequently amended and updated, and sponsors should ensure that those responsible for the maintenance of the licence regularly review the latest guidance in order to ensure that the organisation is up to date with its compliance and that any necessary changes regarding the sponsorship of workers are made.
Here, we look at what you have to do to maintain a sponsor license.
The duties of a sponsor
The Home Office’s intention is that sponsors should carry out many of the functions that were previously undertaken by immigration officers. The general aim of the sponsor duties is to ensure that those benefiting from the sponsor licence i.e. sponsors play their part in:
- preventing abuse of sponsor assessment procedures;
- capturing patterns of migrant behaviour that cause concern; and
- monitoring migrant workers compliance with the Immigration Rules.
In order to meet the aims set out above, sponsors are required to adhere to a number of specific duties and these include:
- notifying UKVI if there are any relevant changes to the sponsoring entity (for example, change of ownership/shareholding/acquisition, change of address, different key personnel, changes in the size of the sponsor (from small to large company, etc.);
- monitoring the attendance/absences of sponsored workers;
- reporting any changes to the sponsored worker’s employment;
- carrying out right-to-work checks;
- retaining documents as set out in Appendix D of the Sponsor Guidance;
- complying with the law; and
- cooperating with the Home Office.
Detailed information on all the duties and how to comply with them is contained in the Sponsor Guidance.
Compliance visits can happen before or after a sponsor licence is granted. If the Home Office has any concerns that a sponsor is not capable of complying with its duties, it may visit the sponsor at any time in order to carry out a compliance visit.
During a compliance visit, not only will the Home Office seek to determine that a sponsor is carrying out its duties but will also look into whether the employment that any sponsored worker is carrying out is genuine, whether those that run the organisation are honest and dependable and if the organisation is operating lawfully in the UK.
We hope that you have found this post on ‘What do you have to do to maintain a sponsor licence?’ useful.
Our immigration experts are able to provide advice and guidance in relation to a sponsor’s duties. Contact us here to learn more.