Ensuring Sponsor Licence Compliance: A Guide by Davenport Solicitors

In the realm of UK immigration, holding a Sponsor Licence is both a privilege and a responsibility for sponsors. It is a continuous commitment to comply with all sponsor duties under immigration rules, sponsor guidance and wider UK laws.

The Home Office can carry out compliance checks, including compliance visits, interviews and inspection, prior to and at any point during the validity of a sponsor licence.

Non-compliance could potentially lead to revocation of the licence, civil penalties (up to £60,000 per illegal worker) for hiring illegal workers and other consequences.

Understanding Sponsor Licence Compliance:

Sponsor licence compliance encompasses detailed components that requires careful execution. The following is a summary of the core duties:


A. For each sponsor worker, sponsors must keep:

  • Evidence of right to work check (see our other guidance) being conducted.
  • Evidence of worker’s date of entry.
  • Copy of worker’s national insurance (NI) number.
  • Up-to-date worker’s contact details.
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check report if relevant.
  • A record of the worker’s absences.
  • And other route-specific documentation.

B. Evidence of recruitment, depending on whether formal resident labour market is required, includes:

  • Job advertisement where applicable.
  • Recruitment process where applicable (CV, interviews, etc.)
  • How the sponsored worked is found
  • Why he is the suitable person for the position

C. Salary for sponsored workers

  • copies of the worker’s payslips
  • evidence of transfer of each payment to worker’s account (no cash)
  • payment must be identifiable to each worker
  • employment contract, including all particulars

D. Skill level for sponsor workers

  • A detailed and specific job description outlining the duties and responsibilities.
  • Copies of qualification, registration/accreditation required for the position
  • Other route-specific qualifications

Reporting Duties: Sponsors are required to promptly report

– Relevant activities regarding sponsored workers within 10 working days, including:

  • delay in the start of employment
  • absence under certain circumstances
  • change of duties (not occupation code), salary, working location, contact details
  • sponsorship termination

– Significant changes regarding the business within 20 working days, including:

  • change of AO or key contact (request immediately)
  • organisation details
  • structure, nature, branches/sites, size
  • ownership, insolvency

The report or request should be made by using the Sponsorship Management System (SMS). Level 1 and 2 users should be competent in using the system.

Other duties

  • Sponsors must only assign a CoS where there is a genuine vacancy.Genuine vacancy means the jobholder is required to perform specific duties and responsibilities; the job must be a skilled occupation under the Immigration Rules; and it is for the genuine need of the business in light of its business model, plan and scale.
  • Sponsors must only assign a CoS to workers who they believe will meet the immigration requirement, including qualifications, immigration histories, criminal records, English and finance, and are likely to comply with the conditions of their visa.
  • Sponsor must disclose (by adding a sponsor note to the CoS) if assigning a CoS to a family member of anyone within the organisation which is classed as a small or medium-sized business (fewer than 50 employees; annual turnover under 10.2 million). A Level 1 user must not assign a CoS to their own family members.
  • Conduct right to work check (see our detailed guidance) to prevent illegal workers.

Maintaining Sponsor Licence Compliance with Davenport Solicitors:

Davenport Solicitors offers a comprehensive approach to ensuring Sponsor Licence Compliance:

  • Compliance Audit: Our team conducts a thorough assessment of your organisation’s immigration compliance, identifying areas that require attention or improvement prior to sponsor licence application or during validity of your licence.
  • Training and Guidance: We provide training and guidance to your HR and sponsor licence personnel, ensuring they are well-equipped to meet their sponsorship obligations.
  • Ongoing Support: Our experts offer ad hoc or ongoing support and advice to help you navigate changes in immigration laws and regulations, keeping your organisation in compliance.

Contact us for your enquiries regarding sponsor licence compliance or check on our website for other guidance.

Request a free call back

You’re welcome to call us on +44 020 7903 6888 or email us at contact@davenportsolicitors.com. We aim to reply within 24 hours.