The Home Office is making a number of changes to enhance the Sponsor Management System (“SMS”) effective from 1 July 2013.
For all sponsors the sponsor summary page has become a licence summary providing a range of information including key dates for the licence (expiry, renewal, etc). New menu options have been added along with a new licence tracking function for renewal applications.
For Tier 4 sponsors the old paper HTS application form is replaced with an online version. The old forms ceased to be available on 10 June and the Home Office is using the period of time until 1 July to transfer data across. If a sponsor submits a paper application before 1 July, it will be rejected and they will need to reapply on 1 July using the online system. If a sponsor’s HTS status is due to expire before 1 July and they did not submit an application before 10 June, the Home Office will exceptionally allow them to submit the application before 15 July and it is imperative that the application is submitted before that date or the HTS licence will expire which is likely to see a revocation of the Tier 4 licence with associated ramifications.
For Tier 2 and 5 sponsors the migrant activity reporting function has been simplified, an online renewal function for Tier 2 and 5 premium service customers has been added as has the ability to delete an unassigned CoS and additional information about compliance action plans has been added.
We advise sponsors on all aspects of the sponsor licence system and if you require specialist legal advice please contact us.