Sponsor Guidance and Duties
Organisations that hold a sponsor licence must comply with a number of duties and responsibilities set out by the Home Office.
The Home Office sets these duties out in the ‘Tier 2 and 5 of the points-based system: guidance for sponsors’ document, more often referred to as the Sponsor Guidance.
If a sponsor fails to comply with the duties set out within this document, 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.
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.
Sponsor Guidance and Duties: The duties of a sponsor
The Home Office intends that sponsors should now 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 worker’s 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.
If the Home Office has any concerns that a sponsor is not capable of or is not 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.
Sponsor Guidance and Duties: How we can help
Our immigration experts are able to provide advice and guidance in relation to a sponsor’s duties.
If your organisation requires legal assistance in this area or would just like to discuss your situation with a member of our team on a no-obligation basis, please contact us.