Sponsor Licence Change of Circumstances
Any organisation that holds a sponsor licence has a duty to report to the Home Office if there are any changes to the organisation or if there are changes to a sponsored worker’s circumstances.
Complete information regarding the changes that an organisation must report are set out within the sponsor guidance. In brief however, an organisation has a duty to report:
- a change of address;
- a change of name;
- a change to the key personnel named on the licence; and
- any change in company size or structure.
Such changes to an organisation must be reported within the Sponsor Management System (SMS). Whilst certain changes may be automatically updated within the SMS, other changes can take up to 16 weeks to be actioned and further information regarding the change could be requested by the Home Office.
Certain changes, such as a complete takeover, may result in the need for a new sponsor licence application and if there are any changes to the structure of the organisation, we would recommend seeking advice at an early stage as to whether this will have an adverse effect on the sponsor licence.
Changes to a sponsored worker’s circumstances
Any significant changes to a sponsored worker’s employment or circumstances must be reported to the Home Office within a certain time frame, generally 10 working days.
Examples of changes that need to be reported include:
- if a sponsored worker does not turn up for their first day of work;
- if a sponsored worker leaves their employment or is no longer sponsored because, for example, they have obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain;
- if a sponsored worker receives a promotion, change of pay or change to their core duties; or
- if a sponsored worker is absent from work without permission for more than 10 consecutive days.
Whilst the majority of reports will lead to no further action, if a report is for example made regarding a worker’s unauthorised absence, this may raise questions regarding why the employment is continuing and this could lead to a compliance review in order to check HR procedures.
How to make a report
A report will generally need to be submitted within the SMS by a Level 1 User. We often see delayed reports in large organisation’s where the Level 1 User has not been made aware of a change that must be reported and it is therefore advisable where a sponsor licence is held, to ensure that all relevant people are aware of the duty to report and who must make the reports.
A failure to report significant changes can lead to the Home Office reviewing a sponsor’s compliance and can in extreme cases, lead to the revocation of the sponsor licence.
Sponsor Licence Change of Circumstances: How we can help
Our immigration experts are able to provide advice and guidance in relation to a sponsor’s duties and can provide detailed advice regarding action to be taken in relation to missed reports or changes to the organisation’s structure.