In recent months, Immigration Enforcement has been working relentlessly in their intelligence led operations to tackle illegal working. They are determined to identify individuals who are abusing the UK immigration system and have been imposing penalties on rule breakers. Licensed sponsors who employ illegal workers may be faced with penalties of up to £20,000 per worker; their licence may also be downgraded, revoked or suspended. The Home Office continue to encourage people to comply with immigration rules and to report any suspicious dealings.UKVI continues to intensify Sponsor Licence compliance reviews
Tier 2 & Tier 5 Business Sponsor Duties and Responsibilities
As a licensed sponsor, you will be expected to ensure that the system is not abused as you are a direct benefactor from employing foreign migrants. From the day your licence has been granted, you are responsible to comply with immigration rules in relation to the workers you are sponsoring. If you fail to comply with your duties, you may be charged with a criminal offence in certain situations or you may be faced with civil penalties that can cost you thousands of pounds.
Duties that apply to licensed sponsors in all tiers include the following:
- Record keeping duties;
- Reporting duties;
- General compliance; and
- Co-operation with the Home Office.
Licensed Business Sponsor Continuing Record Keeping and Reporting Duties
As a responsible employer, it will be your duty to carry out a right to work check on all of your employees. Firstly, You will be obliged to obtain original documents from your employees. Secondly, you are responsible to check whether the documents are genuine and to spot any inconsistencies across a migrants’s documents. Furthermore, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the employed migrants are not breaching any work restrictions attached to their grant of leave. Licensed sponsors are expected to take the initiative to carry out further checks on right to work if the migrant’s grant of leave has limitations. If you are unsure whether certain restrictions apply to your employee, you are always advised to take appropriate steps to seek further confirmation.
Following a thorough check of the documents, licensed sponsors are obliged to keep copies of those documents of all sponsored migrants. These include passport, proof of leave to remain e.g. Biometric Residence Permit and residence cards, National Insurance number, and their personal information e.g. contact details. Licensed sponsors are expected to keep track of any changes to the migrant’s residential address and contact details. As the employment progresses, you are advised to keep a continual record of their payslips, tax documents, and attendance records.
Additionally, you must report any non-attendance, non-compliance or disappearances of your sponsored migrants. If any details regarding your sponsored migrant’s employment condition change, you will also be responsible to report these events and information using the Sponsor Management System (SMS). These changes may include changes in level of salary, promotions, job titles, and work locations.
Continuing General Compliance Issues and Co-operation with the Home Office
In the process of you Sponsor Licence application you may already have noticed several compliance issues. For instance, Tier 2 or 5 sponsors must ensure that they employ only appropriately qualified and experienced individual to fill genuine vacancies. You must also comply with other legislation that concern employment and are applicable to the type of business you are operating.
The Home Office may visit a sponsor’s site prearranged or unannounced. A UKVI official will be responsible in checking whether sponsors continue to possess the appropriate resources to sponsor migrants; they may also request to inspect your record keeping practices. Interviews with you and your employees may also take place in order to review whether immigration rules are not breached. When a compliance officer visits a sponsor’s site, co-operation will be expected in forms of allowing full access to the sponsor site and documents, and reasonable assistance in completing a compliance visit.
UK Business Immigration Compliance Check with LEXLAW Solicitors & Advocates
Our advice for UK businesses/employers (corporate clients) and education providers encompass the following:
- Ongoing compliance with UK immigration laws and sponsorship duties for Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 Sponsor;
- Advice on prevention of illegal working;
- Assistance with Home Office Audits;
- Advising on appropriate record keeping and monitoring processes;
- Training for businesses and educational institutions, including training on compliance procedures and recruiting international staff and students; and
- Keeping you updated with the changes in UK Immigration Law.
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers are ready to provide you with effective solutions to your business immigration needs. Our expert immigration solicitors based in London, provide business clients with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the sponsor licence process. We ensure that we help you achieve and maintain an A rated sponsor licence and provide ongoing compliance checks to ensure you are aware of your duties as a Home Office registered sponsor.
If you wish to consider your options, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your matter and if necessary advise you of the next steps you should take in a consultation.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
If you need professional legal advice about Sponsor Licence compliance duties and responsibilities or submitting a Sponsor Licence application please contact us for a case assessment on 02071830570. You can also reach us via our contact form.