Over the past year, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visits. An employer with a UK Tier 2 Sponsor Licence must be prepared for a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit otherwise could face the prospect of losing their Tier 2 Sponsor Licence if they are found to be non-compliant with the Immigration rules and Sponsor Licence Home Office Policy Guidance. The Home Office frequently conduct unannounced compliance visits leaving employers with little time to prepare ahead of the Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit.
The Purpose of a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit
As a Tier 2 Sponsor, you will be required to ensure your business is complying with its Tier 2 sponsorship duties. The Home Office can at any time attend your place of business and conduct a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit. This often leaves Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders in a panic as it is crucial the Home Office is satisfied with their assessment or it could result in hefty fines and the suspension or even revocation of the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence.
The purpose of a Home Office Compliance Visit is to establish whether a Tier 2 employer is complying with their Tier 2 sponsorship duties in accordance with their Policy Guidance. The Home Office takes illegal working extremely seriously and has made it clear that they will suspend or revoke the Tier 2 Employers’ Sponsor Licence who are guilty of this offence. In addition to ensuring that there is no illegal working on the premises, the Home Office will also want to see that the Tier 2 Employers operate a fully functional Human Resources System and is capable of complying with all its Tier 2 sponsorship duties.
What to expect and how to prepare for a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit
Home Office compliance officers are likely to visit your business premises unannounced and expect to see that you are meeting your Tier 2 sponsorship duties. The Home Office will request to speak to key personnel team such as the Authorising Officer, Key Contact and the Level 1 User. If these key personnel are not available the Home Office is likely to continue with the Home Office Compliance Visit in their absence, so it is crucial that a member of the key personnel team is always present at the business premises. Ideally, the Authorising Officer should be present as he/she will be responsible for the recruitment of all overseas migrant workers and their Tier 2 sponsorship details.
The Home Office will also want to see that the key personnel are aware of their Tier 2 sponsorship duties and the recent Home Office changes such as changes to the Tier 2 Salary threshold. The Home Office will also want to see that all details of the migrant workers are stored safely and are up to date i.e. contacts details and visa expiry dates. Lastly, it is not uncommon for Home Office compliance officers to conduct interviews with the migrant workers to establish whether they are genuine employees and are receiving key employment documents such as: employment contracts and payslips. Therefore it is important all migrant workers are aware of their rights and responsibilities within the business before the Home Office Compliance Visit.
Our team of solicitors and Barristers can assist with preparing for a Home Office Compliance Visit. Our specialist immigration team can carry out mock Home Office Compliance Visit checks and also prepare a tailored and comprehensive guide for the Tier 2 Employers on successfully satisfying the requirements of the Home Office Compliance Visit.
Top 5 Tips for Tier 2 Employers facing a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit
Whilst it is true that the Home Office compliance officers cannot enter your business premises by force, it is recommended that Tier 2 sponsors comply with the requests of the Home Office compliance officers to avoid any issues and delays in the conduct of the Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit. If you do not let the Home Office conduct their Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit then it inevitable that your Sponsor Licence would be suspended pending further enquiries or even revoked. Please see below for our top 5 tips for a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit:
- Always work with the Home Office compliance officers as first impressions are very important and in our experience, the attitude of the Sponsor’s staff can have a massive impact on the visit;
- Ensure all relevant paperwork is ready to be inspected and is organised in a clear and logic manner and ensure all information is updated and accurate;
- All personnel must be aware of their roles and responsibilities and must be ready for demanding interviews;
- Always arrange a Mock Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit using specialist immigration Solicitors and Barristers; and
- If possible, always have your legal representatives ready to assist during the Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit to ensure everything is in order.
Using Legal Representation to Comply with a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to comply with a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit. Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to conduct rigorous Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit checks for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit is successful, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules and Sponsor Guidance.
Successfully Comply with a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit and the merit of your Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration. We can assist you with the preparation of a Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
Our offices 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.
Preparation is the key to a successful Tier 2 Home Office Compliance Visit. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.