The Home Office may carry out checks before a decision on your Business Sponsor Licence application has been made to ensure that you are able to carry out your sponsor duties and you have the correct HR process and procedures in place should you be granted a Sponsor Licence. Once you are a licenced Sponsor, the Home Office reserve the right to carry out sporadic checks to ensure you are complying with your sponsor duties and are taking your responsibilities seriously.
Our business immigration lawyers understand that the Home Office’s guidance and the immigration rules and regulations can be complex and to ease your burden, they are on hand to ensure that your business is and remains compliant with all immigration requirements.
UKVI Visits to Business Premises
The Home Office can carry out random checks on Sponsors and these can be announced or unannounced. When Compliance Officers from UKVI visit they will be checking:
- Whether the information you have provided is accurate and complete;
- You are able to offer employment;
- You are genuine and trading/operating lawfully in the UK;
- There are no reasons to believe you represent a threat to immigration control; and
- You are complying with all sponsorship duties.
Once at a Sponsor’s businesses premises, Compliance Officers may:
- Photograph the location and premises from which the business is operating from to verify the information given at the time the Sponsor Licence application was made;
- Speak to migrant workers, employees and members of the team involved in recruitment of migrant workers to ensure that sponsorship duties are being complied with;
- Conduct checks on other employees to ensure the business is complying with its duties to prevent illegal working.
Our business immigration solicitors frequently attend and provide assistance during planned on site visits by UKVI Compliance Officers which in our experience reassures the Home Office that the business is aware of their sponsorship duties.
Suspected Breach of Sponsor Duties
UKVI may also request further information from sponsors via telephone, emails and letters and can also verify information given to them with government departments such as HMRC.
If Compliance Officers are not satisfied with their findings, UKVI can either refuse to grant a Sponsor Licence or if one has been granted they can take action against the organisation. UKVI may make the decision to prosecute key personnel of the organisation under the Immigration Rules or other legislation if they are found to have attempted deception.
Our expert business immigration solicitors are regularly instructed by organisations who have received correspondence from the Home Office indicating that their Sponsor Licence will be suspended, revoked and/or that they will face substantial penalties. Through our extensive experience in immigration compliance, our team have the expertise to make representations in favour of the business and challenge unduly harsh penalties which may have been imposed on the business or key personnel such as the directors of the company.
Mock Audits by UK Business Immigration Lawyers
Our business immigration solicitors are fully aware of sponsor’s duties and through experience are aware of the common mistakes made by businesses which may lead to their Sponsor Licence being suspended or revoked. Our immigration team can be instructed to carry out regular mock audits to ensure that as a licenced sponsor you are compliant with:
- Record keeping duties: we can check what records and documents you are keeping, whether they are acceptable, when and how you are checking these documents and whether you are diarising further required checks;
- Reporting duties: we can check if you are aware of what information or events you are required to report to the Home Office using the SMS and whether you have been doing so;
- Immigration law: we can check what systems and processes you have in place to ensure that you are complying with the current immigration laws such as ensuring you are employing migrants who are appropriately qualified, registered or experienced to do the job and whether there is a genuine vacancy to employ the migrant worker; and
- Genuine vacancy: while carrying out mock audits, we can interview migrant workers to establish whether there is a genuine vacancy and establish whether they are fulfilling their role in accordance with the appropriate SOC code and whether they are being paid the appropriate salary.
Following a visit to your business premises, our business immigration lawyer will prepare a detailed report of his/her findings which will include recommendations to assist you in complying with your sponsorship duties. Our experience shows that most businesses do not have the correct procedures in place and all of our business sponsor clients have found our immigration compliance service invaluable.
Our expert immigration team are regularly instructed by start-ups, SME’s and large organisations and have the necessary skills and expertise to identify any potential issues which could be resolved before a UKVI compliance visit. It is therefore advisable to contact a member of our team today so we can explore the options available to you and your business.
We are a UK law firm based in Middle Temple, London and our solicitors are fully authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Contact our professional business immigration team today and we can offer you a consultation in person or via telephone or Skype so we can explore your options. You can leave us a message on our Contact Form or give us a call on 02071830570.