Appendix D to the Immigration Rules provides guidance on sponsoring a non-EEA worker or student in the UK. It lists the documents sponsors must keep meeting the sponsorship requirements. It is highly important that sponsors keep up with their sponsor duties, as failure to do so could result in the suspension or revocation of the sponsor licence, risk a hefty fine and also jeopardise the migrant worker or students leave in the UK. LEXVISA’s business immigration team deals with many points-based system application and have assisted in many successful sponsorship licence applications. Therefore to ensure your business or academic institution is fully compliant with the Home Office’s stringent requirements for gaining and/or maintaining a sponsor licence, then please do not hesitate to contact us so we can arrange for you to discuss your case with our expert solicitors.
What is Appendix D to the Immigration Rules?
Appendix D to the Immigration Rules relates to Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 sponsors; providing rules and regulations for sponsoring a worker or student in the UK. The main documents that sponsors need to have are copies of the migrant’s current passport and evidence of their right to be in the UK (biometric residence permits). Up to date contact details for the migrant including their current address, telephone number and email must also be on file. Documents can be kept either electronically or as paper copies; they just need to be readily available to Home Office compliance officers when they conduct their visit. All documents provided as part of the application to become a licensed sponsor must be kept throughout the duration of the sponsor licence. The different visa categories also require more specific documentation/information as outlined briefly below.
Tier 2 and Tier 5
It is important that Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors are able to demonstrate that their employees have the correct skill level and are paid the correct level of pay. Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors will also need to complete the Resident Labour Market Test (“RLMT”) (if required) and demonstrate to the Home Office that this has been carried out correctly. Therefore documents evidencing the above will need to be kept on record. The updated Appendix D guidance also clarifies the circumstances in which Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors are required to check the migrant’s date of entry to the UK. We have explained in more detail the specific duties for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder in a previous article.
It is important that Tier 4 sponsors keep a record of the international student’s absence/attendance record. Further, where the student’s course of study requires them to hold an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (“ATAS”) clearance certificate, sponsors must keep a copy of the certificate or the electronic approval notice received by the institution, from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Copies of references and examination certificates (where applicable) may also be required.
Mock Sponsor Licence Compliance Visits by LEXVISA
The Home Office may conduct a compliance visit before the Sponsor Licence application is decided as well as at some point during the duration of the sponsor licence. This is in order to ensure that the Sponsor Licence holder is compliant with the Home Office’s regulations.
Our business immigration solicitors are fully aware of a Sponsor’s duties and through experience are able to highlight the common mistakes made by businesses which may lead to their Sponsor Licence not being granted, or being suspended or revoked. Our immigration team can be instructed to carry out regular mock audits to ensure that Sponsors are compliant with:
- Record keeping duties – we can check that all the employee or student records and documents are correct and up to date and that the HR system is robust enough to cope with the Home Office’s stringent requirements and checks.
- Reporting duties – (for businesses and institutions who already have a Sponsor Licence) we can check if the Sponsor Licence holder is aware of what information or events they are required to report to the Home Office using the Sponsor Management System (“SMS”) and whether they have been doing so.
- Immigration law – we can check what systems and processes the business or institution has in place to ensure that they are compliant with the current immigration laws. This includes ensuring that the sponsor is employing/enrolling eligible migrants.
- Genuine vacancy – For Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors we can interview the key contract/migrant workers during our mock compliance audits 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 the mock Sponsor Licence compliance visit to the Sponsor’s premises, our specialist Immigration Team will provide detailed feedback, which will include recommendations to ensure compliance with all the sponsorship duties. Our experience shows that most businesses do not have robust HR systems and procedures in place to be Home Office compliant, and all of our Sponsor Licence clients have found our immigration compliance service invaluable in being prepared for actual UKVI Compliance Checks.
Using Legal Representation to comply with Sponsor Duties under Appendix D
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on the law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with complying with Sponsor Duties under Appendix D. Our Solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to revoke sponsor licences which are not meeting the Sponsorship Duties for example by failing to meet the expectations. In order to ensure your Sponsor Licence continues to receive a good rating, our immigration team will conduct regular compliance visits. Our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be retained in the files.
The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that you continue to meet the Immigration Rules.
Successfully comply with Sponsor Duties under Appendix D
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 your Sponsorship Duties even before your matter reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with meeting your responsibilities by conducting quarterly compliance checks and by working with your Human Resources department ensuring all the relevant files meet the Home Office requirements.
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 successful compliance checks from the Home Office. 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 to discuss your matter further.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.