In order to monitor the level of immigration in the UK, the Home Office has increased the number of unannounced UKVI Compliance Audits for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders. Sponsor Licence Holders are facing lengthy and vigorous UKVI Compliance Audits which involve complete disclosure of information regarding the immigration and employment status of their employees, along with their internal human resources and compliance procedures.
Unannounced UKVI Compliance Audits
Since 2008, Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders have certain record-keeping and reporting responsibilities with regards to hiring migrant workers. Sponsors are required to keep records of their worker’s identification documents and employment contracts and report to the Home Office any changes with their workers’ immigration and employment status.
In order for the Home Office to monitor Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders and make sure they are complying with their record and reporting duties, compliance officers often visit their premises to conduct unannounced UKVI Compliance Audits. These are designed to engage the licence holder to an unexpected inspection of their human resources systems, examine the immigration status of their employees and ensure the proper resources are maintained for record keeping and the tracking of migrant data.
These UKVI Compliance Audits are known to be very thorough, demanding and lengthy procedures. The compliance officers will request absolute cooperation and disclosure of all records. The UKVI Compliance Audits would involve interviewing personnel and ensuring they have full knowledge of their human resources procedures. UKVI officers examine internal compliance systems, review job descriptions and match them to the information provided on the Certificate of Sponsorship. Furthermore, the audit would involve the implementation of the recruitment and resident labour market test, which reviews the Sponsor’s decision making with regards to unsuccessful applications made by British or resident applicants who have previously applied to vacancies advertised by the Sponsor.
During these UKVI Compliance Audits, Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders are required to provide full access to the files of sponsored workers, payroll and salary records, identification documents, request details of the recruitment procedures and health and safety policies among others, depending on the size and the type of organization and the discretion of the UKVI officers.
Failing to Comply with UKVI Compliance Audits
Once these UKVI Compliance audits are complete, if the Home Office is satisfied that the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holder does not meet the criteria and they are non-compliant during their audit, they will have to deal with certain repercussions. The range of penalties can involve illegal working penalties and hefty fines, including the downgrading of the Tier 2 License Sponsor rating or in the worst case scenario a sponsor licence can be suspended or revoked, which would in effect restrict the licence holder’s permission to sponsor migrant workers.
In order to survive a ‘surprise’ UKVI Compliance Audit, Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holders should be accommodating, transparent and helpful towards the compliance officers, answer any of their questions and provide them with any information they request.
Using Legal Representation to ensure Compliance with UKVI Compliance Audits
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 ensure you understand your duties and responsibilities of being a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Holder and help you ensure that your business is and remains compliant with all immigration requirements. Our immigration solicitors can help you conduct ‘mock immigration audits’ to help identify any potential issues which could be resolved before a ‘surprise’ UKVI Compliance Audit.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, 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.
Successful UKVI Compliance Audit
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 immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application 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 successful immigration applications. 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.