3 Key Tips for Human Resources Departments Preparing for a Home Office Compliance Visit

07 Nov 2022, 18 mins ago

In our recent blog we discussed Home Office compliance visits and what could happen if a visit does not go according to plan. We have compiled 3 tips which should help you prepare for a planned or unannounced Home Office visit.

Tip 1 – Ensure all employee files are up to date

Sponsored employees

As a sponsor you must ensure you are complying with your sponsor duties. During a visit, the Home Office may wish to view sponsored employee files to check if all required information has been gathered and kept.

You should therefore ensure that your sponsored employees’ files are up to date with their right to work documents, passports, visas, interview notes, etc. You must also ensure you have a record of their current and previous UK contact details (addresses, email, telephone number, etc.).

Non-sponsored employees

For all other employees, whether they are visa holders (who do not require sponsorship) or British nationals, you should ensure you hold compliant right to work checks on their files.

Tip 2 – Ensure all changes have been reported to the Home Office

If there have been any changes to the company or to a sponsored worker’s employment, this may need to be reported to the Home Office to remain compliant with sponsor duties.

As a member of HR, it is helpful to know the type of employee and organisational changes that need to be reported to the Home Office, and the relevant deadlines for making such reports.

Changes to employee circumstances

Line managers need to be aware of the type of changes to a sponsored worker’s employment that need to be reported so that the necessary steps can be taken. These changes include promotions, additional job duties and different working hours.

Changes to the organisation

Changes to the organisation can include change of key personnel, mergers and acquisitions, opening new branches and changing the company’s name.

Once the report has been submitted to the Home Office, a copy should be saved on the employee’s HR file.

Tip 3 – Be prepared for questions

During the visit the Home Office may wish to speak to the Authorising Officer and also sponsored migrants regarding their employment. It is important that these individuals are prepared for a visit and ready to answer the types of questions that the Home Office may ask.

If a Home Office compliance visit goes badly, the consequences could be harmful to your business operations, as your licence may be suspended or revoked. It is therefore crucial that you have the systems and procedures in place so that you are prepared for a Home Office compliance visit at any time.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on all UK immigration sponsorship compliance matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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