The Home Office Could Visit Your Premises Unannounced: What Access Are They Entitled To On Demand?

10 Jul 2019, 57 mins ago

If you hold a sponsor licence and the Home Office decide to pay an unannounced visit to your premises, you must co-operate and allow the Home Office staff full access to any premises or site under your control on demand. If you refuse to allow access on demand, the caseworker report will record that you have been uncooperative and non-compliant, which may result in the sponsor licence being refused, suspended, downgraded or revoked.

If you sponsor migrants that work at a third party’s premises, you must also ensure that they are aware of the possibility of visits and checks being conducted at their premises by the Home Office and ensure their full cooperation.

If you have applied for a sponsor licence, or have an existing sponsor licence, the Home Office will be allowed to attend your offices at any time for an audit throughout the duration of the validity of the sponsor licence.

In the event of any such visit, the Home Office representative will check that:

  • The information you have given is accurate and complete;
  • You are able to offer employment;
  • You are genuine and trading or operating lawfully in the UK;
  • You have adequate record-keeping, reporting systems and monitoring systems in place; and
  • You are complying with your general obligations (such as the prevention of illegal working).

The checks the Home Office can carry out can include questioning your key personnel and sponsored employees as well as reviewing your HR documents and procedures.

If the Home Office believe that your company is breaching its duties and posing a threat to immigration control, they may suspend your licence whilst they make further enquiries.

As mentioned above, the Home Office may pay a visit prior to approving your licence application or after the application has already been approved with or without prior notification. Gherson has extensive experience with conducting mock audits of small and large corporate organisations to ensure that the HR systems are adequate. If you have any questions or would like Gherson to assist you with a mock audit, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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 don’t 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.

©Gherson 2019