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What are the proposed changes to the online Sponsor Management System?

Posted by: Gherson Immigration

The Home Office confirms that a new Sponsorship Management System is in the works.

The Sponsor Management System (“SMS”) is the IT system via which UK employers are able to manage their Sponsor Licence for the purpose of hiring non-resident staff members. To date, however, UK employers have continuously struggled with navigating the SMS and its reform is, therefore, in high demand. This is particularly so given that employers have been required to sponsor should they wish to hire any EEA nationals from 1 January 2021.

What are the proposed changes to the online Sponsor Management System? The Home Office promises that the new SMS will deliver a streamlined, simplified and modern sponsorship process that will enable efficient operation for both UK employers and the Home Office, ultimately encouraging compliance. The Home Office intends for the new SMS to start operating from mid-2023, with all licenced UK employers to be on the new system by the first quarter of 2024.

Since January 2021, the Home Office has already introduced an array of changes with a view to streamlining and improving the sponsorship process. These include:

  • Removing the Resident Labour Market Test, reducing the time from identifying a need to hire an overseas worker and acquiring a visa for that worker by 28 days;
  • Suspending the cap on Skilled Workers, reducing the certificate of sponsorship assignment process by up to 4 weeks in some cases;
  • Making the Sponsor Licence application process fully paperless;
  • Introducing a mobile application via which EEA nationals may provide their biometrics, in place of needing to attend an in-person appointment; and
  • Increasing available post-licence priority requests from 30 to 60 a day.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson has over 30 years of experience in assisting with all aspects of UK immigration law and is monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on all immigration issues closely. We have a specialist corporate immigration team who service the needs of a large number of companies. If you would like to speak to a member of our corporate immigration team in respect of any of the issues raised in 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 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 2021

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