Updates to the sponsorship documents that businesses and educational institutions must keep

07 Jun 2024, 00 mins ago

Immigration compliance risk for Sponsor Licence holders often revolves around record-keeping. Sponsors must retain documents listed in ‘Appendix D’. Failure to comply with the requirements can result in downgrading, suspension, or revocation of the Licence, affecting the sponsored migrants’ UK residency, and potentially causing operational and reputational damage to the organisation.

Understanding Appendix D

Appendix D specifies which documents must be kept and for how long to remain compliant with sponsor duties. This applies to those sponsoring workers under various immigration routes and to student sponsors. The documents must be retained for the duration of the sponsorship or until a compliance officer has reviewed them, whichever is longer. Furthermore, organisations must ensure that their HR systems can provide easy access to these documents upon request by the Home Office.

Record Retention Periods

Documents submitted with the sponsorship licence application must be kept for the validity period of the licence. For sponsored workers, records must be kept for one year after their sponsorship ends or until a compliance officer approves them. However, compliance with the Prevention of Illegal Working Regime and data protection laws must also be ensured, which might require retaining the documents for a longer period.

Storing Appendix D Documents

Documents can be stored either as paper copies or electronically, as long as they can be made available to the Home Office on request.

Key documents include:

  • Proof of right to work
  • Evidence of the entry date to the UK if the most recent leave to enter was sponsored
  • National Insurance number
  • Up-to-date contact details
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, if required
  • Absence records
  • Any other documents specified in the relevant UK government guidance
  • Documentary proof of the recruitment process for the sponsored role.

Sponsors must retain evidence of the recruitment process to prove that the vacancy is genuine. This includes job applications, interview notes and reasons for not employing candidates from the domestic labour market. If the sponsored role was not advertised, you will have to explain why and how the candidate was chosen.

Salary requirements must be met by keeping:

  • Worker’s payslips
  • Salary payment evidence
  • Employment contract
  • Any documents showing allowance values
  • Proof of skill level and qualifications

Skill level requirements must be met by keeping:

  • Detailed job descriptions
  • Copies of qualifications
  • Professional accreditation documents
  • Documents for Sponsored Students

For student sponsors, the following records must be kept:

  • Passport and visa details
  • Attendance and absence records
  • Student’s contact details
  • ATAS clearance certificates, if applicable
  • Evidence from the selection process for certain endorsements
  • Notification records for private foster care arrangements, if applicable

Compliance Checks

The Home Office may conduct compliance checks at any time. You must review your records regularly and ensure that all documents are accessible. Failure to provide documents on request may constitute a breach of the applicable regulations.

Sponsor Licence compliance requires constant attention. Good record-keeping systems should be integrated into standard HR processes. If you require support with managing your Sponsor Licence, including record-keeping, please feel free to contact our business immigration specialists.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Business Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on all matters concerning UK sponsor licences. If you have any questions arising from this article, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, or send us an e-mail. Don’t forget to follow us on XFacebookInstagram, 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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