What can I expect from a sponsor compliance visit?

26 Feb 2024, 20 mins ago

Sponsoring workers in the UK entails a series of responsibilities. In order to ensure that you are complying with these responsibilities, your organisation might be subject to a sponsor compliance visit from the Home Office.

Whether you are a company looking to obtain a sponsor licence, or you already hold one, understanding what goes on during these visits is crucial.

Firstly, sponsor compliance visits can be both announced or unannounced, and they can take place before your application for a sponsor licence is decided (i.e. a pre-licence visit), or once you have been granted a licence (i.e. a post-licence visit).

Generally, pre-licence visits are conducted to assess your need for a licence, the accuracy of the information provided in your application and the sufficiency of your HR systems to fulfil your future sponsorship obligations.

Post-licence visits, on the other hand, entail a thorough audit of your record-keeping and monitoring systems, and will involve the Home Office delving into specific employee files. 

During either type of visit, both sponsored and non-sponsored employees can be interviewed. Adequate preparation is, therefore, key. Ensuring that HR documents are in order and that staff are briefed is crucial to a smooth inspection.

Following a visit, you can expect a detailed report from the Home Office on the adequacy of your systems and potential action points. In cases where the Home Office have identified serious deficiencies, they can take action to either downgrade your licence, or, in the worst case, to revoke the licence. In the unfortunate event of licence revocation, the repercussions are harsh. Employees sponsored under your licence face uncertainty, with a mere 60-day window to secure new sponsorship or depart the UK.

Overall, sponsor compliance visits demonstrate the rigour of UK immigration laws and the importance of abiding by them. Nevertheless, provided that your organisation is adequately prepared and fully compliant with the obligations outlined by the Home Office, there should be no cause for concern.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa 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 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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