What is a Key Contact on the Sponsorship Management System

22 Nov 2022, 48 mins ago

The key personnel roles are Authorising Officer, Key Contact and Level 1 user. The organisation can also appoint a Level 2 user when the sponsor licence has been granted, but the first three roles need to be identified and declared to the UK authorities prior to the submission of the application.

The Authorising Officer (AO) is the person in the organisation ultimately responsible for the proper administration of the licence and adherence to all sponsor duties. It should be the most senior person involved in the recruitment of migrant workers. The AO must be an employee or office holder of the company, be based in the UK, and not have any unspent criminal convictions. It is important to have a current AO registered on the licence at all times.

The Key Contact, together with the AO, is the main point of contact for the Home Office for any queries. The Key Contact must also be based in the UK. They do not have to be employed by the organisation. Many businesses decide to have their legal representative as Key Contact on their licence. That way any communication from the Home Office goes to two different persons, and the company can discuss any required response with their immigration services provider.

The Level 1 user has access to all of the functions on the SMS, so they can draft and assign Certificates of Sponsorship (COSs), inform the Home Office of changes in both sponsored migrants’ and the company’s circumstances. The initial Level 1 user must be an employee of the company (and can be the same person as the AO). Once the licence has been granted, the initial Level 1 user can appoint further Level 1 users (usually at least one Level 1 user is an employee of the company’s legal representative).

Level 2 users have limited access to the SMS and can mainly only draft and assign COSs. There is no limit on how many Level 1 or 2 users a company can register. It is, however, important for the AO to know and understand who has access to the SMS and why.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team is 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 email, 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.

©Gherson 2022