What is a Level 1 user on the online Sponsorship Management System?

14 Nov 2022, 04 mins ago

If you are a UK-based organisation employing/sponsoring employees who require a UK work visa, you may be familiar with the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) and the operation of the SMS.

The SMS is an important online tool, which allows you to manage your sponsor licence, including renewing your licence, updating your company’s details, issuing Certificates of Sponsorship (COS – i.e. the document your workers need to apply for or extend their work visas), and  reporting changes of sponsored employees’ circumstances. Sponsors have quite a long list of events, both in relation to their business and their sponsored employees, that they must report within set time frames.

There are different levels of access on the SMS. Level 1 users are given authorisation to access the entire range of functions on the SMS, whereas Level 2 users have a more restricted scope of access and generally cannot carry out organisation-level functions, such as requesting annual COS allocations or applying to renew the organisation’s sponsor licence. When you first apply for a sponsor licence, you can only nominate one Level 1 user and they must be an employee, director or partner of the business applying for the licence. Once you have a licence, you can use the SMS to nominate more Level 1 users.

These additional Level 1 users must be a paid staff member with your organisation or office holder (e.g. trustee or director), or a UK-based representative, or an employee of a third party organisation which delivers all or part of your HR function.

However, you must, at all times, have one Level 1 user who is an employee, director or partner of the organisation, and one Level 1 user who is a settled worker (i.e. a British or Irish national, an EU/EEA/Swiss national with settled status, or any other migrant with indefinite leave to remain). They can be the same person.

There are restrictions on the eligibility to be a Level 1 user, which generally excludes those who are independent contractors, subject to bankruptcy/debt relief orders, who have previous failed to comply with sponsor duties, and those with criminal histories.  Should you have any questions regarding how to manage your sponsor licence, or if you would like to instruct us to assist with your employees’ visa applications, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

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.

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