1. Record keeping
Sponsors must ensure they keep clear employment records and operate thorough HR processes. Should UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) make a compliance visit, they may ask to see all relevant documents in relation to sponsored migrants and would expect these to be produced immediately.
This will include (where relevant) details of any recruitment practices to ensure that any roles allocated to migrant workers have been allocated after a valid resident labour market test.
Sponsors are under a duty to report any changes in the sponsored migrant’s circumstances, including:
- termination of employment
- change of immigration status (for example being granted leave to remain as a spouse of a British citizen)
- promotion, change in core duties or change of salary
- change of place of work.
A sponsor must also notify UKVI if there any major business changes, such as a takeover, merger or de-merger.
These reports must be made within a specified timeframe, usually 10 working days.
Members of our Sponsor Management Service can access free content regarding their reporting and record keeping by contacting us.
3. Compliance with relevant laws
This includes all UK employment law, as well as (for example) complying with data protection and any other regulatory requirements on the particular industry the business operates in.
Prior to an individual starting work all employers (not just those sponsoring migrants) have a duty to ensure individuals have the right to work in the UK. UKVI will expect a sponsor to be able to produce right to work copy documents on demand. Sponsors will also be expected to have a system to keep track of visa expiry dates of their sponsored employees.
4. Ensuring sponsorship is for a genuine vacancy
Any migrant sponsored under a Tier 2 (General) visa will be assigned a certificate of sponsorship for a specific vacancy. The vacancy must be a genuine requirement for the business and the migrant should not be employed to undertake any other role within the business other than the one specified in the certificate of sponsorship.
5. Co-operation with UKVI
UKVI takes a proactive approach to ensuring sponsors’ compliance with their ongoing obligations. As such, it will expect the sponsor to allow it to conduct the visit and for any request for information to be complied with within any stated time limits.
We provide training to businesses on their sponsor duties to ensure compliance. For further information, please see here.