All Sponsor Licence Holders, focus will need to shift to managing the sponsor licence. It is an ongoing demand to ensure all of the compliance duties are met and you are not at risk of breaching the rules and of Home Office penalties.

Key duties will include record keeping, both in relation to the organisation and to all sponsored workers.

Across all visa types, a licence holder must keep a photocopy or electronic copy of the relevant pages of the sponsored migrant’s passport, including those pages which contain personal identity details, leave stamps, immigration status and the period of leave to remain; a record of the employee’s absences; and the employee’s biometric residence permit, contract of employment, National Insurance number, current and historic contact details and any other document required for the visa type.

If the resident labour market test is required, records must be kept as evidence.

In most cases this means updating the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) within specified timeframes. The SMS is the Home Office’s primary source of information relating to your licence, and as such it is expected that the SMS is kept up to date to provide a real-time snap shot of the organisation’s licence and all of its sponsored workers.

Employers must update the SMS within 10 working days if a sponsored employee does not turn up to work on their first day, a sponsored employee’s contract is terminated early, a sponsored employee is absent from work for 10 of more days, without permission or there are significant changes in a sponsored contract of employment.

Changes to an organisation’s circumstances must be reported within 20 days, including where a business becomes insolvent, changes the nature of their operations or following a reorganisation or merger. Any changes to a business address or key personnel must also be reported.


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