The Home Office UKVI aims to focus on the organizations having pending sponsor license applications at the first stage; however, all employers have been advised to have their system and processes according to the rules defined by the Home Office in order to avoid being penalized. The Home Office may decide to make a “Sponsor license compliance visit” before granting a new sponsor license or continuing with the one previously granted.
Compliance Duties of the Employer
For the prevention of illegal working regimes in the UK, employers in the UK must meet their duties, whereas; sponsor license holders have to meet additional compliance duties. Home Office has several methods to monitor employers, one of which is to sponsor compliance site visits. While inspecting, officials from the Home Office visit the site to inspect HR documents and processes. They may interview employees to check immigration compliance.
Visits conducted by the authorities may be announced with prior notice or may visit without giving any notice. Therefore, employers must keep their systems according to compliance at all times. The audit can occur at any of the following stages:
- At the pre-license stage of the license application process inspect the organization’s HR systems and processes before granting the sponsor license
- At any point during the four-year license validity period
- After making a license renewal application
What does the Home Office assess during a site visit?
Employers will be assessed in the following areas:
- General sponsor duties
- Monitoring employee immigration status
- Maintaining employee data
- Employee tracking
Preparation for Home Office Visit
The most important part of employers is to maintain accurate records of the employees. Records must be easily assessable and up to date at any specific time. The employer must keep comprehensive documentation of all relevant aspects of sponsored workers’ employment, such as absences, work duties, location, and pay. Below are the points laid out to help the employers, which gives a good impression to the authorities.
- Make daily record keeping
- Notify Home Office of any employee or organization changes
- Assign key personnel including the Authorising Officer, Level 1/2 users, and key contact
- Ensure records are kept relating to the worker’s employment, such as their job description
Penalties Imposed on non-compliant Employers
- Fines of up to £20,000 (per worker) found to be working illegally
- Downgrading of the sponsor license
- Suspension of the sponsor license
- Revocation of the license
How can Axis Solicitors help me with the Home Office Compliance Visit?
At Axis Solicitors, we deal with the challenges that show up to the Sponsor Licence holders by proactively preparing and training them. If you are already experiencing issues with the Home Office regarding compliance visits, our team can review the documents and system to resolve the matters. We aim to provide clear solutions for a successful compliance visit; whether it’s an unannounced visit or if you have received an announced visit, Axis can help you.