SPONSOR COMPLIANCE AUDIT
If you are a sponsor licence holder, you will be inspected by the Home Office at some point during the validity period of your licence. This is to make sure that the information you gave as part of your sponsor licence application is accurate and that you are able and continuing to comply with the duties and responsibilities of a licensed sponsor.
As a Sponsorship Licence holder, you have certain duties and responsibilities that you must carry out as set out by the Home Office in their policy guidance. Auditing and complying under your Sponsorship Licence is essential as Home Office scrutinises Licence holders rigorously. Even a slight human error can have drastic consequences for the business and on their ability to employ migrants from outside the UK.
Our team of experienced immigration solicitors and paralegals can draw on their experience of Home Office compliance requirements to conduct an immigration audit of your business ahead of any Home Office inspection and also provide you with regular training to prepare you for any potential audits in the future.
What happens during a home office compliance visit?
During a Compliance Audit, the officers will generally assess that:
• Information that has been given to UKVI is accurate and complete.
• You are able to offer employment at the appropriate skill level.
• You are genuine and trading or operating lawfully in the UK.
• There are no reasons to believe you represent a threat to immigration control.
• You are committed to, and are, complying with all the duties of sponsorship.
• You can expect your record keeping, reporting and immigration status monitoring processes and documentation to be reviewed to ensure that you remain compliant.
• Any employed migrants may or may not be interviewed.
The compliance officer may not give an indication of their assessment or your ability to comply with sponsor duties during the visit.
What else do I need to know about sponsor compliance visits?
The Sponsor Licence Audit and Compliance process is something you will need to familiarise yourself with to ensure that all requirements are being satisfied. This Audit takes place at the discretion of the Home Office and it may be either announced or unannounced. The Home Office generally conducts the audit post the grant of the Sponsor Licence; however, the Home Office may also visit your business premises to carry out the audit before a decision on your sponsor licence application is made. There is no limit to the number of audits that the Home Office may wish to undertake.
If you have more than one branch and the employment of your migrant workers are spread across all the branches, you should ensure that all authorised personnel in all the branches are aware of the possibility of unplanned and unannounced visits and checks being conducted at their premises and ensure their full cooperation.
Where the compliance officers discover a problem at the time of assessment, before deciding on your sponsor licence application, then your application may be refused. If the compliance officers find discrepancies in your application after a decision has already been made to grant or renew your sponsor licence, they will take action against you. This could result in your licence being revoked, suspended, or downgraded, with repercussions for sponsored employees.
The ratings of all licensed sponsors are on the Home Office website. A downgrade could result in negative publicity and reputational damage. In the event it is made out that there has been deception in your sponsor licence application then this could result in prosecution.
How can KTS Legal help you?
Our team of expert and experienced solicitors and paralegals can draw on their experience of Home Office compliance requirements to conduct a mock immigration audit of your business in advance of any Home Office inspection.
Knowing that your business is likely to be audited can be distressing for both the employer and the migrant employees. This is further accentuated due to non-preparedness for the audit. The slightest of discrepancies could lead to drastic consequences. It is therefore imperative that you have professional guidance on your side.
As part of our Mock Audit Training and Advisory services, our team will ensure that you, as a sponsor, are operating in compliance with the Government’s immigration compliance regime and are well prepared for a Home Office visit. Drawing on from years of experience we will provide you with invaluable insights into Home Office practice and procedure,
Our mock immigration audit entails:
• Verifying information that you gave on your sponsor licence application
• Checking your document management and record-keeping systems to ensure that you are complying with all your sponsor duties (or will be able to comply if your licence application has not yet been decided)
• Reviewing the personnel files of any sponsored migrants to identify any deficiencies and areas for improvement.
• Interviewing migrant workers in the event the Compliance Officers seek to question them.
• Conducting checks on other workers to ensure you are complying with your obligation to prevent illegal working.
During the entire process of audit, we will identify key areas which needs improvement and advise you on the steps to be taken. A mock audit allows employers and employees the opportunity to be familiar with the potential assessment that may take place.