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Sponsor duties – being prepared for extension and ILR applications:

If you are a licenced Sponsor with sponsored workers, who will be extending their employment with you under the route or applying to settle in the UK (Indefinite Leave to Remain) then it useful for you to be aware of the sponsors duties that you have agreed to comply with, since becoming a licenced sponsor by the Home Office.

Your sponsorship licence is valid for 4 years per term and the Home Office are permitted to conduct audits at any point during this. These visits can be either announced or unannounced.

In our experience, applying to extend your employees sponsorship or supporting them in a settlement application can prompt the Home Office to surprise you with an audit, so it is good to have regular health checks on your internal systems and records to make sure you are up to date with the latest requirements. We are here to help you with these if needed.

All Sponsor Duties can be found in the Tier 2 and 5 Guidance for sponsors and should remain your first point of reference for checking anything related to your licence and sponsor obligations. It changes regularly, and the Home Office will certainly expect you to be up to date with any changes.

SMS Reporting Duties:

To break it down simply, the following changes should be a trigger for an SMS report to be submitted to the Home Office:

– Change of company details;
– Change of Key Personnel listed on the SMS;
– Change in sponsored workers conditions (working location, promotion, core duties, salary) that are outside of usual annual increments;

In short, if anything to do with the; company, structure or sponsored worker’s employment circumstances change, contact us at the earliest opportunity so that we can advise whether this requires an SMS report. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

At the point of the extension/settlement application we will check to ensure that all relevant changes have been reported before submission. In some cases, this may mean that the report has been filed late, however it is better to report it late than not at all.

Record Keeping:

In addition, you will need to ensure you have all of your paperwork in order for each sponsored worker (past and present). As a sponsor you must keep all mandatory documents on file until a Compliance Officer from the Home Office has audited them, or if they have already done so, then for at least 1 year after the sponsored worker has ceased to be sponsored by you.

Full details of all documents to be kept on record can be found in Appendix D.

At Westkin, we offer a range of services to clients to ensure they stay on top of their sponsor duties in terms of SMS reporting and compliance, contact us on 0207 118 4546 for more information.

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