Do you know your compliance responsibilities as a sponsor?

Do you know your compliance responsibilities as a sponsor?

Today, sponsoring skilled workers is an attractive option for UK businesses that are looking to fill core skill gaps in their organisation, improve diversity, and get the best people to work for them.

If you’re looking to reap the benefits of these opportunities and gain a competitive edge over your rivals, employee sponsorship is a viable and reliable solution.

Before you can secure your sponsor licence and start interviewing candidates, however, it’s important that you are aware of all your duties as a sponsor.

The Home Office has outlined several duties you must perform and due diligence you must carry out, including reporting, record keeping, and complying with immigration laws in the UK.

What are your reporting duties?

Reporting changes to the nature of your business, the employment of your sponsored workers, and other events regarding your sponsorship activities to the Home Office is one of your primary duties as a sponsor.

Depending on the nature of the changes or events, you have between 10–20 working days to report them and you can do so in the Sponsorship Management System (SMS).

For instance, if you’re considered a small business or charity and the number of your employees exceeds 50, you must report the change to the Home Office within 10 working days.


You’re considered a small business if 2 of the following conditions apply:


  • Your annual turnover is equal to or less than £10.2 million
  • The value of your total assets is equal to or less than £5.1 million
  • You have 50 or fewer employees


You’re considered a charity if you’re:

  • A registered charity in England, Wales or Scotland
  • A registered charity in Northern Ireland—if you’re not on the register, you must provide proof of your charitable status for tax purposes from HMRC
  • An excepted charity
  • An exempt charity
  • An ecclesiastical corporation established for charitable purposes

What are your record-keeping duties?

Record-keeping is one area where many sponsors struggle to meet demands due to the extensive requirements of the Home Office.


Documents you need to maintain include:

  • Payment records
  • Attendance records
  • Proof of skill of sponsored workers
  • Proof of changes in the nature of your business
  • Up-to-date contact details of sponsored employees
  • Details about dependent residents of sponsored workers 
  • Evidence of the right to work check—copies of employee passports, BRP, and the stamped entry clearance visa, an online right to work check proof

How do you stay compliant with UK immigration law?

As employment is one of the primary motivations for illegal immigration into the UK, it’s important that you ensure compliance with the immigration laws in the country.


While there are many laws you must comply with, the most important one you should adhere to is the genuine vacancy rule. 


What this entails is that you should only sponsor employees if there’s a genuine need for recruitment and the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) should reflect the duration of the role accurately.


You must also ensure that any employee you’re hiring has the qualifications and the right to work in the UK, which you can ensure by conducting a right to work check.

In some situations, you may also be required to instruct your employees to obtain an ATAS if the job role you’re offering requires one. Your employees need to get the ATAS certificate from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to receive entry clearance.

Fulfil your sponsorship duties with professional support

Managing your sponsorship programme can be stressful due to the various duties you have to fulfil to ensure compliance with Home Office guidelines. You can streamline and simplify this process by getting the help of professionals and familiarising yourself with the right tools.


At Nation.better, we offer you end-to-end sponsorship services including sponsor licence support, visa application support, and a cutting-edge compliance platform. When you complete monthly and quarterly reporting checklist tasks on our platform, we help you ensure that you’re fulfilling your obligations.


If you’d like to learn more about how our experts can support you, feel free to reach out to our team.

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