Why do you need to update your Sponsorship Management System regularly?

Why do you need to update your Sponsorship Management System regularly?

If you’re a sponsor or are looking to become one in the UK, you’ve probably heard about the Sponsorship Management System (SMS) offered by the Home Office. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the SMS is an online tool that allows you to manage your sponsorship activities and keep the Home Office updated about your sponsorship programme.

While the SMS is integral to managing sponsorship activities, only the level 1 user (who has full access to the SMS) and the level 2 user (who has restricted access to the system) can perform actions via the SMS on your behalf. 

Additionally, the Home Office requires you to update the SMS frequently to ensure that you’re meeting your compliance requirements and to make sure that you’re keeping the Home Office updated about your sponsorship activities. 

Despite these requirements, however, many sponsors fail to update their SMS regularly. This prompted the Home Office’s assurance and investigations team to send out a reminder to all inactive users to warn them about their inactivity.

So what can you do to indicate that you’re updating the SMS actively? According to our immigration and legal experts, you must log in to the SMS at least once a month to update critical information.

When can you use the SMS?

          – When renewing your sponsor licence

As a sponsor, it’s important to manage your sponsorship licence, which is generally only issued for four years. To continue sponsoring talent after the end of this period, you should renew your sponsorship licence with the Home Office before your current licence expires.

The Home Office provides you with features to streamline the renewal process through the SMS. You will also be notified when your licence expires, so you’ll be kept updated about the status of your licence, allowing you to lodge your renewal application at the right time.

You can also manage your sponsor licence by staying in the loop with the latest updates from the Home Office via the SMS.

           – When reporting changes to your business or sponsorship activities.

All sponsors in the UK are obliged to keep the Home Office informed about any changes to the nature of their business and the job of sponsored employees. Usually, you have a deadline to report these changes; it may vary between 10 and 20 days depending on the nature of the change. This must be done through the SMS.

Here are some of the changes you have to report within 10 working days:

  • If your sponsored employee doesn’t assume their job role on the date specified in the CoS
  • The absence of your sponsored employees for more than 10 days without permission
  • Termination of employment before the date specified in the CoS
  • Changes to the nature of the job role, such as changes in the job title, core duties, salary, and employed location
  • Changes to the size or the charitable status of your business

Here are a few changes that you’re required to report within 20 working days:

  • A change of name of your business or any of your branches
  • The sale of your business 
  • A merger or takeover
  • Convictions for relevant offences

             – When assigning the CoS to your selected candidates

The Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is perhaps the most important document in the sponsorship process, as it allows your selected candidate to apply for their Skilled Worker visa, which will give them the legal right to arrive in the UK and render professional services.

When you become a sponsor, you’ll be allocated several defined and undefined CoS, which you can assign to your selected employees through the SMS. In addition to assigning a CoS, the SMS also allows you to apply for a new CoS if you’ve exhausted your annual allocation.

What happens if you don’t update your SMS regularly?

If you don’t update your SMS, it may constitute non-compliance with sponsorship duties. You may also be considered to be employing illegal workers in the UK, in which case you may face:

  • Revocation of your sponsor licence
  • Suspension of your licence without an option to appeal for 12 months
  • Downgrade of your sponsor licence
  • Civil penalty of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker employed

Update your sponsor licence regularly to avoid legal repercussions

The SMS is a vital tool in the sponsorship process because it allows you to perform a number of activities to manage your sponsored employees. While it may seem complicated to navigate and may not always offer all the tools a sponsor needs, you must keep it updated to ensure that you’re fulfilling your sponsorship duties.

If you have any questions about updating the SMS or would like to speak to a professional, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Nation.better.

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