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Duties and compliance related to sponsorship license

A sponsorship license is mandatory for any UK company to employ a non-British or non-Settled worker. However, it comes with certain duties and compliance on the part of the sponsorship license holder or sponsor. If the Home Office finds that the sponsor has failed to comply with its duties, their UK sponsorship license can be revoked or suspended.
To meet the duties, knowledge of rules and resources is required to ensure your organization is compliant.

Sponsorship license duties

From the time you are issued a UK sponsorship license, you are mandated to perform your duties.

You are obligated to comply with the following duties:

  • Reporting duties: Reporting means all sponsor license holders have to submit specific information or events to the Home Office through the SMS (sponsor management system) within the time limits;
  • Record-keeping duties: Records in the form of certain documents for a certain length of time for each foreign worker sponsored must be maintained by the sponsor
  • Complying with Immigration Rules: Sponsor must comply with immigration laws and all parts of the Worker and Temporary Worker Sponsor Guidance;
  • Genuine Vacancy: The sponsor license holder must offer a genuine vacancy to the job holder. The Home Office may ask for additional information and/or evidence from the sponsor or worker to establish the genuineness of the vacancy;
  • Complying with UK laws: Sponsor license holders must abide by the UK wider law other than immigration law;
  • Behaving in a way that is conducive to the public good: All sponsors have a responsibility to behave in a way that is compatible with the fundamental values and does not harm the larger good of society.

Complying with sponsor duties

You need to do the following but not limited to comply with your sponsor duties mentioned
1. Reporting duties: to meet the reporting duties sponsor needs to update the Home Office about certain changes using their Sponsor Management System account within ten or
twenty days.
Changes that need to be updated within ten days are:

  • If a sponsored migrant does not start the role for which he/she has been sponsored,
  • If a sponsored migrant is absent from work for more than ten consecutive days,
  • If you stop sponsoring migrant workers for any reason,
  • If the migrant's work location, salary, or job duties change and more.

Changes that need to be updated within 20 days are:

If there is any significant change in your organization, such as the change of name of your company or any branch of it,

  • If there is a change of ownership,
  • Change of business location,
  • If there are mergers/acquisitions, another restructuring, when the business stops trading, is under administration, similar arrangements, and more.

2. Record keeping duties: to comply with reporting duties, you need to keep records of
employees' documents such as:

  • passports,
  • biometric residence permits,
  • immigration permits,
  • addresses,
  • current and historic contact details,
  • Absences, etc.

 3. Immigration law: to comply with the immigration law of the UK,

  • You must only allow the foreign worker to join your company in the specific role set out in their COS;
  • You must assign a COS only where there is a genuine vacancy;
  • You must not employ migrants who don't have the experience or permission to do the job in question and more.

4. Genuine vacancy: There must be a genuine vacancy for a foreign worker. A genuinevacancy means the specific job role for which a migrant worker is being hired and not
created for any other reason, such as to get a visa.

How does the Home Office check compliance?

Home Office can visit the sponsor's premises at any time before or after issuing the sponsor license until the license is valid. The visit is to make sure the license holder is complying with their sponsor's duties and obligations. The visits may be announced or unannounced.
If you are looking for professional advice or representation of your application, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261 or email us –


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Visa and Migration is a private OISC regulated company (F201500999) and is not an official Government body. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the UKVI website.