Maintaining Compliance Records for Sponsors
To receive a Sponsorship Licence, the organisation must nominate a person or persons to fill 3 specific roles. Each of these roles will work to prevent illegal employment, and maintain records for the Home Office database of their migrant workers.
One person can occupy all the three roles, or the roles can be split between three different people. Some roles can be filled by a nominated legal representative outside of the organisation; however a request has to be submitted to the Sponsor Casework Unit through Sponsor Management System (SMS).
The Authorising Officer is ultimately the person responsible for the licence, and must be a permanent paid staff member of the organisation.
The Key Contact acts as the primary point of contact between an organisation and the Home Office. The Home Office will contact the Key Contact in the event that they have any questions, need documentation, or encounter any other issues with the organisation's hiring of migrants. You may nominate a legal representative from outside the company to act as the Key Contact.
Level 1 User:
The Level 1 User is responsible for using the Home Office Sponsorship Management System (SMS) to conduct the day-to-day activities and record keeping, relating to any immigrants employed by the organisation. This day-to-day activity may include assigning certificate of sponsorship (CoS) to migrants, notifying the Home Office of any changes in salary, take-over mergers, promotion, role change, etc. Again, you may nominate a legal representative from outside your company to act as your Level 1 User.
In practice, this allows organisations without in-house expertise in migration law to contract out the day-to-day maintenance of their system to a qualified legal representative like us. Legal representatives must be based in the UK, and must be regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), or be exempt from the requirement, or otherwise compliant with the Immigration and Asylum Act of 1999. The employers are required to maintain the documents so that the Authorising officer responsible can maintain the documents for Home Office Visits.