Tier 2 Sponsors: Preparing for a UKVI Compliance Visit
13 October 2017 #Immigration
Sponsor licence holders are all too familiar with the challenges of maintaining compliance with UKVI requirements. All sponsors should expect a compliance visit at some point and any visit should be taken very seriously!
If UKVI are not satisfied with your performance, they could suspend the sponsor licence or in a worst-case scenario, the licence could be revoked resulting in any sponsored workers having their leave curtailed and you losing the ability to recruit international talent.
- The purpose of a UKVI compliance visit is to establish whether the organisation is complying with its sponsorship duties and responsibilities
- Compliance visits may be “announced” or “unannounced” but we often find that even when the sponsor is informed of the visit, they are not given much notice
- The duration of an audit depends on the size of the organisation but typically a visit can take a few hours
- The compliance officer will keep a detailed note of the matters discussed and the person being interviewed would be required to sign the interview notes at the end of the audit
Preparing for an audit
The key to a successful audit is all in the preparation. We recommend you carry out regular audits and ensure key personnel staff (especially the Authorising Officer and those in charge of recruitment) are aware of their obligations.
When carrying out an internal audit, you should be looking to see if:
- You are meeting your record keeping duties – have you retained the relevant documents in Appendix D in relation to each sponsored worker?
- You are meeting your reporting duties – have you been reporting any significant changes to a sponsored worker’s circumstances? This may include changes in job title and changes in salary (if significantly different to the one stated in the CoS).
- You are carrying out right to work checks in accordance to government guidance and are able to produce such documents promptly
- Your SMS users are up to date – you have deactivated any users no longer in charge
Encountering non-compliance during mock audits
In the event you come across areas where you feel you have not been meeting your sponsor duties, you should consider what improvements you can make to your current systems to ensure full compliance in the future.
Where UKVI carries out a compliance visit and comes across minor breaches, you should demonstrate your willingness to correct the issue. It’s likely that the Home Office would support you in making the necessary improvements.
Our business immigration team regularly carries out mock audits at client premises and provides detailed feedback on potential issues and recommendations on how to address breaches. If you would like confidential business immigration advice, please get in touch with our team today.
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