Tier 2 Sponsorship – Compliance Visits
Compliance visits by the Home Office may be pre-arranged or unannounced and we have noticed an increase in compliance visits recently.
Home Office enforcement officers are seeking answers to a number of questions relating to the compliance of organisations with their sponsorship duties.
Common questions being asked are;
- Is a genuine vacancy being filled?
- Is the sponsored worker undertaking the job specified in the Certificate of Sponsorship?
- Is the sponsored worker being paid in accordance with the Immigration rules?
- Is the sponsor complying with monitoring and reporting duties?
- Is the sponsor maintaining appropriate records for sponsored workers where they have carried out a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT)?
- Is notification being made where changes to the business have occurred such as change of address or addition of branches?
Key personnel may be interviewed during the compliance visit and it is vital that sufficiently detailed answers are given to illustrate compliance, particularly in relation to the ‘genuine vacancy’ rule. The Home Office must be satisfied that there is a genuine vacancy that cannot be filled by a suitably skilled or qualified settled worker.
Licence Suspension and action required
Should the Home Office suspend an organisations sponsor licence, a detailed letter will generally be provided, setting out the alleged failures. These can range from technical failings such as non-compliance with reporting duties to more serious allegations such as abuse of the genuine vacancy requirements.
Where suspension action is taken by the Home Office, the sponsor will have 20 working days to respond. Each issue raised will need to be addressed in detail and sufficient evidence provided in support. Failure to do so will ultimately result in the revocation of the sponsor licence.
It is vitally important that any representations made to the Home Office are effective, detailed and robust and we strongly recommend seeking professional assistance for a better chance of the licence being reinstated.
Managing risk and compliance is vital and Hudson McKenzie have had significant success in helping organisations overturn licence suspensions and improve their processes.
If you would like to discuss this article further or have any general immigration related enquiries, please contact one of our highly qualified solicitors on 020 3318 5794 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Prab Dhanhoa