Corporate Immigration Services
Corporate Immigration Services
Compliance and Sponsor Licences - Protecting Your Business
Businesses looking to recruit workers from outside the European Economic Area are legally required to hold the appropriate sponsor licence issued by UK Visas and Immigration. Businesses face hefty civil penalties of up to £20,000 per worker if found to be in breach of these regulations.
In the case of existing licence holders, UKVI routinely conducts inspections without notice, assessing whether your business meets the standards set out by Home Office guidance in respect of record keeping for non-EEA workers.
Even minor breaches of the guidance can result in the downgrading of your licence, or complete revocation, causing disruption and uncertainty to your business.
Whether you want to review your processes, prepare for an inspection by the Home Office, or challenge a decision made about your licence, our business immigration solicitors will ensure you remain legally compliant.
Compliance and Licence Protection
The sponsor licence system places great responsibility on the sponsor to meet the required standards. There is no need for a breach to have occurred for the Home Office to suspend or revoke a licence - the licence can be revoked if the Home Office merely suspect a breach of immigration control might occur in the future.
Meeting the Home Office's Sponsor Requirements
The Home Office has strict regulations in place that outline what employers need to do to keep their sponsor licences, which includes:
- Keeping your employees' records up to date
- Paying your employees the correct salary
- Reporting any changes in circumstances
- Ensuring your employees meet the requirements of the Code of Practice for their role and that you are complying with your duties as a sponsor - these requirements are complex and ever-changing
We can help you establish efficient systems to avoid any non-compliance issues and minimise the risk to your business by:
- Doing a mock compliance visit and auditing your record keeping, reporting, and sponsor duty compliance systems
- Drafting and implementing compliance policies and strategies
- Providing training to HR and senior management to help you meet your sponsor duties and understand changes to the points-based system as they are introduced
- Drafting and implementing illegal work prevention policies and undertaking right to work checks for all new employees
If you need some advice about getting a sponsor licence or your duties, speak to us on 01483 748 500.
Challenging Licence Revocation and Suspension
We provide training and support to the key personnel in your business to prepare for inspections and minimise any risk of revocation or suspension.
Where a business has already received a negative licence decision we can:
- Prepare representations and evidence in response to a suspension decision to avoid licence revocation and reinstate your full licence
- Challenge a revocation decision by way of Judicial Review to overturn the decision, reinstate your licence, and avoid the curtailment of leave for your employees or reinstate their leave to remain if it has been curtailed – we can also seek to secure your costs against the Home Office
Avoiding and Challenging Civil Penalties
All businesses must be vigilant when hiring workers and take the appropriate steps to confirm that they are permitted to work in the United Kingdom.
If you are found to be employing someone illegally, this could lead to a civil penalty of £20,000 per illegal worker.
To protect your business, our immigration solicitors can:
- Provide advice on right to work checking processes to safeguard your business from an illegal working penalty
- Ensure that an extension application and a further right to work check is made in time for employees with time-limited permission to stay in the UK
If you have been issued with a civil penalty, speak to our solicitors as soon as possible. We can challenge the validity of the penalty and/or can seek to reduce its amount.
How can Barlow Robbins Help Me?
With the help of our team you can rest assured that your business will stay compliant with the Home Office's standards, preventing your sponsor licence from being put at risk.
We can offer you a bespoke mock audit service for your business, identifying its strengths and areas for improvement and help you implement these changes successfully. If your sponsor licence is under threat, we will work closely with you to eliminate this risk so that you can retain your licence.