In recent weeks we have seen an increase in unannounced visits to Tier 2 sponsors. Sponsors will be aware that UKVI can visit a sponsor at any time during the duration of the Tier 2 sponsor licence. Most sponsors can expect to be visited at least once every four years. Where issues were found at previous visits, sponsors can expect more frequent appearances.
Apart from general compliance areas, we have highlighted below some key issues being raised at recent UKVI visits:
- whether any action points from previous visits have been fully implemented;
- whether the processes for tracking migrants are up to date and are being followed;
- are sponsored migrants fully aware of their duties and what is expected of them?
- do the HMRC records match the salary details specified on the CoS, if not is there an explanation for discrepancy?
- whether any changes in corporate structure have been reported in time;
- health and safety policies – are they up to date?
- detailed questions about overall recruitment practices.
Following such visits, we have seen an increased number of concerns being raised by UKVI; incorrect refusals of CoS requests; and licence suspensions/downgrading as a result of UKVI errors. If you therefore find yourself in the positon of receiving such a letter and believe that mistakes or a misunderstanding have occurred, we recommend that legal advice is sought immediately.