With Tier 2 and Tier 4 sponsors applying for renewals of their sponsor licenses, an increased number of UK Border Agency compliance visits have been taking place. If you are a sponsor who has not received a UKBA visit during the lifetime of your existing sponsor licence, it is likely that you will receive a visit as part of the renewal application process.
The UKBA may write to the sponsor in advance of the visit to arrange a date and time for the visit. However, it is more likely that the visit will be unannounced. If you have prior warning of the visit, it is important that the key personnel to the sponsor licence (authorising officer, key contact and any level 1 and level 2 users) are available to answer any questions that the UKBA compliance officers may have.
Whether you have notice of the visit or not, all sponsors should be prepared for a UKBA visit. You should therefore ensure:
- key personnel (authorising officer, key contact, level 1/2 users) details are correct on the Sponsor Management System;
- correct records are being maintained in accordance with Appendix D of the sponsor guidance;
- you are meeting the sponsor obligations including monitoring, reporting, record keeping and maintaining contact details; andp
- revention of illegal working checks are carried out correctly for all employees and not just sponsored employees. See checklist produced by the UKBA for further details, which can be found here.