For a licensed tier 2 sponsor, the ability to comply with the duties and responsibilities set by UKBA is paramount. Often these duties are complex and difficult to understand and may change quickly and frequently over time. This can lead to a tier 2 sponsor failing to comply with UKBA's rules, albeit unwittingly. In addition, UKBA has recently stepped up pre-arranged and unannounced visits to ensure sponsors are compliant with their sponsor duties.

The ramifications of non-compliance can be severe; a sponsor’s licence can be downgraded or revoked, and its sponsored migrant workers’ tier 2 visas cancelled and their leave curtailed.

Penningtons provides a bespoke tier 2 sponsor compliance service to our clients. Our tailored onsite training sessions, which can take place in our London, Hampshire or Surrey offices or at our clients' premises, have been particularly well received. These training sessions can also be combined with an on-site compliance audit. We can also provide an ‘out-of-office hours’ response service to assist our clients' employees if they encounter difficulties at immigration control during evenings and weekends. This is designed to ensure that the individual can access legal assistance swiftly during what is often a worrying time, and to take the burden away from HR teams.

For businesses which wish to apply for a tier 2 sponsor licence, we also offer a fixed-fee tried and tested application process.

We also pride ourselves on maintaining a positive relationship with UKBA. Nichola Carter sits on the employers' task force on behalf of ILPA and our team has recently been asked by UKBA to engage with them on the design of the new 'premium/highly trusted' status for tier 2 sponsors. We will provide further information about this scheme when it is announced on our news pages.