Are you ready? The UK Border Agency has significantly increased the number of compliance visits they are undertaking.  This increase is predominantly due to the Sponsorship Licence Renewals that many clients are currently required to complete. 

In 2008 the UK Border Agency introduced the Points Based System and any employer wishing to employ a migrant worker at that time were required to obtain a sponsorship licence.  These licences were granted for an initial period of 4 years. Therefore, whilst many clients have now completed the on-line renewal application, many licences have been temporarily extended pending further checks by the UK Border Agency.

Unless an employer has had a compliance visit within the last 12 months, it is likely that the UK Border Agency will undertake a compliance visit before granting the substantive approval of your sponsorship licence.  These visits can take between 1 – 3 hours and can be pre-arranged or unannounced. 

The UK Border Agency will review your compliance with respect to 5 key areas:

  • Monitoring immigration status and preventing illegal employment
  • Maintaining migrant contact details
  • Recordkeeping
  • Migrant tracking and monitoring
  • Professional registrations and accreditations

 In some instances the visiting officer will also speak with several of your migrant workers.

Should the UK Border Agency officer not be satisfied with any of your processes within the 5 compliance areas they can refuse the renewal of your licence or downgrade your licence to a B rating.  Any such result would have a significant impact on your existing migrant workforce and the company substantively. 

We strongly encourage all client's who have not had a visit in the last 12 months to invest some time now to ensure that you are well prepared for any such visit.  The UK Immigration Team at Faegre Baker Daniels can support our clients by undertaking a pre-visit audit and compliance review.


Clients are also reminded to submit their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocation for 2013 as soon as possible. Any CoS allocation that you currently have available in your sponsor management system, will be reduced to ‘zero' on 5 April.  To ensure that you are able to assign any Certificates after this date you must submit your request as soon as possible.  The UK Immigration Team at Faegre Baker Daniels can provide further support and assistance to clients if required.