The Home Office has announced plans to introduce a wide range of improvements to its IT systems, including the sponsorship management system. These enhancements are due to come into effect on July 1 2013.
The following changes will apply to all sponsors:
Key dates related to sponsor licences will be displayed in the 'Licence summary' screen (presently 'Sponsor summary') in the system – specifically, the start, expiry and renewal dates for:
- the sponsor licence;
- Tier 2 and Tier 5 premium customer service (if applicable); and
- Highly Trusted Sponsor status (Tier 4 sponsors only).
- A new message screen will be presented to all Level 1 users immediately after logging in. This new feature will be used to provide important information, forthcoming key dates and events and answers to frequently asked questions (eg, common sponsorship management system user issues).
- An application and licence renewal tracking function will be introduced. From July 1 2013, this will allow users to track the status and outcome of applications submitted for licence renewal, premium customer service and renewal (if applicable) and Highly Trusted Sponsor status and renewal (for Tier 4 only).
The sponsorship management system menu structure and content will be revised. The changes will include:
- new menu options for the functions being added;
- removal of the 'Outstanding payments' item (as cheque payment will no longer be accepted for any sponsorship services from July 1 2013); and
- renaming the existing menu options for greater ease of navigation.
The following changes will apply to Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors:
- An online renewal function for Tier 2 and Tier 5 premium customer service will be added.
- The premium customer service licence manager and senior account manager contact details will be displayed (if applicable).
- An advanced search function for certificates of sponsorship will be introduced. This will allow system users for Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsors to identify more easily the certificates of sponsorhip that they have created using a wider range of search parameters.
- Users will be able to delete certificate of sponsorship records where the certificates have not been assigned.
- The options for reporting migrant activity will be reduced and simplified.
- Additional information will be provided about action plans issued to sponsors, including status updates and key dates.
- The online sponsor application system will be revised, including the addition of a quicker and simpler process for existing sponsors to add tiers or categories to their licence.
For further information on this topic please contact Ilda De Sousa at Kingsley Napley by telephone (+44 20 7814 1200), fax (+44 20 7490 2288) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Kingsley Napley website can be accessed at www.kingsleynapley.co.uk.
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