The Home Office have released an updated guidance for compliance officers regarding pre and post licence sponsor compliance visit and assessments.
Indeed, companies holding or applying for a Sponsorship Licence need to comply with Immigration Rules and HR system requirements.
The Home Office can decide to attend the company’s office at any time before (pre-licence assessment visit) and after (post-licence compliance visit) granting the Sponsorship Licence and conduct a compliance visit and assessments to check if the company meets the requirements and fulfils its duties as a Sponsor.
The main change in this new guidance is the removal of parts of the guidance about making a recommendation.
Other changes reflect the updated Immigration Rules and some minor housekeeping.
From 15 January 2018, compliance officers will no longer make a recommendation (feedback) regarding the licence outcome following a compliance visit. They will conduct and document a thorough assessment of the sponsor’s current state of compliance, gathering supporting evidence.
The caseworker will then use the evidence presented in the report, along with other relevant evidence to make a decision regarding the licence outcome.
The Home Office will not suggest any improvements in its report. They will focus on highlighting each breach.
Employers wishing to retain or hire non-EEA workers need to get fully prepared. In order to do so, the services of an immigration solicitor advising and assisting for Sponsorship Licence applications but also for the compliance with visa rules and duties as a Sponsor are now primordial.
If you wish to apply for a Sponsorship Licence or are already a sponsor and want to make sure that you comply with the complex immigration rules, please do not hesitate to contact our immigration team or our senior solicitor, Pam Barar.