Immigration Advice Service
+353 061 518 025 (local rate)

Mon - Sun, 8.30 am - 6 pm

Find an office

Find our Ireland Office


We are Ireland's leading immigration specialists
Accredited Irish immigration lawyers
We've had over 5000 applications approved
Get the correct advice from qualified immigration experts
4.7 rating 414 reviews

Sponsor Licence Duties (For Irish Employers In UK)

If you are an Irish employer in the UK, obtaining a sponsorship licence will allow you to recruit foreign workers who must comply with the demands of the UK immigration law. To ensure you keep your sponsor licence, your company must comply with sponsor licence duties.

Talk with one of our friendly immigration lawyers at IAS, if you need more clarifications about sponsor duties and compliance, and other services we offer. Call us today on +353 061 518 025 or message us online.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Irish businesses that have expanded in the UK are required to fulfil sponsorship licence duties. These sponsorship licence duties are created by the UK Home Office to prevent any abuse of sponsorship agreements, the UK’s immigration laws, and illegal working in the UK.

    The number of employees your business intends to sponsor largely determines the resources that will be needed to manage your UK sponsor licence. Employing a professional sponsor licence management service with a monthly retainer can be an option for your business if you do not have a sizable HR department or HR people to manage a sponsor licence.

    Your sponsor licence admin costs will be reduced, if you manage your sponsor licence duties professionally. Additionally, you are less likely to incur significant costs for immigration legal counsel about the downgrading, suspension, or revocation of your sponsor licence.

    If you fail to carry out your recording and reporting duties, you risk halting the ongoing employment of your sponsored workers. In light of this, you won’t be able to keep them employed in your business.

    The employees you sponsor will have to find new employment with another sponsoring company or depart the UK. Any of this course of action could have a significant negative impact on the sponsored employees, their families, and most importantly your company.

    Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews Logo

    Get help from our immigration team who can help make sure your business complies with immigration laws. Contact us

      Request a call back from our immigration experts

      How to Report Changes And What Changes You Should Report

      You can report changes about your sponsored worker and most sponsor licence changes of circumstances through the Sponsorship Management System (SMS). As an employer, in some circumstances, you may need to fill out a sponsor change of circumstances form.

      Depending on the type of change, any Level 1 User must utilise either the SMS’s “Report migrant activity” or “Request changes to licence details” functions. The relevant SMS Manuals at GOV.UK, Manual 9 (Reporting worker activity), and Manual 2 (Managing your licence) provide comprehensive instructions on how to go about doing this.

      In certain situations, the SMS may be used to complete more than one action. For instance, if the employer changes address, it may be necessary to update the information on the working address for their key personnel. Each change in these circumstances needs to be asked for separately.

      You can automatically update certain sponsor licence changes of situations on the SMS account after they have been reported, such as any change of address, and other needed changes must first be taken into consideration by a Home Office caseworker. For instance, the Home Office will need to decide whether the employer has to apply for a new licence, if a request is made for a sponsor change of name.

      The name on the licence could be changed without submitting a new application if the sole reason for the name change is that the sponsor incorporates for the first time and nothing else is changing. However, if the name change is a part of a larger change, such as the sponsor participating in a takeover or merger, it might be necessary to apply for a new sponsor licence.

      If an employer reports that a worker is no longer being sponsored by them or that the worker has missed work without their permission. They are required to disclose the worker’s last known residence address, contact information, and personal email address.
      If you need guidance on how to report changes, IAS can help. Our professional immigration lawyers can advise you on how to report changes and manage your licence effectively to avoid illegal working in the UK. Call us today on +353 061 518 025 or message us online.

      What Are Compliance Visits And How To Prepare


      The compliance team of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) conducts compliance visits for every business that holds a sponsorship licence.

      They only conduct audit visits and immigration compliance inspections to ensure that UK companies who hire foreign workers are abiding by their sponsoring duties and obligations, such as reporting, monitoring, and record-keeping, and to ensure that illegal workers are not hired.

      The UKVI conducts compliance visits, also known as pre-licence compliance visits, even before they issue your company a sponsor licence. Any additional Home Office visits made after you receive the sponsor licence are now referred to as post-licence compliance visits.

      Therefore, as compliance visits are conducted occasionally, holders of sponsor licences should always be prepared for an inspection. These compliance visits may occasionally be announced and sometimes unannounced.

      What to Expect During a Compliance Visit

      During a compliance visit that typically lasts for about 2 or 3 hours, you can expect the Home Office officials to focus on 5 key areas:

      • Monitoring immigration status. You are required to prove that your business has solid systems in place to reduce the possibility of hiring a foreign national without the proper authorisation to work in the UK.
      • Maintaining migrants’ contact details. You may be asked to provide each sponsored immigrant’s complete history of UK contact information. You must ensure that these details are up to date and easily accessible to the UK Visas and Immigration upon request.
      • Record keeping. You should have well-detailed files for each migrant worker in your company. These files must contain documents relating to migrant recruitment, a record of absences, and payroll information.
      • Migrant tracking and monitoring. The Home Office officials will want to check that you have policies in place to adequately monitor your sponsored immigrants and ensure the Home Office is notified of any prolonged absences or substantial changes to their work.
      • General sponsor duties. You must prove that you have policies in place to routinely examine your business’s profile on the Sponsorship Management System and notify the Home Office of any changes.

      Compliance officers might also want to interview any foreign workers and any of your staff members who are involved in hiring, as part of the procedure.

      How to Prepare for a Compliance Visit

      It is not advisable for Irish business owners who have their businesses in the UK to wait until they receive a notification of an announced visit before getting ready for the audit. This is because it gets much more difficult for you to evaluate your HR records and have your key personnel and sponsored employees ready for interviews. Another reason is that, it will be more challenging to fix any sponsor licence violation that the file reviews and mock reveal.

      Do the following to prepare for a compliance visit:

      Organise a Mock Audit

      It is ideal to organise a mock audit in preparation for an upcoming compliance visit. That being said, having a third-party mock audit will help to reveal possible problems and lapses in your company you must address before the actual compliance visit.

      You may be able to determine how to tackle the problems, if you have prior knowledge of major issues to address like missing HR files, or areas where key employees have not reported concerns on the sponsor management platform.

      The examples include:

      • Having late reporting
      • Accepting to hire more level 2 users or investing in an innovative HR management system to help employees
      • Registering HR staff for additional sponsor licence compliance training
      • Adopting a qualified sponsor management service

      It is best to perform mock audits on a regular basis regardless of whether your company is selected for Home Office compliance inspections because the audits highlight issues early on and may reduce the possibility that the Home Office may select your company for a compliance visit.

      Get Your Key Personnel and Sponsored Staff Ready

      It is ideal that you prepare your key personnel and sponsored staff ready for interviews during a potential Home Office audit. While you and your HR director may have familiarised with interviews, the level 2 management users you sponsor may not be experienced in interviews.

      In light of this, if your sponsored staff and sponsor management users are not prepared adequately, they may be scared of being interviewed by the Home Office officials. Some Home Office officials could already have only a select group of sponsored employees they want to interview before the visit, and they may need some documents to assess while on the sponsor compliance visit.

      You should not think that the Home Office officials will only speak with the identified sponsored employees or that the compliance visit will only be based on the review of the documents they may request. That being said, it is ideal to prepare for the compliance visit against a possible request for more sponsored employees, key personnel interview, or HR files.

      Anticipate Interviews with Your Sponsored Staff

      During a post-licence compliance visit, it is common for sponsored personnel to feel uneasy about being interviewed by a Home Office representative. When a compliance visit is announced, the Home Office representative may inform you that interviews may be conducted during the visit. But, they might not inform you of the sponsored employees who will be contacted for an interview.

      The Home Office officials may focus the compliance visit questions during the interview with a sponsored employee on how well their daily responsibilities align with the certificate of sponsorship job description you issued them and the standard occupation code.

      Before conducting the sponsor compliance visit, the Home Office official must have conducted a background check on the information it has regarding your sponsored personnel. They could have also used computerised government records to examine information about the job descriptions of each of your sponsored employees and the SMS reporting on some of your staff members.

      Review Your Files

      Review all your HR files and ensure they are readily available to be audited before the compliance visit. Having disorganised files, dated and undated copies of saved drafts of employment contracts, etc., may confuse the visiting officials and your HR staff even if you use electronic HR files.

      Because of this, a hasty Home Office official can conclude that you lack the necessary documents even though they are not set up in a way that makes them simple to find. It is advisable that you make a folder with an immigration records segment for each of the employees you sponsor if your business uses a paper-based HR system.

      It should contain information about them, including copies of their passports, BRPs, and visas. It should also contain their salaries, roles, talents, changes reported to the UKVI, and absences.

      Report and Keep Records

      Keep in mind that some of your everyday responsibilities as a holder of the sponsor licence include reporting and keeping records. The Home Office has issued guidance outlining the standards that must be met with regard to reporting and record-keeping for businesses who have sponsor licences. Because of this, your company’s key personnel must be conversant with these responsibilities.

      If you do not know how to start preparing for a compliance visit, do not worry, IAS can help. Our friendly immigration lawyers can assist you with expert guidance on the things to put in place to ensure you fulfil your sponsorship duties and comply with the UK employment law. Call us today on +353 061 518 025 or message us online.

      Our immigration team can help you prepare for compliance visits. We also offer mock audits. Contact us

        Request a call back from our immigration experts

        The Duties of a Sponsor

        As an Irish employer holding the UK sponsor licence, you must comply with the following sponsor duties:

        • Reporting duties. The sponsor reporting duties require you to notify the Home Office of certain events or information within time limits via the SMS. Note that there are certain events that would require you to notify the Home Office either in 10 days or in 20 days.
        • Record-keeping duties. As an Irish employer in the UK, you are required to have documents for each of your sponsored employees.
        • Adhering to the immigration laws. As an employer, you are required to obey the UK immigration laws and all areas of the Worker and Temporary Worker sponsor licence guidance.
        • Obeying wider UK law. Apart from the UK immigration law, as a sponsor licence holder, you are required to comply with other UK laws.
        • Acting in public good. It is your duty to behave in a way that upholds fundamental principles and doesn’t harm the greater good of the society.
        Women shaking hands

        How Can IAS Help?

        If the UKVI compliance officers believe that you are not carrying out your sponsorship duties efficiently, the Home Office may flag your company as non-compliant.

        You must prepare adequately against an announced or unannounced compliance visit to have a great chance to pass the compliance audit. The consequence of non-compliance to your sponsorship duties could be the downgrading, suspension or at worst case scenario, the revocation of your sponsor licence.

        Our immigration law experts at IAS can advise you on any matter related to obedience to the UK immigration rules and all you must do to avoid having your licence downgraded, suspended or revoked. Even if you are seeking advice on how to recruit foreign workers without breaking the UK immigration lawyers, IAS can also help.

        We are experienced professionals who already know how to handle the UK immigration-related matters. Additionally, we can advise you on sponsor licence application (if you want to renew your licence), or any other matter related to UK immigration law and your business.

        If you need more information about temporary worker sponsor guidance, student sponsor guidance, or other services we offer, get in touch with us at IAS. Call us on +353 061 518 025 or message us online.

        Advice Package icon

        Advice Package

        Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

        Application Package icon

        Application Package

        Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

        Fast Track Package icon

        Fast Track Package

        Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

        Document Check Package icon

        Document Check Package

        Document checking service that ensures your documents are sufficient to prove your eligibility.

        Advice Package image

        The Advice Package

        With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration experts will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

          Request a call back from our immigration experts

          Request the Advice Package
          Application Package image

          The Application Package

          With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Department of Justice & Equality on your behalf.

            Request a call back from our immigration experts

            Request the Application Package
            Fast Track Package image

            The Fast Track Package

            Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our team and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

              Request a call back from our immigration experts

              Request the Fast Track Package

              The Document Check Package

              Our Document Checking Package is a service for those who need to submit their application but choose to do so on their own but want help with ensuring their documents are in line with the requirements for the visa. Our immigration consultants will check your documents in this case.

                Request a call back from our immigration experts

                Request the Document Check Package More information

                We can help you if you need help with your visa application or immigration case. Learn more

                  Request a call back from our immigration experts

                  You may be interested in reading about.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  When you sponsor an applicant, you acknowledge legal obligation for providing financial support for the individual.

                  The Authorising officer is in charge of ensuring that the employer follows all pertinent immigration laws, rules, and guidelines. The Authorising officer is a capable senior employee who is well-versed in the prerequisites for sponsoring a skilled worker visa.

                  In the UK, being a sponsor means that your business has the capacity to hire foreign workers for eligible and genuine employment, provided you comply with your sponsor licence duties and obligations.

                  The CAS is an electronic number you issue an applicant. This number can only be obtained from sponsors. Sponsor licence holders typically generate the electronic number when applicants accept a job offer.

                  The sponsorship head plans and manages the organisation’s sponsorship plans. To generate revenue for incentives, conferences, meetings and exhibitions, the sponsorship head develops, leads, and oversees all areas of sponsorships.