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Business Immigration

Immigration Audit & Action Plan

Immigration Audit & Action Plan
The Home Office may conduct a premises audit on licenced sponsor organisations either as part of pre-licence checks or compliance visit further to licence approval. This is to make sure that the information provided as part of the sponsor licence application is accurate and that organisations are able and continuing to comply with the duties and responsibilities of a licensed sponsor.
Home Office compliance visit
The compliance officer visiting the business premises may give prior notice of the visit or come unannounced. The compliance team will be assessing the organisation, it’s practices and the facts given on the initial application or any other changes on the sponsor management system. They will generally be assessing the below.
  • Genuineness of the business and whether they are lawfully operating in the UK
  • Compliance with sponsor duties and obligations
  • Ability to control and manage the sponsored employees
  • Cross check any information previously provided to the Home Office
  • Assess whether the employment offered are genuine and at the right skill level
  • Check whether the organisation poses any threat to Immigration control
  • Maintain record keeping, reporting and immigration status monitoring processes
  • Check if the Key Personnel are upto date and fit to be in that position
  • Ensure migrant workers are carrying out duties only as listed on the CoS
The compliance visit may last from 3 to 5 hours and any migrant workers and key personnel may be interviewed as part of the process. The compliance officer will not normally inform the outcome of the visit during the audit and it is normal for them to request some business documents to be sent to them after the visit. If the compliance visit finds any issues, the new licence application will be normally refused and any licence already granted may be suspended or revoked. In some cases, the Home Office might decide to downgrade the organisation’s A rating to B rating, and provide an action plan for the organisation to gradually go back to the previous rating.
How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting small businesses and multinational companies in sponsor licence matters including new applications, dealing with suspensions and revocations, HR & Compliance audits with action plans and training, sponsoring migrant workers as well as dealing with day to day sponsor licence obligations.  

Our service extends to all aspects of sponsorship, including conducting a mock immigration audit prior to any Home Office visits. Our mock audit provides the HR managers and Key Personnels valuable insights into Home Office practice and procedures and ensure sponsor compliance at levels. Our mock audit may include the below.

  • Check the organisation’s HR and Recruitment procedures and assess the practices against the standard expected by the Home Office
  • Assess the organisation's document management and record keeping practices
  • Review sponsored worker’s employee files to check any deficiencies
  • Speak to Key Personnel and migrant workers and assess whether everyone is aware of the Tier 2 or 5 criteria as applicable
  • Ensure organisation is carrying out Right to Work checks properly
  • Check whether the employment contract/terms are in compliance with Home Office guidance
  • Ensure the organisation is documenting employees working in third party sites correctly by retaining sufficient control of their activities

We will provide a comprehensive report and action plan further to the mock audit which will include our expert recommendations on how to improve the existing practices. We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. We have the privilege of working with some of the most well-known companies in the world. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

The maximum duration of Tier 2 General visa is upto six years unless an exemption applies. Individuals may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after spending 5 years under this category, if they meet all other requirements.

Any individuals granted with Tier 2 general visa cannot have recourse to public funds and can only work for their sponsor in the job as described on the CoS. Voluntary and supplementary employment are permitted. Individuals with this leave can also study as long as it does not interfere with their main job. Individuals granted with a Tier 2 leave can undertake supplementary employment of no more than 20 hours per week in the same profession and level as their main job or on a profession under the shortage occupation list. This must be outside of their normal working hours.
Tier 2 Cooling off period refers to the 12 months period applicants have to wait before they can apply for a Tier 2 visa again to re-enter the UK. This triggers when an individual was previously sponsored under Tier 2 by any employer in the UK, and they have left the UK and their visa lapsed or expired. There is an automatic refusal failing to adhere to the cooling off period.
The minimum salary requirement is set out by the relevant SOC codes. The common SOC code used is 2444 Clergy and the minimum salary requirements or this SOC code is of national minimum wage requirements.
The new PBS skilled worker visa will not apply to any EU nationals living in the UK by 31 December 2020. EU nationals and their families are eligible to apply under EUSS scheme up until 30 June 2021 and employers may continue to accept Passports and National ID cards as evidence of right to work up until 30 June 2021. All EU nationals who enter the UK to work from January 2021 will need to apply for permission in advance.
Tier 2 Sponsor Licence
Sponsored workers at third party premises

In the new Guidance there is an important, and perhaps overlooked, point for employers who allow their sponsored workers to out any of their employment duties at a third party’s site

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