To apply for a UK Employer Sponsor License, there must be persons within the organisation who will be fulfilling the immigration related roles in the organisation.
These persons are sometimes referred to as the Account/Compliance Officers.
The immigration related roles include: –
- An authorised officer
- A key contact
- A level 1 user
An authorised officer is usually an office holder in the organisation. This person would normally be a paid staff member of the organisation. They must also be a senior person in the company as they would be responsible for the management and activities of the entire system and the entire process.
In summary, the authorised officer authorises the other immigration compliance personnel within and outside the organisation to act for and on behalf of the organisation with regards to its sponsorship of overseas workers. They would be ultimately responsible for applying for the licence as well as issuing the sponsorships to the prospective overseas workers in the organisation. Importantly, the authorised officer is responsible for all the activities, omissions, compliance and otherwise carried out by the other key personnel in the immigration and overseas workers’ aspect of the establishment.
A key contact is anyone who acts at the main point of contact between the organisation and the Home Office. Importantly, an individual who is not a staff of the organisation can be a Key contact as long as the authorising officer appoints them to be the key contact. The authorising officer may also be a key contact. The key contact deals with all the correspondences between the organisation and the UK Border agency (UKBA).
The level 1 user is that individual that performs the day to administration of the entire sponsorship management system (SMS). In more simple terms, the level 1 user has been authorised by the authorising officer to manage the SMS. The level 1 user assigns the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) in the case of a business or a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies in the case of an educational institution.
The level 1 user may also keep the Home Office informed of any changes in the migrant’s status or activities. For example, if the migrant stops coming to work, is no longer employed by the sponsor or has finished his course of study before the normal time or has even stopped attending lectures in the case of an educational institution. Importantly, the authorising officer may also be the level 1 user.
The activities of a level 2 user are limited to assigning COSs, CASs and keeping the home office informed of any changes in the migrant’s status or activities as described above. Importantly, the authorising officer can also be a Level 2 user or any other person appointed by him (the authorised user).
Effective HR systems: The organisation looking to obtain a sponsorship licence must also be able show that they have an effective HR system in place. It is important to note that an effective HR system is directly linked to effectively carrying out the employer’s sponsor responsibilities which includes but not limited to preventing abuse of the assessment procedures, capture early any patterns of migrant behaviour that may cause concern, address possible weaknesses in process which can cause those patterns and monitor compliance with Immigration Rules.
Please be informed that the HR systems in place need not be overly sophisticated; however, it will serve as a major yardstick to judge the employer’s ability to meet his responsibilities as a sponsor.
Meet other immigration requirements: Meeting other requirements here include, submitting all other supporting documents or evidence as required, etc.
It is also important to note that the success of a sponsorship licence application does not necessarily guarantee that every overseas employee chosen will be automatically given a leave to enter or remain in the UK. It is therefore very important that employers and businesses seek legal and professional advice for immigration lawyers on the entire process.