Home Office Sponsor Compliance Visits

The Government strictly regulates the employment of non-UK and Irish nationals in the UK. To do this, the Home Office regularly undertakes compliance inspections to establish whether an organisation is complying, or capable of complying, with its sponsor duties.

They may also assess the genuineness of any sponsored role; whether the sponsor’s key personnel are honest, reliable, and are not engaging in actions that are ‘not conducive to the public good’; and whether an organisation is operating lawfully in the UK.

Home Office Sponsor Compliance Visits

With more than three decades of experience in helping businesses and organisations of all sizes maintain their Sponsor Licences, we, the XT 24 team, regularly advise on these inspections.

Our experienced team can:

  • Provide detailed advice on what to expect from a Home Office visit;
  • Carry out mock interviews with your Key Personnel to ensure they are fully prepared for the inspection;
  • Undertake a review of your HR systems and processes to make sure they are appropriate to meet your sponsor duties;
  • Complete an audit of your right to work checks and the records you hold for your sponsored migrants to ensure you are meeting your sponsor duties.

Will the Home Office visit us for an inspection?

You may receive a Home Office compliance inspection visit at any of the following times:

  1. Following submission of a Sponsor Licence application: The Home Office may want to assess an organisation’s preparedness to meet the duties of a sponsor and see relevant HR systems and processes in place before granting the Sponsor Licence.

  2. At any point during the four-year licence validity period: The Home Office may want to check that a sponsor is fulfilling its ongoing duties and responsibilities. A visit may be to follow up on any previously identified compliance concerns, or it may be triggered by a particular issue or concern. An inspection can also be scheduled simply because the Home Office has not previously visited the sponsor or has not done so for an extended period.

  3. After submitting an application to renew the licence: The Home Office will initially make online checks but may decide to follow up with an inspection visit to check a sponsor’s compliance with their duties more thoroughly.

It is important to note that the Home Office may not always give advance notice of their intention to visit. You are required to cooperate with them and should not refuse a visit without compelling justification.

What will happen during a Home Office visit?

The Home Office’s usual practice is to:

  • Review a sample of right to work checks for all staff (not just for sponsored migrants);
  • Review HR systems and processes to assess whether they are sufficient to meet sponsor duties;
  • Audit information and documentation held for sponsored migrants;
  • Ask to view information and documentation regarding the company itself;
  • Interview Key Personnel;
  • Interview a number of sponsored employees.

The Home Office may also ask for documentation to be sent to them in advance of their visit or during and after the visit itself. It is important that you provide anything requested within the timeframe given, or you may risk an accusation of failure to cooperate.

If your organisation requires legal assistance or you would like to discuss your situation with one of our experts, please contact us.

For more information about us and our Corporate Immigration services, please contact a member of the team who can answer any questions and guide you through the process.

Litigation Partner
Immigration Attorney