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If you are thinking about hiring or teaching migrants you should ensure your HR system is in order or the Home Office could reject your application.

Global 4 Immigration (G4I) has been providing HR auditing services since 2008 when the Home Office first introduced the sponsor licence.  The Home Office introduced an online Sponsorship Management System (SMS), as a tool to help employers update them on migrant’s data and movements.  The below screen shot is the homepage of the SMS software that you will have access to if your sponsor licence is approved.   The SMS is only available for 3 of the 5 tiers; they are tiers 2, 4 and 5.  To find out more about the tiers click here.

What are the 5 key areas the Home Office expects an employer to have in order prior to applying for a sponsor licence?

Area 1: Monitoring immigration status and preventing illegal employment

Area 2: Maintaining migrant contact details

Area 3: Recordkeeping

Area 4: Migrant tracking and monitoring

Area 5: Professional registrations and accreditations

Each of the above 5 areas the UK employer must demonstrate to the Home Office that they have a system in place, if not then the sponsor licence is likely to be refused or downgraded to B. To find out more about the Home Office sponsor licence grading system click here.

Area 1

If your business appoints G4I, we will audit all employees within your business and advise you if any migrants from outside of the EU and Bulgarian and Romanian nationals have the right to work in the UK.  If we find any migrant working illegally we will provide you with a report on how to overcome this issue.  You will need to decide on our report on what action you must take and once the action has been taken we can tick-off area 1 as in good order.

Area 2

This process should be simple for most employers, however many employers do not use any kind of database to keep a log of their employees details or even ask their employees’ are their contact details up to date.  The employer will need to demonstrate their keep a log of all employees contact details, ideally in a database and have a policy in place for employees to update their employer if their circumstances change.  If the employer satisfies G4I that this is in order, we will tick-off area 2 as in good order.

Area 3

This process should most employers do well, however many employers should fail a Home Office inspection as key information is not stored in the migrant’s folder.  G4I would explain to the employer which documents are required to be kept with the employee’s folder and if the employee has a Home Office inspection then their employee folders would pass the inspection.  If the employer satisfies G4I that this is in order, we will tick-off area 2 as in good order.

Area 4

This is the essential area that any employer must have in order from day one and moving forward.  G4I would recommend to the employer the most convenient solution to logging and tracking migrants data.  This is essential otherwise the employer could accidentally employ a migrant past their visa expiry date or the migrant might have changed their visa status without knowing.  Once the employer has agreed the best way for their business to monitor and track migrant’s details and if G4I is satisfied we would tick-off area 4 as in good order.

Area 5

This area is where migrants need certain accreditations and licenses to carry out their specific duties such as a Nurse updating her NMC details.  The employer needs to have in place a tracking system to warn them when an employer needs to renew a licence or take additional training to be able to carry on their job role.

Training Institutes wanting to educate non EEA students?

Every training institute in the UK who wishes to teach non EEA nationals need to apply for a tier 4 sponsor licence.  

When a training institute applies for a sponsor licence, the process is different to an employer as training institutes do not employ their students but enrol them on a course of studies.  

Duties as a Sponsor

As a licensed sponsor the training institute must comply with certain duties, including a duty to inform the Home Office if:

You must keep proper records of the students you sponsor, including contact details and a copy of their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) (previously known as the identity card for foreign nationals (ICFN)), and give them to the Home Office when they ask for them.

As part of G4I audit, we will check how you currently manage your EU student’s data and recommend any improvements.  If you are successful in obtaining your tier 4 licence, you have only 12 months to apply to become a highly trusted sponsor or you will be struck-off by the Home Office.

Highly Trusted Sponsors

Highly trusted sponsor status (which the Home Office call HTS) is designed to ensure that all education providers are taking their obligations on immigration compliance seriously. The Home Office recognises that sponsors who show a good history of compliance with their sponsor duties and whose students meet the standards of the Home Office compliance with the terms of their visa or permission to stay in the UK (known as ‘leave to remain’).

Once the training institute has held their sponsor licence for 12 months, you need to successfully apply for HTC status. If you do not meet the HTS requirements the Home Office will revoke your licence.

Note: Highly trusted sponsor status was automatically given for a year to A-rated independent schools in April 2011.

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